26
Aug

Mysterious Attraction

by Alan Rider

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about why certain places hold special meaning for us.  Places we think of fondly and long to return to, even if it’s only in our daydreams.

Sometimes our attachment to a place makes complete sense, like the tropical island where we spent our honeymoon or the quaint lakeside cottage we remember from family vacations.  And then there are those places we find ourselves drawn to over and over again in a way that defies rational explanation.

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Pirate Alley in the French Quarter

For me, that place is New Orleans.  Granted, the fact that I lived there in the mid-1980s probably figures into my fondness for the Crescent City.  But I’m also convinced that there’s more to this abiding attraction, this strong sense of connection that remains undiminished decades after everyone I knew there decided to pack up and move on.

I’ve spent years trying to put my finger on just what it is about New Orleans that’s cast this spell on me.  Friends have suggested possibilities ranging from the existence of some sort of Sedona-like vortex to unconscious memories of a past life.  All I know is that The City That Care Forgot has its hook set in me so deeply that virtually everywhere else I’ve been (and I’ve been an awful lot of places) seems relatively soulless and unsatisfying by comparison.

But enough about me.  Now it’s your turn to tell us about a place that you find yourself drawn to again and again via the Comment field below. Extra points if you actually attempt to put the reasons for that attraction into words.  Best comment before 5pm September 1st wins a $25 iTunes gift card.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you.

Nine Lives coverNEXT TIME: Dan Baum’s excellent new book Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans is one of those rare non-fiction stories that actually qualifies as a real page-turner.  It’s also the only thing I’ve ever read that even comes close to explaining what makes NOLA so unique.  Check back here this Saturday to read an interview with the author as we mark the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

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1 kevinkurz August 28, 2009 at 7:49 am

Walt Disney World, hands down.

I think part of the attraction there is that I know, regardless of what happens, it will be an awesome vacation. We know how to hit everything we want to do, where to stay, when to go places. We know that the best place to eat is Victoria & Alberts, and that the Fantasia Mini-golf is just too much fun.

We’ve been for our honeymoon, birthdays, and anniversaries; We’ve stayed in the best of resorts and the worst of motels. But we know that regardless, every time’s going too be awesome…

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