Saturday, December 18, 2010

I am not curious about the rest of Louisiana.

I moved to New Orleans and I am in love with the place, sinking down roots and drawing sustenance from the landscape and atmosphere.  I must admit, I am not terribly interested in the rest of Louisiana.  I've visited some parts of the Pelican State, admittedly not much, but nothing in I've seen has captured my imagination.

New Orleans is the biggest city in Louisiana.  Baton Rouge holds the number 2 slot.  I've been there and have no plans to go back anytime soon unless I have some business to conduct.  I haven't been to faraway Shreveport, the third largest urban conglomeration.  To my New England honed sense of distance, if I travel as far as Shreveport, I will be in a different country.

People from outside New Orleans, myself included, talk about the place as a world of its own.  It is.  I'm from Connecticut where every town is its own entity, an island in a sea of Connecticut towns, each similar but each unique with history and quirks of charter to prove it.

I figure if a place has a name, it has its own government.  That's not true in Louisiana.  In Connecticut we abolished county government, who needs an extra layer of legislation and paid employees.  If services are duplicated every few miles at least they belong to the people most directly affected.  In Louisiana, they went the opposite route: who needs the lowest denomination of civic administration?  Parish government is the rule of law.  Of course the population of the vast state of Louisiana is roughly equal to the vest pocket area of Connecticut.  Orleans Parish is co-existent with New Orleans city limits.  
If I am not curious about the rest of Louisiana, maybe it's my own fault.  I am too busy learning the ways of my new home city.  Maybe in time, Heaven forbid, I will get bored and jaded about the lifeways that knit New Orleans together.  Then I may head out to Belle Chase or Metarie and think about expanding my horizons.  I doubt it, but anything is possible.

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