I had often heard people talk highly of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. That it was a must-see place. It was on my list when we arrived. We stayed in the Bywater area of New Orleans. It's quiet, colorfully rich, and the warmth in the area has a thickness to it mimicking a hug. It feels inviting. I liked it. It made me that much more excited for the French Quarter. Upon our arrival here, as we were parking our car, I struck up a conversation with a local who was entertaining friends from out of town. "We wouldn't come to this part of New Orleans if we didn't have friends in town. It's not like it used to be. The streets are lined with homeless people and drug addicts. The prices for things are high. It's not a good representation of the heart of this city." I had seen other pockets of this city. One's that felt a bit less like Disneyland and more like a hub for creatives. Artists, musicians, storytellers. There's a difference in the air to other parts of this country. There is tangible sadness and heartbreak and resilience. Not in the French Quarter. Here things felt like a fraud. I began wondering: what is authenticity and how much of tourism is based in it? and is tourism authentic at all? Chester Pink challenges me on my opinion -- perhaps it would change if I had spent more time. But this was my truth for the time being.