I thought this was a really interesting description of New Orleans, in “Houses of the Future” by Wayne Curtis, an article in the November 2009 issue of The Atlantic. I will further note that this quote is in service of an argument with which I don’t really agree, but it’s an accurate description of the city of my recollection, anyway.
“When I originally thought of New Orleans, I was conditioned by the press to think of it as an extremely ill-governed city, full of ill-educated people, with a great deal of crime, a great deal of dirt, a great deal of poverty. And when I arrived, I did indeed find it to be all of those things. Then one day I was walking down the street and I had this kind of brain thing, and I thought I was in Cuba. Weird! And then I realized at that moment that New Orleans was not an American city, it was a Caribbean city. Once you recalibrate, it becomes the best-governed, cleanest, most efficient, and best-educated city in the Caribbean. New Orleans is actually the Geneva of the Caribbean.” – Andres Duany, quoted by Wayne Curtis