I was born in New Orleans (okay, Metairie) but when I was four months old, my family moved to Baton Rouge, where I lived for the next twenty-five-ish years. (There were a couple of years in Natchitoches and half a year in London mixed in there, hence the “-ish”.) Even though my parents were through-and-through New Orleanians (I swear, for the longest time, I thought my dad was from the “Night Ward” and that “ersters” were best eaten raw), I never envisioned living there myself.
But then I got a job in New Orleans. And since my best friend had just started law school at Tulane, I thought I’d give it a shot.
I lived Uptown for a few years but the city didn’t really click with me. I enjoyed hearing the streetcars rumble past, and living right off the parade route was both a blessing and a curse. But when my friend graduated, I was ready to move on. I had big plans to move to Boston (mostly because it was cold and I imagined it had fewer cockroaches than New Orleans) when I met this guy. At a bar. He was a fellow Anglophile, and I had just come home from running a marathon in London. So we chatted, and three months later, I decided Boston really wasn’t the best idea. And since I wasn’t really an Uptown kind of girl, I moved to Algiers Point.
George and I got married in Baton Rouge a few months after Katrina hit. My mom was ecstatic when we had to move the wedding to my hometown, but I was sad not to have photos of my veil blowing in the breeze on the ferry, with the bridge in the background.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and we welcomed not one, not two, but three little boys into our family. Three identical blond-haired, blue-eyed babies. Don’t ask how that happened. My husband and I both have dark hair and dark eyes. Now I have kids that will grow up with a totally different perspective on life because of where they are growing up. Where they go to high school will remain a topic of conversation well into their adult years. Mardi Gras will be more than just spending the Saturday before Fat Tuesday watching the truck parades in front of my aunt’s house on Bonnabel.
Living in The Point has totally changed my view of New Orleans. There are block parties, great parks, little locally-owned restaurants and bars, and a few shops here and there. We’re only a short ferry ride from the French Quarter, but more importantly since having kids, the Aquarium and the Insectarium. I think maybe Uptown was just too big for me, and I never found my place there. But our little corner of the West Bank has turned this city into my new hometown.