They probably should make you show your passport to get into New Orleans. It’s so wonderfully unique that it should have its own national borders: The French Quarter, the music, the food, the cocktails, the streetcars, the Gulf, the swamps, the Cajun culture, all overlaid with the bittersweet sense of the fleeting nature of life, losses, survival and renewal after Hurricane Katrina, now more than a decade ago.
Our guides here were Dave and Judy Walker, longtime friends and former colleagues at The Arizona Republic, NOLA citizens since 2000, and until recently, journalists at the Times-Picayune. Dave was the television writer, former president of the national Television Critics Association, and has written for TV Guide and other outlets. Judy covered homes and gardens, then food, and has written several cookbooks, including Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans (with columnist Marcelle Bienvenu), a work of love envisioned after readers lost all their clipped recipes in the storm. Judy still writes her food column at NOLA.com and Dave has a new gig at the famed National World War II Museum. We hadn’t seen them for maybe 15 years, and were excited for the reunion.