Just like French literature, the plot of a city often lies in the women who live and work in that particular place.

It was Alexandre Dumas who first counseled readers to “cherchez la femme” (look for the woman), and literary critics often use the same approach for revealing the heart of a novel or film.

I also find it to be a good guiding principle for travel: Cherchez la femme! Visit any place in the world and converse with the first five women you meet: You’ll learn far more about the everyday truth of that destination than any guidebook could ever show you.

Outside of English, many languages assign gender to cities, countries, oceans, mountains, rivers, and places. I have traveled to Mother Russia and Mother India, I have sunk my ankles into the hot sands of Le Sahara (masculine), and I have sailed across the Atlantic (feminine). Reflecting on this, as far as place-names go, the world is overwhelmingly feminine, including “Earth” itself.

After only two weeks adventuring through her wild city streets, I will be so presumptuous as to declare that New Orleans is most definitely a woman. Anyone who’s been here would likely come to the same conclusion.

As I wrap up this terrific urban journey that I have been on, I can remember all the women I met here–all of the fabulous women who make up this entirely unique city. To them I say thank you and, in a gentlemanly gesture, I tip my (rented) black velvet top hat to all of them.

Dame New Orleans appreciates good manners.

 

Comments

  1. Dian Emery
    November 9, 2011, 11:00 am

    Love this. The plot of the city and perhaps the heart of the city as well lies within the women who live there.

  2. jeremy cooker
    70119 (New Orleans, LA)
    November 9, 2011, 1:42 pm

    thanks for capturing the beauty and diversity of our incredible city in these stunning photos. the smiles on those faces are exactly why i live here and love it here.

  3. Andrew Evans
    November 9, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Thanks Dian, thanks Jeremy. I was very impressed by the diversity of the women in New Orleans.