How many people start out from someplace else and hit the road and end up in New Orleans? Not many, I'll bet. It's not a place you land in by accident. If you were riding a flatboat or a barge or a steamer that you boarded somewhere between Cairo, Ill. and Baton Rouge, LA you could be pretty sure you'd end up in the Crescent City. Taking the interstate highways though? You only get here by design.
Louisiana is shaped like a gangrenous foot, eroding away a little bit more every day. New Orleans is somewhere in there, a little south of Lake Pontchartrain which looks like a carbuncle on a map. New Orleans has always seemed an improbable place in which to site a great city.