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Andy's Own Private New Orleans

It Tops His List Of Favorite U.S. Cities

I was trying to make a list of the five cities in this country that Americans like best. Here's my list. (You may disagree.)
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Charleston
  • Boston
  • And the winner for best-loved: New Orleans

    It's hard to believe what our best-loved city looks like now.

    In World War II, I saw cities in Germany, like Cologne, which were 90 percent destroyed by our bombs. Now it's thriving again.

    London was badly damaged. Now it's full of life, so there's hope for New Orleans. It's that damn water, though. There was no water in Cologne or London.

    Millions of Americans visited New Orleans. Everyone wants to go somewhere and New Orleans was always a great place for us to go. I hate hearing myself saying "was" all the time.

    My father took me to Antoine's restaurant in New Orleans when I was 10 and I thought it was the best restaurant in the world. I still go to Antoine's when I'm there. I even had a favorite waiter.

    I never missed the Acme Oyster House, either. I worry about what happened to that.

    There were so many great restaurants in New Orleans. Everyone had a favorite. You argued about which was best.

    New Orleans was the birthplace of what may be America's most important contribution to the world's culture: jazz music.

    My memories of New Orleans make pictures of the city hard to look at now and, of course, you have to feel worse for the people than for the buildings.

    They told everyone to get out, but they forgot that the people who didn't have cars couldn't get out.

    When I see pictures of those helpless people outside the Superdome, I'm embarrassed to think about the great times I had inside. I saw three Super Bowl games there. You could walk to the Superdome from your downtown hotel.

    I was there in 1986 when the Chicago Bears beat the New England Patriots.

    I was at the Republican Convention in the Superdome in 1988.

    Everyone's agreed that our government didn't do a good job helping the people of New Orleans who needed help so desperately. If we took a vote tomorrow, New Orleans might still be America's favorite city, but George W. Bush probably would not be our favorite president.
    Written By Andy Rooney