Arcadia is a land within Greece which was associated in antiquity with the natives there living a bucolic existence and lived in happy bliss. Arcadia was used as a place name in more than one state because of its evocation of rural happiness.
Now happiness is subjective; it ultimately involves the person's self-assessment of his or her quality of life. A recent article in the Huffington Post reported that the ten happiest cities out of 318 in the United States were:
1. Lafayette, LA
2. Houma, LA
3. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA
4. Baton Rouge, LA
5. Alexandria, LA
6. Rochester, MN
7. Corpus Christi, TX
8. Lake Charles, LA
9. Nashville, TN
10. Fort Walton Beach, FL
It's startling that six of the top ten cities were located in Louisiana. God knows why. But the data involved self-assessments of happiness.
Louisiana is not a particularly wealthy state; nor do jobs abound. When hurricanes come, they can be seriously scary. It's not an especially well-educated state; and it has a lot of social problems. So what do these places have going for them? Well, it's probably the Cajun joie de vivre in Lafayette, not to mention the fine cuisine. Baton Rouge has primo entertainment from LSU sports and the clownish legislature. Houma is laid back; a safer alternative to New Orleans with some nice bars. I don't know why Shreveport came out third, or Alexandria fifth.
Wildly surmising, it could be that this happiness comes from being content with one's life. Why so many urban dwelling Louisiana residents manage, I have no notion. At any rate, the happiness of Shreveport cannot be because of the cuisine!
By the way, New York City came out 318th, Boston 253rd, Los Angeles 233rd, Chicago 240th, and Washington 40th. Having so much to experience does not necessarily make for happiness.
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