Irvin Durand: Ambassador of NOLA Goodness

I’ve been going about this all wrong, this looking for good in every city I visit.

See, there was an assumption that if someone was doing some real good, then they’d have an office with a big sign, or a business card…something to suggest or confirm the goodness. But that’s not always true.

When I jumped in a cab a few days ago in New Orleans, I met someone who was doing good without even knowing it. Taxi driver Irvin Durand was simply being himself. His wonderful, warm self.

I was so moved by his energy, and his love of company, that I asked him to help me out with something (see below).

But he did more than that.

He made me realize that good is all around us, in every city, everywhere — and that to use labels as the only sign post in the quest for good isn’t fair, because there are plenty of people who do it unwittingly, without looking for anything in return. It’s just part of who they are.

So, thank you, Irvin Durand, for opening my eyes a bit more, to all the goodness that happens every day. To seek is to find.

[Oh, and thanks for the snacks, too.]


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  1. joane durand roberson
    new orleans
    July 4, 2014, 6:30 pm

    What a great video. Hats off to You Irvin Durand, My brother.
    this is My brother everyday, He loves His city and cares about the people here, and people such as you are truly a blessing from God. thanks

  2. Evelyn Watkins
    San Antonio, TX
    June 27, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Kudos Irvin, a really great human interest story! I lived in New Orleans (pre-Katrina) for 41 years. In that time, I found a few great places I loved to eat, but this article shows me that I had only scratched the surface.

    Now post-Katrina, (living in Texas), there’s no comparison to the “flavor” of the food, as well as the uniqueness of the people. Seafood is my absolute favorite and, I have never been disappointed no matter how its prepared.

    Continue to be an “Ambassador of Goodness” to this time-honored and famous city!

  3. Your Lady "Jerrilyn"
    New Orleans, La.
    June 26, 2014, 10:39 am

    Irvin, you are the reason I smile, now the whole world knows why. When people meet you they take with them an unforgettable experience. Your generosity and your love for our great city is exemplary of the kind of leadership we need moving forward. You are a true inspiration to me and all you encounter. Keep depicting inner beauty unlike no other!

  4. Merculus
    June 25, 2014, 9:40 am

    Uncle Irvin great job. Kudos.

  5. dawn
    new orleans
    June 25, 2014, 1:20 am

    Irvin hit the hammer on the nail

  6. YHA New Zealand
    New Zealand
    June 12, 2012, 5:20 pm

    Ah! I lived in New Orleans for three years before hurricane Katrina swept me out and down under to New Zealand. But in those three years I never found these great eats! Thanks for sharing.

  7. nanci smith
    June 1, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Aric–I apologize profusely for the misspelling of your name. I thought I should check but didnt . Should have known it would spelled uniquely. Oh yeah–I know your parents and met you as a child..I am Maddy’s sister. Not too long ago I had dinner with your mom and Maddy. Rock on Aric. Keep us living vicarioulsy through your travels and adventures..

  8. nanci smith
    June 1, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Now Eric–find us a cheap fun safe place to stay in a cool neighborhood. I have no doubt you can do it. The Quarter is nice and fun but we would love something different and out of the way–the real NOLA.

  9. nanci smith
    June 1, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Wow- this man loves his city and his food. Next trip to NOLA in Oct. we wiill be eating at all 3 of these places. I love NOLA. Only place better is NYC. IF I could I would move to NOLA–have even researched it. This video tells only part of why I love that city. It is indeed The “Big Easy”.

  10. David Kimberly
    New Orleans
    May 30, 2012, 12:19 pm

    Great story. New Orleans is full of people like Irvin. One thing–As Irvin pointed out but your titles missed, you have to specify Liuzza’a BY THE TRACKS. There are two Liuzza’s that are unrelated, the other one is a good old style Italian place.

  11. Madeline Harmon
    May 29, 2012, 5:27 pm

    What a great story.