My New Orleans

Burke Bischoff

When I was first asked to write a story full of compliments towards the city of New Orleans, I actually struggled to come up with anything for about a week. I grew up in Gretna, on the Westbank, which, as far as most Eastbankers are concerned, is a distant backwoods country. So most of my love and memories reside there.

I then started to think about if I could write down any of the stereotypes about New Orleans, just to find that I don’t particularly fall under any of them. I can’t say anything about the parties or Bourbon Street because I’m not a social butterfly. I can’t say anything about the seafood because I personally don’t care for seafood. I can’t say much for Mardi Gras either because I stopped attending parades after marching in them five years straight with my high school band.

However, as I say to the few people still reading this piece, I can say that the memories I did develop because of the city are some that have stayed with me for years. These memories helped to make New Orleans special to me and not the cliché some people see it as. Some of my fondest memories include the Audubon Zoo and The Fly.

I remember going to the zoo any chance I could when I was a kid, back when the zoo still had seals and the one dinosaur room. My family and I would make sure to cover every single square inch of the property from top to bottom. We would always go to the Louisiana section to eat lunch at the Cypress Knee Café and then head straight to the animal nursery so I could see the baby animals. I felt accomplished whenever I climbed all the way up Monkey Hill, until one day I tripped and fell on one of the rocks. I don’t remember which one it was though, but I told myself it was mine because I left my blood on it.

The best memory the city gave me, however, was when I had my first kiss on The Fly. I had taken a girl I had a crush on in high school to The Fly to see if we could spark up a relationship. I had heard so many stories about how beautiful it was from my parents, who went there when they were dating. So, we went there during the sunset and had our first kiss. Unfortunately, we’re not together. She’s living happily with her new girlfriend and I still go out to The Fly just to watch the sunset.

I may not have a lot of them, but I cherish the memories New Orleans helped to create. They may not seem special to anyone else, but they help personalize the city for me because I think they’re special. I hope I have the chance to create more memories with this city and see that sunset once again with someone else.