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New Orleans native Caroline Gerdes may have recently moved to Washington, D.C., but she loves her hometown. So much so that she recently spent a year–with the help of a National Geographic grant–of her life working on an oral history project about the Ninth Ward, where her father grew up, to document the community’s rich history and culture–especially the edible aspects. Here are some of Caroline’s favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.

IT Travels with Katie Howell

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Despite the wind and water scars, the ongoing lack of housing, and generally somber atmosphere in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina‘s devastating effects on the region, editorial intern Katie Howell tells us that her summer in the Crescent City was surprisingly positive. Just over a year after the tragedy, she shares some of her favorite…