My Love For New Orleans

New Orleans

I was raised in N. Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans was just a hop and skip away.  Because it was so close, my family and I would go down almost every summer to visit the Audobon Zoo.  My mom would fry some chicken and pack it along with sandwiches, chip, cookies and drinks in a cooler and we would hit the road.  Going to the zoo was always one of my favorite thing to do, I loved seeing the animals and spending time with my family.  At that time in my life, I didn’t really know about the other side of New Orleans.  The wild and crazy side, but when I I went off to college at USM in Hattiesburg, I finally did make my way down there to experience that side and my love for New Orleans grew more and more each time I visited. 

 

New Orleans Is A Place Like No Other

New Orleans is one of the ten most visited cities in the United States.  It’s a place like no other.  It’s a place where you can be free and be whoever you want to be without judgment no matter how strange you may be.  The stranger you are, the more you will fit in!  New Orleans has a distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture and a cross-cultural, multilingual heritage.  When you think of New Orleans or the “Big Easy” as they call it, you think of the music that it is famous for, particularly jazz which is where it was born.  New Orleans is a place where you would go to party around the clock and enjoy the vibrant live-music scene and spicy cuisine which reflects its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures.   When you think of New Orleans, you think of all the annual celebrations and festivities they have to offer especially Mardi Gras, which everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

New Orleans, Mardi GrasNew Orleans isn’t that for me though.  I’m really not a drinker and I don’t go out much because I really don’t like crowds.  That seems crazy considering I love New Orleans so much and it’s crowded all the time.  Go figure.  But anyway, I do love to hear good music from time to time and that music just does something to you.  The jazz, Cajun, zydeco or whatever type they may be playing at the time just goes deep down in your soul and makes you feel alive, I just love it.  I also love the people and how they make you feel at home and like you are a part of their family.  It feels so genuine.

So Many Great Places To Eat In New Orleans

20151231 141405 1 1 300x169 - My Love For New OrleansI may not be a drinker, but one thing I am is a foodie.  I love to eat and try new things.  The food in N’awlins or the Big Easy is unbelievable.  I can’t be there for more than 3 days at a time because if I am, I would gain about 20 pounds.  It just doesn’t make any sense how good everything is.  My favorite dishes to eat while I am there is gumbo, red beans and rice and crawfish.  If you want an easy recipe for chicken and sausage gumbo that tastes great, check out this recipe.  The restaurants I like to eat at while I’m there is The Joint for the barbeque, Acme Oyster House for the seafood, Camellia Grill (which I think is now just called The Grill) for breakfast and Bubba Gumps for the shrimp and grits and of course Cafe Du Monde for the beignets with the chicory coffee or hot chocolate.  I keep saying that I am going to make my way to Emeril’s restaurant and The Commander’s Palace but, it’s just not enough time in the day!  One more place I like to eat is at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.  At a game, can you believe that? When I go to a Saints game, I always get the alligator sausage and it is just amazing.  I can’t wait to get back down there to get another one. 

So Much To Do In New Orleans

purple and gold fleur de lis by joshua matherne 240x300 - My Love For New OrleansAlthough the food, nightlife, and festivals are what brings so many people to New Orleans, there is still so much more to do.  There’s the boutiques on Magazine Street, City Park which has beautiful oak trees and where there have been many weddings, plenty of art galleries and museums and The National WWII Museum.  There are tours galore like a tour to see the above-ground cemeteries, swamp tours, haunted house tours,  jazz history walking tour and you can even visit St Louis Cathedral which was built in 1724 overlooking  Jackson Square in the French Quarter.  It is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States.  Better yet, go to a Pelicans or Saints game.  There are no fans on earth like them.  The whole atmosphere during game time is just magical.  WHO DAT!  If you really want to go during a magical time, visit New Orleans on May 7th, 2018.  They will be turning 300 years old.  I bet they will be celebrating all month!!  Go to http://2018nola.com to learn all about the Tricentennial and to see what events have been planned. 

Let The Good Times Roll

210249379.1 - My Love For New OrleansNow, I can go on and talk about some other things like Hurricane Katrina and how devastating it was for the whole gulf coast.  I can talk about how New Orleans is 6 feet below sea level and situated between the levees along the Mississippi River and those around Lake Pontchartrain which leaves New Orleans with a “bowl” effect.   Because of this, once water gets in the city, it is very difficult to get it out.  I can talk about how when they were constructing the Superdome on Feb 1987, a collection of human bones and bits of gravestones was found and because the Superdome had been built on the site of the old Girod Street Cemetery, fans believed it’s why the team was so bad all those years — it was cursed.  But, who wants to talk about that.  There is so much information out there already about all of that.  Besides, all I want to see and hear is the good.  God will handle the rest.  All I want to do is go down there and enjoy myself at a game, eat my alligator sausage, some gumbo, get some pralines and swamp pop and come on back home.  So, let the good times roll or as they say in the Big Easy…Laissez les bons temps rouler.

 

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