New Orleans Love.

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This post was previously published on my blog almost a year ago. But because today is ironically the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and because of Hurricane Isaac, I wanted to share this again. And I’m praying for no flooding.


(I found this writing excercise via Galit Breen’s blog, These Little Waves, and she got it from Mama Kat. If you’d like to give it a shot, you can find Mama Kat’s template here. Based on the original poem-Where I’m From by George Ella Lyon.)


I am from heaping plates of Camellia red beans over rice with andouille sausage, from Haydel’s King Cakes long before they had cream cheese in the middle, and drive-through daquiri shops that sell by “go cup” or the gallon.

I am from the two-story red brick house on Livingston with a pea-gravel driveway and lots of lush landscaping.  I’m from ligustrum and birch trees, liriope, and Confederate jasmine. I’m from snowball stands, beignets with powdered sugar and the Roman Candy Man.

I am from rivers and lakes with long names, St. Augustine grass that’s hard and crunchy under bare feet. I am from a city of steamy summers that lacks four seasons. I am from a city where the levees hold back muddy water, where alligators lurk and moss hangs in heaps from ancient oak trees.

Fleur De Lis

I am from Baskin Robbins on Friday afternoons after school and lots of anxiety; I am from Best, Hicks, Guten and Margoles. I am from a cat named Mateus, a stray dog named Zoe and a beloved Yorkshire terrier named Darby. I am from several buried goldfish and two parakeets named Jack and Jack.

I am from Tums takers, list makers  and Monopoly players. I’m from “MYOB!” (mind your own business), “Be on your best behavior,” and “Who Dat!”

I am from Judaism, from Bubbe Sarah who lived in Russia. I am from little religion, but always the desire to learn more, be more, and do more. I am from the six million who perished in the Holocaust. I am from those who will never forget.

I am from New Orleans, Milwaukee and Millington, Tennessee; from crawfish boils, shrimp poboys and bagels with lox and cream cheese. I am from Mardi Gras, Bud’s Broiler, voodoo dolls and plantations.

I am from Grandma Frances who birthed four sons and lost one in a car accident; from Grandma Betty who struggled with bipolar disorder and lost the battle with her demons; and from my mother, Julie, who went back to college in her 40s and completed grad school while juggling three kids, a gay husband and a divorce.

I am from silent home movies, photo albums with yellowing pages, and pictures in frames. I am from baby books stuffed with souvenirs, and silver cups and rattles with my name engraved on them. I am from white baby shoes with scuffed up toes and worn laces.

I am from love, laughter, and lots of memories.

photo credit

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  • Kirsten Anne Kovaleski Piccini

    OH Erin, I loved this piece the first time I read it..and then you read it at BBC didn’t you??? I absolutely love the way you give us NOLA, the way you share it from a place of growing up inside it, and it being a part of you. God Bless NOLA today and everyday. Thinking of you and your family. LOVE YOUR WORDS beautiful girl. xo

    • Erin Best Margolin


      Yes, I did read it at BBC….I was totally ballsy and just stood up and made myself do it. I’m glad I did.

      I love your words, too, and let’s chat soon.

      HUGS, fantastic friend!

  • Renee Jacobson

    Erin. I am from this, too. Even though I adopted it and chose the heat and the no seasons. I am praying for my most favorite place in the whole world today. I hope the people you love are safe.

    • Erin Best Margolin


      You are a doll. My family is all safe. Not sure how long til power is restored, but….also sad for those that lost their homes in the flooding. It truly was like deja vu seeing it all on tv. Though thankfully not as widespread as it was 7 years ago.

  • RosevilleAndRocklin

    Great post Erin … :-)

    • Erin Best Margolin

      Thank you, my glowing, radiant, beautiful Heather! So happy you stopped by and I cannot wait to see your new addition! xoxoxo

  • Lady Jennie

    I love this. So poetic – I can jump right in and see it all.

    • Erin Best Margolin


      Thank you! I wish we’d had more time at BlogHer. Any chance you’ll be overseas again soon? ;-(

  • Julie Gardner

    I loved this the first time and still love it now.

    You are from a whole lot of wonderful…

    • Erin Best Margolin

      Thanks for reading again, Julie. You are a whole lot of wonderful, yourself.