Jul 25, 201411:25 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

I’m So NOLA I Bought a House

I am so New Orleans that I can never even think about living somewhere else. And that’s not a slogan or a social media gimmick. It’s just the truth.

It started, actually, with my friends in Columbia, Mo., where I attended college. 
 
“I’m so CoMo [shorthand for “Columbia, Mo.,” which is probably obvious to everyone who says “NOLA”] that I remember when Scott Blvd. and anything past Brown Station was surrounded by farm land!” my friend posted on Facebook.
 
This is meaningless to all of you, unless you have spent considerable time in mid-Missouri, and that’s the whole point of the “I’m so X” meme that has been spreading across Facebook this past week: It’s inside-jokey and serves to bond a community together through shared experiences and understanding. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of thing we like in New Orleans.
 
After the small flurry of Columbia ones, I saw a bunch from a friend in Atlanta – he’s a great guy; we just can’t talk football – and I thought, “Oh, man, this is going to catch on bigtime in New Orleans.”
 
And it did. I loved them, all of them, even contributing my own: “I'm so NOLA that my dad met the last three of his five wives at Napoleon House, Jazz Fest, and Rock 'N' Bowl, respectively. Well, OK, I'm so NOLA with some Southern Gothic nonsense in the mix.”
 
But I think the ultimate expression of my hometown pride is this: I just bought a house here. I wrote this in January, and now, almost exactly six months later, I have actually realized the urge to become a homeowner again. 
 
I have to kind of squinch up my face and ball up my fists and bite my lip to be able to deal with the price of homeowners and flood insurance – seriously, those online mortgage calculators that auto-complete your estimated insurance premiums at, like, $1,400 a year are both laughable and depressing down here – but it’s worth it to be able to tell Ruby she can paint her room any color she wants, to know that if I don’t like the horrible fleur-de-lis cabinet pulls I can replace them (I did, right away), to look around the backyard with a sense of pride and think, “This is ours.” Don’t get me wrong; it is also completely terrifying, particularly during hurricane season. I was quite literally shaking as we signed all of the papers at closing. But now that I’ve had a few days to absorb it all, I’m super-excited, and I am really not the kind of person who talks in enthusiastic superlatives, so that actually means something. 
 
My mom and I painted Ruby’s room. Ruby and I put up cloud stickers. My husband and I looked at flooring. My stepson and I expressed our shared love of the breakfast nook. We’re already starting projects and getting settled. 
 
I’m so New Orleans that I want to live there for many, many years; get to know my neighbors and share meals with them; and find a favorite neighborhood restaurant, bar, coffee shop, and gas station. I am so New Orleans that I now live just 10 blocks from my mom. I am so New Orleans that I can never even think about living somewhere else. And that’s not a slogan or a social media gimmick. It’s just the truth.
 
 

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.

She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.

Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.

Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."

She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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