There are a few places on the planet that make you feel more at home than home itself does. NoLa, for us, is one of those. When I was a full-time flight instructor, Hal and I used to fly a small Cessna there, before we were a “we,” descending over Lake Pontchartrain into Lakefront Airport. We’d head to Andrew Yeager’s House of Seafood and share a splendid dinner, then stroll the Quarter, soaking in all that teeming, rollicking life.
It was over one of those unforgettable dinners and strolls that I realized Hal was It. My man of men. (You can read that story here.) Since then, New Orleans has become our city of cities. Even though we don’t have a plane to fly there anymore, we get there anytime we can, leave some shoe leather on the beautiful old streets, and share fantastic meals.
What is it about NoLa that can make you feel a little more like your real self? Maybe it’s the accept-all-comers attitude, or the willingness of the city (and its denizens) to let all that seaminess show through, to not worry about hiding its sketchy side. We all have one. And I’m drawn to people and places that don’t feel the need to pretend otherwise. The Big Sleazy’s no poseur.