Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Orleans

Last weekend, my wife and I were presented with an opportunity to visit New Orleans for the first time. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip! In addition to visiting various historical locations, we also made several visits to antique and used book stores in the area. I was able to find a used edition of the Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary (second in fame and content only to the mammoth Oxford Latin Dictionary) for only $40.00. Of course, I snagged it, since the cheapest I could ever have found it used online was $125.00.

Visiting the place, one can't help but recall the hundreds of years worth of destruction and suffering that lingers in the area due to fires, hurricanes, poverty, and other things. Yet the city and its people seem simultaneously joyful and appreciative of life. It's an interesting juxtaposition, and the resiliency is contagious.

When you are there, particularly in the French Quarter, you can't help but feel a palpable connection to the Old World (Europe, most particularly France and Spain) while not losing sight of the fact that you are also in a modern American city. Culture, art, music, food, and good drink abound, and no, I am not referring to the excesses of Bourbon Street. The city's strong Catholic history is also ubiquitous and inescapable. I can't wait until we can return.


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