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Native Niavety

December 6th, 2012

I am the only one in the class who is a native of New Orleans, which puts me in an interesting
position to reflect on what this video project has taught me about the city. How can I be taught
something new about my city which I’ve lived in my whole life, and nowhere else? But of course
that’s a very narrow view of things. I frequently learn new things about this city. New Orleans
is very neighborhood-oriented, much like New York. I’ve learned things about Treme and the
Ninth Ward simply because I rarely venture in those areas. Sometimes I think it really isn’t
that unusual for fellow college students – who inhabit this weird space of not-quite-local-but-
almost – to teach me about new happenings in the city. As a local, I feel like I get into a routine
of things. Afterall, living here is just daily life for me. But for the newly placed college student,
they are more inclined to explore the city and discover everything it has to offer. Plus there are
always new things, events, and festivals cropping up around the city.

More than anything though, as a local looking internally, I think I’ve really realized the fierce
pride and protection natives have for this city, more so than other places. Maybe it’s because
of all the misconceptions, misunderstandings, and even hatred that the rest of the country
has shown towards New Orleans. Just on Facebook the other day, a friend’s status mentioned
how he is so glad he wasn’t born anywhere else. But he was moving away, which was a good
thing. Despite this defining sense of identity we have as a New Orleanian, many leave. With
the good comes the bad and with this sense of pride comes a sense of weariness. I have heard
many locals speak of the city with a sense of resentment. They are tired of it, it’s small, there’s
nothing left here for them. At first, I didn’t think anything of these sentiments. Then I took this
class, and I grew angry that locals would feel this way about their own city that so desperately
needs them, that they wanted to abandon it. And now I realize that they are completely
entitled to feel that way, and not without a reason. I grow weary of the city too. But Chris Rose
says it best: New Orleans girls may leave, but they always come back.

By Callie Joseph