Does anyone in my age cohort (I'll be 50 this year) remember a song by Cashman and West called American City Suite? It was out in the early '70s. That was when New York City was going through its horrible travails, and the metaphor is "a friend is dying" with the friend being New York City. Just about the entire song can be heard with substituting New Orleans, and it would make incredible sense.
It can be heard for free on the Rhapsody service (you can listen to 25 tracks/month without a subscription). Give it a listen.