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dimebag1980

When did you fall in love with your city?

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I saw a thread in the Virginia forum and got excited, thinking it was in the USA South forum, so I wrote a long response. Once I had posted it, I realized where I was so I retracted it and apologized for being a goof.

But anyway, seeing the thread got me thinking I should ask the same question here. And to be honest, since I'd already written out my long, heart-felt response, I figured I needed a place to post it!!

So fellow Louisianians, I ask you... when did you fall in love with your city?

I'll start with what I've already prepared:

Well, when I was very young I remember taking trips into the city with my parents. Looking up at the buildings downtown, I thought they had to be some of the tallest buildings anywhere (little did I know!) My grandparents lived in an old neighborhood in the city, so we'd always get off the freeway downtown and circle back into the neighborhood where they lived. I absolutely loved the "gritty" part of the city on the edges of downtown, and I loved how the skyline looked from that viewpoint as well. Back in the early 80s, a couple of the buildings downtown were still new and even my parents weren't used to seeing them yet.

Then, the oil business in this area hit rock bottom and people were literally running as fast as they could to find jobs in the industry, and that pushed most of them to Houston. The area fell into a very depressed economic state, with wages extremely low, unemployment high, and no hope in sight. This was the beginning of the sickness known as Shreveportitis. People infected with Shreveportitis ranged from the working class commoner, all the way up to the local mayors and city council members. The common denominator among all the people infected with Shreveportitis was that they absolutely hated the city. It was boring, dead, and had absolutely nothing to offer anymore... it was a city, for a time known as the oil capital of the United States, now entirely without an image.

Fast-forward to the mid-90s, particularly 1994. In 1994, the casino industry became a reality in this area. Shreveportitis was so engrained in the minds of this area's residents, however, that everyone just knew the casino industry was going to be a big joke that would do nothing but further hurt the area. That couldn't have been farther from the truth. As the casinos began opening their doors, people quickly realized that these companies offered jobs in almost every sector of the economy, from janitors and card dealers, to cashiers, bartenders, waitresses, and even accountants and human resource officers. In addition to offering these jobs, the casino companies paid higher than all other companies in the area, giving them an advantage in finding employees.

Now that the casino industry had become a part of the local economy, hundreds of people were working again and could finally begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After a while, these people began buying homes and leaving the slums they were living in. These people were also eating out more and buying cars and other nice items. Naturally, all this activity going on in the area eventually led to even more spinoff economic development, as real estate agents were needed to sell the homes, car salesmen were needed to sell the cars, waitresses and cooks were needed in restaurants, and so on. This domino effect eventually led to national chain stores and restaurants looking at the area for the first time in a decade.

In addition to all the economic effects of the casino industry on this area, there was suddenly a new industry created: tourism (it's now estimated that some 14 million tourists visit this area every year.) This industry eventually led to the construction of even more stores and restaurants, but most of all it led to the construction of thousands of new hotel rooms over the years. Not only did all the casinos in the area eventually build on-site hotels, but other hotels began popping up all over the area. This trend is still continuting today, some 12 years later.

As the casino hotels began being constructed, I once again began taking an interest in my area. I watched this area's tallest hotel (Horseshoe Tower at 26 floors) being constructed and I fell in love with it. It was the most beautiful sight I'd seen in all my life, because it was not only a beautiful building, but it also symbolised the growth occurring in this area. I began saving newspaper clippings of projects proposed for the area and began to take more of an interest in economic development. Not only that, but seeing the hotels being built also got me interested in architecture and design. I began drawing hotels and skyscrapers in my sketch book, and even had the most elaborate design in my high school art class when I drew by hand - in very fine detail - my own fictional city, loosely based on New York City.

Sorry, I went off on a tangent in that last paragraph. To pick up where I left off, as things really started looking up, Shreveportitis started becoming less and less evident. Today, I see signs of Shreveportitis every now and then, but it's extremely rare. Most people I encounter seem to have embraced the new economically and socially diverse Shreveport very well. I know I have. Shreveportitis... what's that!? ;)

I hope this gives everyone an idea of when I became interested in my city! :)

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For me, it was one of the earliest memories I have. My grandfather helped build the Hibernia Bank building in downtown New Orleans, and the state capitol in BTR. I can remember him taking me up in the rotunda of the Hibernia building as a 3 or 4 year old at most. Then, on drives past the Superdome, my grandfather and I had a little joke. Or, at least at that age I though it was. We'd drive past the monstrosity, and I'd call it the "Stupid dome". I guess hearing a 4 year old say that was amusing, so my grandpa would laugh. And just a few quick moments up I-10, there was the Kentwood facility on the left... more jokes, but I can't remember them.

I guess from this, the view of New Orleans' skyline while driving by brings back warm memories... perhaps subconsciously. And that's what made it so hard for me to watch everything unfold in late August. That connection was broken, and I can't wait to get it back. That's why I'll be in the dome on September 25th with bells on.

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I don't think I ever fell in love with Lafayette, I always have loved it.

I realized I loved it when I went to LSU. Baton Rouge has a lot to offer, but it just doesn't have the character of Lafayette, which I guess is more embodied by the Cajun way of life.

At the same time I love the state of Louisiana and all it has to offer, especially New Orleans. I wouldn't want to live outside of Lafayette or possibly New Orleans, but I could never live outside of Louisiana.

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I fell in love with New York in December of 1999. I had just finished up my interviews with a bank and had flown in from Chicago for the day. I remember being stuck in traffic on my way to LaGuardia after a long day of exhausting interviews and seeing the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen in my life cut through traffic to cross the street in Tribeca. She looked like she had just stepped out of a magazine. At that moment, I knew I was in the right place.

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I don't think I ever fell in love with Lafayette, I always have loved it.

I realized I loved it when I went to LSU. Baton Rouge has a lot to offer, but it just doesn't have the character of Lafayette, which I guess is more embodied by the Cajun way of life.

At the same time I love the state of Louisiana and all it has to offer, especially New Orleans. I wouldn't want to live outside of Lafayette or possibly New Orleans, but I could never live outside of Louisiana.

Nicely said, breaux, especially the very first sentence, "I don't think I ever fell in love with Lafayette, I always have loved it." I wish I'd have thought of that for my area because it couldn't be more true.

By the way, what is that flag in your avatar? I was driving through the suburbs of Bossier today, looking at new houses and such, and I came across a house where they were flying that same flag. Is that the Lafayette city flag or something?

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By the way, what is that flag in your avatar? I was driving through the suburbs of Bossier today, looking at new houses and such, and I came across a house where they were flying that same flag. Is that the Lafayette city flag or something?

It's the official flag of the Acadiana region.

If I recall:

The gold star on the white background symbolizes the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Acadians.

The castles on the red background symbolize the Spanish influence.

The fleur de lis on the blue background represent the French influence.

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You guys know I'm gonna post in here. :D

Once I get all of my pictures from today uploaded, my response will be in, and it will probably be wayyy to long.;)

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You guys know I'm gonna post in here. :D

Once I get all of my pictures from today uploaded, my response will be in, and it will probably be wayyy to long.;)

That's fine. Mine was long, so I'd expect yours to be long, too, considering your feelings for your home city.

Go for it, dude. Just don't run out of space typing... man, what a pain.

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I've always had love for New Orleans. My closet is practically filled with New Orleans t-shirts. I've been living here since I was born.

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When I was just reaching puberty and got drunk at the World's Fair!

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When I was just reaching puberty and got drunk at the World's Fair!

:huh:

Sounds like there's more to that story. But at the same time, I'm afraid to ask.

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I'm not a hometown Louisianan, but here it goes anyway. For me civic pride was never really an issue, until recently. A LOT of people in Memphis who don't live in the city core (i.e., residents of germantown, cordova, etc) talk about the city as if they wished they could live somewhere else. I got used to this civic apathy/disdain alot sooner than I fell in love with my city. I guess it took negative attitudes about my hometown to get me interested in the city. And then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I DISAGREED with these people.

I took every opportunity I could to explore the city--its culture, its history, its residents. I LOVE IT. Blues, diversity, struggle...so much soul! Folks in the suburbs can harp on city life all day long--they don't know what they are missing. I am not just talking about downtown. You see bumper stickers all around town that say "Midtown is Memphis." This is so true. People are laid back, there are bars/resteraunts/cafes everywhere, and live music is a must...an honest, truly inviting urban community. There is a real sense of place here, no question, and it seems to be one of those places where you can get yourself started from nothing. Legend has it that Danny Thomas, famous comedian and founder of St. Jude's Hospital, chose Memphis for his philanthropy project because it was here where his down-and-out career got its big break.

I just never understood where the disdain many residents have for their hometown ccame from. Politics, crime, racism, spare me! They don't know what it's about. I didn't really either until a few years ago. Yes, politics, crime, and racism are serious issues, but some people are just frightened by the fact that they are surrounded by others who essentially "haven't made it yet." This city is real and I love it!

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I should have posted a while back. I have lived in Baton Rouge all of my life. I think having a "deep pride" in my city is the term I would use for my hometown. As a kid I always thought going downtown was cool with the tall buildings.

Finding out there was more than just BR, there was a larger city(NOLA) in our State just an hour away. Then finding out you live in a capital city that happens to have the tallest State Capitol bldg. in the U.S. That really impressed me. Having the Mighty Mississippi River with a HUGE bridge to go across always stood out in my mind. Then there was/is nothing like the buzz and atmosphere of Saturday Nights in Tiger Stadium with the home-team LSU playing football against other college teams(best sport IMO). That was irreplacable.

The Louisiana School for the Deaf is located here in BR. I met a Deaf friend at age 7 who lived behind me. He went to school there, I met alot more Deaf people who have become life-long friends. Little did I know, with a little devine intervention from God, I would become an Interpreter for the Hearing-Impaired and have a career doing it.

I love the sub-tropical climate and location. I am not too far from Houston to the west. And the beaches of Alabama and the Fla. Panhandle to the east. I am far enough from the Gulf Coast; but still close enough, if that makes sense ? With all that is wrong here, the food is great, the women are pretty, and we have some of the best drinking water around from deep artesian wells. And now BR is finally starting to become a city with many exciting things happening, like seeing the rebirth of downtown and a adequate road system.

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