New Orleans has always been a melting pot for strays from other cities looking for fun, excitement, and acceptance.
The city is full of transplants who find a home among the incredibly clean, floral smelling streets of the Big Easy. Those transplants, however, often find life extremely difficult if they ultimately choose to leave New Orleans.
One such transplant is Lyssia D’Agostino, who, after 12 years —36 when converted into NOLA years—decided to move back to her native-and-often-forgotten state of Rhode Island (you may remember it from bit roles in such films as Me, Myself & Irene, Dumb and Dumber, and There’s Something About Mary) last year with her young son.
D’Agostino says she has many regrets since swapping the Fleur de Lis for L’il Rhody.
“I thought moving away would be a good thing, ya’ know, for my son’s schooling and all,” D’Agostino said. “But my mental health has really suffered since leaving [New Orleans]. Without the soothing sirens and gunfire, I can’t get a wink of sleep. Some people need a fan or TV but there’s just nothing like hearing the real thing.”
D’Agostino said it’s now almost impossible for her to go do-do because the comforting sounds of the Crescent City’s soundtrack aren’t playing in the background lulling her to sleep.
“Rhode Island is lucky to have a car backfire let alone gunfire so, I tried visiting nearby New York to see if the sounds there would help. It’s similar but no Southern charm. There really is no place like New Orleans.”
D’Agostino also went on to vent about how daring to leave the city affected her self-esteem.
“Rhode Island is a nice place — a really nice place. But no one hollers at me anymore when I go to the corner store. No one tells me how good I look at 4 a.m. while I’m dropping crumbs of Krispy Crunchy fried chicken biscuits down the front of my Walmart Minion pajamas. Seriously, who doesn’t appreciate an almost 40-year-old woman with honey packets in her hair and just enough money on her debit card for a couple of loose smokes and a pint of Jameson?”
While times are tough and the gunfire gone, D’Agostino soon might be in luck. Fleurty Girl, an iconic local business that uses the moniker “Everything New Orleans,” has plans to begin selling the sounds of the city for export all across the world.
“We try to be authentically New Orleans in everything, so basically if it’s in New Orleans it’s in our stores,” said spokesperson Elli Bucher. “We’re still trying to figure out the best way to bottle it all up so it keeps the realism but once we do watch out! Literally.”