One thing I've noticed about New Orleans is it doesn't seem to compete. It abides. It doesn't bother to compare itself to other places. It celebrates itself with reference to nothing outside its boundaries. If I may quote the greatest American poet:
"I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
That's Whitman talking but it may just as well be the collective chorus of New Orleans, Louisiana, US of A.