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I do not love thee, New Orleans.
You separate me from my greens.
Once I had means; now I’ve no means.
I do not love thee, New Orleans.

No, actually, I do love N’Awlins very much. It’s so openly dirty, corrupt, self-mocking, dressed-up (well, I assume it’s dressed up. Mostly I was surrounded by dirty, flip-flop-wearing, happy tourists), and . . . walkable. The conference I was at had been spread out over four hotels in the central business district, but I could walk down two blocks, make a right, and be on Bourbon; or not turn right and just head north for the aquarium. The same conference is supposed to be in Atlanta in 2006, at the Hyatt Regency and the Marriott Marquis, and people will be able to walk to . . . to . . . help me here.

I mean, I’ve been to conferences at the Hyatt/Marriott combination (both past DragonCons and, more recently, the Libertarian Party convention), and while there are a fair number of food options in the area beyond Peachtree Center Mall, you can’t just walk a few more blocks and be among art galleries like you can on Royal Street in NO. At least not to my knowledge. Were I a convention planner, I might give New Orleans the edge unless I knew it was going to be boiling and conventioneers would need the Peachtree Center walkways.

Is it advantageous, however, that Atlanta doesn’t have a shop like Fleur de Paris, where they let you try on hats for an hour, and bring you hats you haven’t tried on, and narrow it down to two or three hats that suit you perfectly, and promise to send the Chosen Hat with a hatbox and a hatpin and a guide to Hat Etiquette, so you can conveniently forget (a) how much the hat costs and (b) how low the odds are that you will ever need to wear a hat that costs more than $30. If I lived in New Orleans, I’d be filing Chapter 11 and refusing to list my hats as assets. Instead I just go for broke once a year.

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