Another Little Piece of My Heart

Everybody has a city. Some people dig LA. Others want to fall in love in Paris. Some feel perfectly at home in Bali or Cape Town. Eugene, Oregon. Miami. Savannah, Georgia.

I’m dead gone on New Orleans.

I love Mardi Gras. Those Cajuns host one killer party. But my love for NOLA goes deeper than that.

It’s everything: the dignity, the decadence, the swelter and humidity, the local lore, the human handprints that make this city so richly cultured, so lived in, so authentic, so beloved.

New Orleans has presence. It’s sweeter than the brown sugar in a Louisiana praline, and as welcoming as the slow sway of ceiling fans whirling the night air on sweeping verandas. Food-wise, it’s some of the best South to put in your mouth: beignets, rich hot coffee, shrimp po boys, Zapp’s Voodoo Gumbo chips, Abita Root Beer, Creole jambalaya, and gumbo, gumbo, gumbo.

Some cities are identifiable by scent–for example, Harare, Zimbabwe smells of rain and wood smoke at Winter’s end–and New Orleans is one of them.

The New Orleans scent is a balmy, decadent incense of crawfish boil, barbecue, Jheri Curl, swamp water,Β  perfume, cologne, cigar smoke, salty olives from muffalettas, and pipe tobacco. It is one of the most perfect smells on the planet.

The Lundi Gras my Nikon and I spent in the French Quarter was a red-letter day. I stepped out of the car to warmth, humidity, and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Do I Do” playing on the street, and the band was doing it justice. Which is saying something.

This is a city that rose up out of the water, a city where people still dance in the streets.


So tell me, my dear readers, which city has carried away a little piece of your heart?


Inspired by Dizzy Gillespie and Mama Carol’s Louisiana Pralines.

Β© IndyInk and Grits and Bottle Rockets, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of text or images without express and written permission from this blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used by permission if full and clear credit is given to IndyInk with specific direction to the original content.


7 thoughts on “Another Little Piece of My Heart

  1. ournote2self says:

    I’ve never been to New Orleans, but the way you described it makes me wanna plan a trip there at once. I’m originally from Green Bay, WI and I’d have to say that it too has its own scent. I can smell fish fries, cheese curds and the pickle factory as I sit here thinking about it. Hmmm, might be time to plan a trip there as well. πŸ™‚

    • indyink says:

      I love Wisconsin people… lived with several in college. You guys love your cheeses and sausages and Yankee Pot Roast. And so do I!

      I always say Wisconsin is the Texas of the North (it’s a compliment in my book). You would love the Big Easy, and probably feel very at home there. Thanks for visiting! Yall can come back any time. πŸ™‚

  2. Bassma says:

    your words are like a bright oil painting written in black ink.

    I think St. Louis had a gorgeous smell, especially after it rained in the summer, or after a snow storm in the winter, and it was dead quiet. I loved it.

    Kiev had a smell too… body odor, vodka, smoke and salami. but it was so amazing to photograph!

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