New York is an obvious destination to return to seeing as there is so much to do, restaurants to eat at, neighborhoods to walk through, friends to visit, shows to see, and events to attend. New Orleans, however, is a fraction of the size and really doesn't compare in the aforementioned attractions. What it does have is culture, history, architecture, street music, art, ghost stories, antiques, vampire tours, the bayou, alligators, fried seafood as far as the eye can see, beignets, jazz clubs, cobblestone sidewalks, the Garden District, nightlife (to say the least), and a people so passionate about their city, you can't help but want to rent an apartment and join them.
I walk the streets of New Orleans with stars in my eyes, snapping photos left and right at the aged store signs and iron balconies. Landscaped courtyards, or secret gardens as my friend Anna kept calling them, peek out from narrow alleys. The smell of powdered-sugared sweets lures you into one pastry shop after the next. The sounds of cellos and trombones dare you not to tap your toes, and the swing dancers provoke an applause by any man, woman, or child who pass. It is a magical city, unlike any other I've ever visited. I can't wait to go back next year.