Nothing creates a sense of place more immediately than real estate. The structures we build are statements about a city’s history and cultural heritage, writ large. Think in terms of Athens, Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg and Venice, to name just a fistful.
Drive into the French Quarter of New Orleans, the heart of the celebrated city, and you are as close as you can come to a foreign experience while in a U.S. city (apologies to Miami). Coming like a fastball right behind NOLA’s distinct French and Spanish architecture is the city’s famed music, cuisine and multilingual dialect. Before the United States was even a country, people from France, Spain and West Africa were blended together into a Cajun/Creole gumbo that is New Orleans.
It is that allure that brought me to New Orleans for a recent trip, coincidentally timed with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the near Biblical-scale disaster during which the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchar