The Better Question

Recently, C.W. Cannon wrote at The Lens:

We need to accept that the explosive downtown cultural renaissance that Frenchmen Street presides over is the result of a romantic vision of what New Orleans should be, more than a continuation of how it has been. Frenchmen Street represents a recreation of New Orleans in a particular version of its own image. Change, yes, shaped by myth. 

Just days before, a family member of a French Quarter T-shirt shop owner wrote me, saying

The First Rule of New Orleans

If we have one duty to New Orleans, it's to not contribute to its caricature. We've spent years trying to assert that there's more to Carnival than boobs on Bourbon Street, that we're not drunkenly indifferent to work and the weather, and that there's more to our music than horns and accordions. This isn't a city of native "up from the pavement" talent, but a place where people at every level take music and creativity seriously, and just because the learning doesn't always take place in schools doesn't mean musicians aren't getting education in their craft. 

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