Goin' to New Orleans

Eric Herman Headshot

Eric HermanAlthough I was born and raised in Southern California, some of my earliest memories are of Louisiana. My mom and her entire family are from the southern region of the state, the 18th to join the U.S., and throughout my life I’ve felt the influence of the unique culture, history and attitude of Louisiana. Having been there nigh onto two dozen times in my life, it’s a place that stirs my imagination, my desires and most poetic of inclinations. 

Not surprising, I’m thrilled to return there for this year’s installment of PSP, in New Orleans next week on the 5th through 8th. 

For those of you who’ve been there, I’m pretty sure you know what I mean. For those who’ve never been and are planning on attending, you’re in for a treat, especially if you go there and see things through the right eyes and an open heart.

There quite simply is no other city in the world like New Orleans. Its unique history, culture, cuisine, music and joie de vivre are part European, part Caribbean, part Native American, and part Dixie as well as Cajun, Creole, Voodoo – and overall quintessentially American. 

There’s a richness and raucousness about the place that must be experienced to even partially understand. But make no mistake; New Orleans is also a dangerous place as well, saddled with a crime rate that ranks high among American major cities. Of course, now, with its post-Katrina overlay, the differentiation between the beauty and the sadness stands in stark relief at almost every turn. So when you’re there, do be careful. But at the same time, don’t be afraid. There’s a warmth and spirit that exists only in that great city. 

New Orleans is a place that is always about imagination and possibility. It’s the birthplace of Jazz music, the home of Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton, and many of the great blues masters. Its cuisine is unlike any other. Its literary tradition is rich with most notably the home of Tennessee Williams and other great spinners of Southern Gothic yarns. Paraphrasing Williams, he once described New Orleans as a place where you step out the door and are instantly immersed in a cultural event, with its scores of street musicians, dives, art galleries and historic places. Williams once wrote, “The moon and Bourbon Street are like two aging sisters on a front porch, who no longer need to speak to understand each other.” 

The place really is that magic. 

And now, with our industry rebounding from the Great Recession, New Orleans is a perfect place to launch the future. 

For my part, I can’t wait to be there in this most unusual and epic of cities. Hope to see you there. 

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