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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meet My Friends: Part Fifteen

A little late this weekend, but a great guest blogger is worth the wait, right?

Today's post comes all the way from my birthplace, Louisiana. I was introduced to Andie through another blogger (and former guest poster!), Lesli at Pretty Random Thoughts. I started out reading Andie's fashion blog, What Andie Wears, where she chronicles what she wears each day. I love her girly style (cute skirts and sandals, great jewelry) and was so impressed that a lot of what she wears comes from places like Payless, JCPenney, etc. Stylish for less--I LOVE it!

From there I started reading Sweet. Southern. Spirited., her more "traditional" blog. What I love about Andie's 2 blogs is that she seems to have such a joie de vivre. That may be partly her New Orleans upbringing, but I also think it's just who she is. She sees the good in life and it's heartening to read her positive blogs!

So enjoy Andie and be sure to stop by one (or both) of her blogs and say hi!

First of all, let me introduce myself and tell Lucy thanks so much for the kudos and inviting me to guest post here at her blog.

My name is Andie, and I’m the blogger responsible for two blogs- Sweet. Southern. Spirited. and What Andie Wears. When I’m not blogging about my southern heritage or my daily quips about clothes and style, I am living my life by a strict rule- and that’s to enjoy life to the fullest while working my real job and my hobby job as an amateur photographer. I hail from the New Orleans area and I’m a proud southern gal. I had not written a whole lot at Sweet. Southern. Spirited. lately, so I figured I’d write a little something that was southern inspired for ya’ll, since Lucy is a resident of the Chicagoland area, which I would say is pretty far up north!

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a concert downtown that featured many of New Orleans’ greatest musical acts. It was to raise money for music education in our local schools and featured some of New Orleans’ best musical artists.

As we walked along the bumpy streets, lined with moss covered oaks while wiping the humidity from our foreheads, we marveled at the centuries old architectural beauty of the buildings around us, we said to each other, “I just can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
As the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches and we are in the midst of yet another hurricane season, I thought now would be as good a time as ever to touch on that question we get quite often from people who are not from here or have not been touched in some way by the soul of New Orleans.

Every hurricane season, as a potential storm looms over us, many friends who live in areas who are not affected by hurricanes say things like “you need to move” or “you’re crazy for living there!”

I will tell you that having gone through the experience of a storm like Katrina and the aftermath, I have been hardened in ways I never thought possible. At the same time, my love for Louisiana and New Orleans has grown exponentially in the last five years and I kindly disagree with those naysayers.

I would feel like there was a void in my life if I did not have the soul of New Orleans as a part of my daily life.

There is a certain magnetism, or spirit of New Orleans that fills the soul of every local resident. Our people are full of pride (Who Dat?), resilience, culture, and a spirit like no other. There are not many places in this world where one can eat a decadent meal while being serenaded by a jazz trio; walk along a street where the houses are over 200 years old and still look the same; or even come across a funeral procession where sorrows are pushed away by the joyous and hearty sound of The Rebirth Brass Band playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” as mourners are joined by passersby who choose to join in the celebration of the deceased’s life.

New Orleans is home to so many unique things that I honestly would feel as though something were missing if I would not be able to get an order of beignets and café au lait from Café Du Monde for breakfast, followed by a walk on the river. I would be so disappointed if I didn’t have access to a shrimp poboy for lunch from Johnny’s while I sat in City Park watching the ducks chase patrons for bread. I would be lost without looking forward to Saints games, Mardi Gras, and the French Quarter Festival.

There is just “something” here that has me locked in. I think Chris Rose, a columnist with The Times Picayunesaid it best:

"Dear America,

I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We're South Louisiana...You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange music and eat things you'd probably hire an exterminator to get out of your yard.
We dance even if there's no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly,we're suspicious of others who don't.”
~Chris Rose

So with that being said, I hope someday you all will get to visit and get a little bit of New Orleans soul in your heart! Have you ever been to visit? Tell me or Lucy about it!

Long Live New Orleans! Come on down, ya’ll, and Who Dat? ;)

*NOTE: All pictures were taken by the author of this post.

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