Experiencing New Orleans Through Media

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Visiting Maple Street

The visit to the Maple Street Book Store was one of my first real introductions to the history of New Orleans. Walking in the neighborhoods of New Orleans – or walking anywhere in general, actually – gives one a different view of the sceneries than if one were to drive through the neighborhoods. The houses in New Orleans all have a distinctive flavor to them, and passing by John Kennedy Toole’s house on the corner of the street showed that even though he was this terrific writer, he was still somewhat normal and similar to everyone else. Sometimes, when I get into or am introduced to the works of someone great, I tend to forget that he or she is also human and probably shares many similarities to the people around him or her.

Being on Maple Street for the first time was unique. The only way of which I can think to describe it is with a metaphor. It were as if a parent told his or her child that they were going to go to McDonald’s for the first time today, but this trip keeps getting put off, until one day, the parent finally takes the kid. When I ask my friends “What is Maple Street?” the answer I usually get is that it is a street on which there are many bars. I did not understand what was so particularly great about that, but walking up and down Maple Street, I saw more of New Orleans’ history: the old buildings, the stores that have been in business for a while, and even the physical street itself.

In the book store, there was a strong sense of community and support for local writers. It is definitely different than waling into a chain book store, such as Borders, because the people who work there will have a conversation with you, probably about interesting books. The newspapers in the back of the ...

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...ale late in the movie.

Perhaps it is just the choice of course material that makes me feel that people in New Orleans lead interesting sex lives. This movie exemplified that with Blanche; her step sister, Stella, who is overly submissive to her husband, Stanley; and Stanley, who is emotionally and physically abusive to Blanche ands sometimes Stella. Stanley ends up raping Blanche at the end of the movie, which pushes Blanche over the line and drives her crazy. Combining this with The Last Madam gives a somewhat bleak view on New Orleans, especially compared to those who call New Orleans a “romantic city”. However, it is important to remember that these small intricacies happen in many cities and may not be exclusive to this city. This movie offered an insight on what could be, but it also encourages exploring the city and experiencing what is really out there.

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