The Big Not-So-Easy
In an email to journalist Chris Rose, Judy Deck once wrote, “If there was no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free people dying of boredom.”
Known for its sultry, humid air, swinging brass bands, free-flowing cocktails, and the raucous allure of Mardi Gras, New Orleans is one of the most magical cities in the United States if not the entire world.
Given its unique situation straddling the Mississippi River, with much of the city at or below sea level, water has always been important to New Orleans’ history, for better or for worse. Its growth as a French and Spanish territory since the 1700s also gives the city a uniquely European feel.
For people who have never visited the Crescent City but heard about it only through stories, it’s easy to feel like the place is more myth than reality. That’s exactly what happened to one fiction author, and when he saw maps of New Orleans, he absolutely refused to believe it was real. Check out his hilarious reaction!
Author and game designer James L. Sutter is no stranger to designing fantasy worlds. Best known for co-creating the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and for novels like Death’s Heretic, even this accomplished world builder needed a moment when he saw a map of New Orleans.
He started his Twitter rant saying, “Holy cow—if you like fantasy maps, spend some time looking at New Orleans. WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON WITH THIS CITY?! If this came in from a freelancer, there are half a dozen things that would raise my eyebrows.”
He continued, “Like, look at this river. All these different places it could enter the lake or the sea, but no, it goes ALL THE WAY to the very tip of the land to enter the water. Artificial? Maybe, but who would bother? Totally unrealistic.”
It certainly makes you think when someone who designs maps for a living tells you that a real-life map is more unbelievable than anything you’d get served up in a novel or video/computer game. And he does have a point. Considering how fast Louisiana is sinking, it’s impressive just how far out the Mississippi goes until it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
“Nobody’s that dumb.”
Then things really start getting good.
“And let’s take a look at this gem: A highway running between two GIGANTIC, F**K-OFF LAKES NEAR THE OCEAN. A tiny strip of land barely wide enough for the road, and you’re going to build HOUSES on it? No way. Nobody’s that dumb.”
It may be risky, but it’s a way of life! His rant gets even more hysterical as he continues to criticize the lay of the land (and water) in Southern Louisiana.