Katie gave me one condition when she asked me to guest contribute to ooh la la and that condition was that I should adore everything I write about. And so it is with my subject for this post, which happens to be an American city that I am head over heels in love with. has more character in one street than most American cities have in their totality. I would visit for the food alone; I would visit for the jazz alone; These two factors combined make me consider moving there every time I go.
Getting to know the locals has its benefits, like being able to see the interiors of houses that, from the outside, rarely give hints of what awaits on the inside. I remember the first house I stepped into in 2008, a house that in for all of my future visits. From the outside it looked typical. But the inside spoke of a certain lived-in quality, the type you'd expect to see in a stately but decaying Havana mansion. That house is a four-bedroom shotgun house in the Marigny District and that afternoon, after I knocked on the door for the first time, I entered the sitting room to find a drawing circle with a young male model posing in the middle of a small group of artists. At that moment, I remember being able to hear the sound of the water cascading down the fountain in the garden behind the house and I supposed, for a moment, that I had found my own small but intensely wonderful paradise. And, to think, I had only stepped off the plane just an hour before.
So now you might understand why seeing this article in the NY Times just now made me so happy. I do not know Karina Gentinetta but, my god, I would love to visit her home. In such a short amount of time, she has created something really quite brilliant and wonderful. I recommend, ooh la la readers, that you not only look at the slideshow of images but also that you read the article. I am not surprised by the drama that surrounds the house. New Orleans is not an easy place to live. You'd never know it from looking at Ms. Gentinetta's design work, though. Ooh la la!