The Moment

2|9|10: New Orleans

It's not like new Orleans ever needs an excuse to party, but the city's first Super Bowl win provided the best reason to ratchet up Mardi Gras a week early. It was a long-overdue celebration--not just for the Saints, after 43 years of bag-over-their-heads futility, but also for the Big Easy itself, after four-plus years of post-Katrina pity parties. It was a night to stop feeling sorry. New Orleans is still a high-poverty, high-anxiety mess. Some of its neighborhoods have barely begun to rebuild, and it's still outrageously vulnerable to coastal storms. Its levees are too weak, and the wetlands that...

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