July 3, 2006 | New Orleans

I have spent the last 30 years of my life promoting New Orleans. After Katrina, besides my home flooding, I was not called back to work. My job was to promote an attraction in New Orleans. Much has changed in my life in the last 10 months, but the one thing that has not changed is my love for New Orleans. I find myself thinking of all the reasons visitors love to come to New Orleans and how we locals sometimes take it for granted.

Let's first start with the food. Our restaurants are highly acclaimed and some of the oldest in the country. When I think of New Orleans cuisine, what comes to mind are café au lait and beignets, hot roast beef po-boy, crawfish ettouffe`, seafood gumbo, oysters on a half shell, bread pudding with whiskey sauce, bananas foster…and that's just for starters.

Then there's the music…Jazz in New Orleans…where it all got started. Music is everywhere…in the streets of the French Quarter and in the night clubs. Besides Jazz, which New Orleans is most noted for, you can hear rhythm and blues, gospel, Cajun, zydeco and hip hop on most any night.

When you have had enough great food and music…