"America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland." - Tennessee Williams
I'll take New Orleans over the other two any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But I haven't always felt that way. New Orleans has always had culture and tourism, but post-Katrina New Orleans is not the same city I grew up in. If pre-Katrina New Orleans was known as a "brain drain", post-Katrina New Orleans certainly became a "brain gain". While tragic, the storm brought an influx of young transients looking to make a difference. Instead of "climbing the corporate ladder", many young talented and ambitious professionals opted instead to come to New Orleans and gain front line experience in numerous industries including disaster recovery, logistics, non-profits, education, real estate, and construction. Once exposed to the authenticity and charm of NOLA, most folks stayed and started families. With this synergy and the help of state tax credits New Orleans also enjoys the presence of other bourgeoning industries such as gaming, digital media, technology, and film production. New Orleans now enjoys the best of both worlds: that authentic ambiance present through evocative architecture and history that make New Orleans so special, and the pursuit of the American dream where economic opportunity is abundant.