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However, life can be challenging in New Orleans, which I think Chris at least alludes to.
As parents of small children, we felt it best to leave.
Once we decided to leave, we bascialy considered every place to live in the states and we picked San Antonio, TX. The city is beautiful, clean, friendly, and people and companies are relcoating here for simple reasons: great schools, great work force, and a business friendly, progressive, political environment.
I think we all know that New Orleans will never have any of these things.
The saddest part was that the only compelling reasons he could give not to leave were that "you'll miss your mama, red beans and rice, and Mardi Gras". Let's face it; the best and brightest people have been leaving New Orleans for generations, and Katrina just excellerated this process.
New Orleans peaked in the 1840s, and San Antonio is peaking now. My wife and I lived in Southern Louisiana in the early 70's, and we loved it. When my company offered me a transfer to Ohio, I took it simply because of the quality of the schools in Ohio compared to the schools in Louisiana.
Life is too short to live in a sad, depressing, hopeless place. (My wife is a teacher and knew first-hand that the public schools in our little community west of Nola did not measure up.) We are also Baptist like you, and we were sending our daughter to a Catholic school.
I too am well traveled and understand that New Orleans is a unique American city. You seem to indicate that those of us who have left or are considering leaving are sacrificing the quality of life in New Orleans (as Chris Rose describes it) for safety and education and other concerns and that this is something you, as a culturally informed person, would not do.
My point is simply that you have not walked in our shoes.