A common theme I hear from people who live in New Orleans is that people move here to enjoy their lives. I hear this over and over again, whether directly or through surreptitious eavesdropping. Conversations repeatedly turn back to the theme of this city being a good place in which to spend one's days. I believe it.
Yesterday: "I lived in Upstate New York. People stay inside all the time. They don't know how to get out and socialize and have a good time. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to come here."
The day before: "I'm from Iowa. This is a big change but I jumped at the chance. I got here three weeks before The Storm and lost everything I had. I didn't evacuate. I didn't have anywhere to go so I stayed. I'm still staying and I don't regret it."
Variations of these paraphrases crop up endlessly. I can tell you one thing for sure: New Orleans is the opposite of Boston. Whether that is good or bad, I can't say; probably neither. Each city is what it is and the world would be a poorer place if it didn't have a Boston. For the time being, I am throwing in my lot with New Orleans. I've been bitten by the bug. Soon enough people may eavesdrop on me and I suspect I'll be saying things along the lines quoted above.