"Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" New Orleans by Rixie
New Orleans Travel Guide: 4,198 reviews and 7,265 photos
This page is printed in traditional Mardi Gras colors: Purple for Justice, Green for Faith, Gold for Power.
The flags of the United States, France, and Louisiana fly in front of St. Joan. Not shown is the Spanish flag, which represents another part of New Orleans history.
"Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" is a catchy slogan, but it's not accurate, because the city's denizens pronounce its name more like "Noo Awlins."
Whichever way you say its name, New Orleans is a fun city. I've been there as an adult many times now, and I always feel very comfortable. It seems to combine elements from other places I've been: the red brick and cobbled streets of Georgetown, the big front lawns of Maryland, the humidity of Honolulu, the streetcars of San Francisco.
Canal Street in New Orleans is a ringer for San Francisco's Market Street -- a wide, busy thoroughfare, bordered with tall buildings and leading down to the water -- and the narrow streets and throngs of pedestrians in the French Quarter remind me of Chinatown. Bourbon Street, of course, is like SF's Broadway, which San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to call "Bawdway" for all the strip joints. Although I must admit that on Broadway you don't usually see scantily clad women hanging over wrought-iron balconies...
New Orleans offers delicious Southern cooking -- oyster and shrimp po'boys, muffalettas, gumbo, pralines, jambalaya, beignets and chicory coffee -- as well as Italian, Thai, and other types of ethnic cuisine. Be prepared to eat your way through this city.
And, oh, the music! Just standing outside some of the clubs on Bourbon Street, you can hear great blues and jazz. Even the street performers and the pianists who play background music at restaurants are top-notch. Jazz enthusiasts won't want to miss the famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
To get a true picture of The Big Easy, leave the drunks on Bourbon Street behind. Take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar out to Riverbend and browse through the thrift shops and bookstores. See a movie at the Prytania Theater, attend a concert at Tulane or Loyola University, go dancing at Rock 'n' Bowl. There's more to New Orleans than the French Quarter, and you won't be disappointed.
I'm pleased to report that by 2.5 years after Hurricane Katrina and the levee break devastated New Orleans, the downtown area of the city had bounced back. By April 2008, French Quarter businesses were back to normal. The French Market and Cafe du Monde were bustling, music was pouring out of Bourbon Street bars, and there was once again a line at the Gumbo Shop.
In the areas surrounding the city where many business employees live -- Metairie and St. Bernard Parish -- some things may never be the same as they were before 2005. However, there is the same unquenchable spirit of hope and optimism that so impressed me when I volunteered there in 2006. You still see defiant bumper stickers and signs proclaiming as reflected in a bumper sticker reading “New Orleans – Proud to Call It Home,” and “We’re strong – we’re coming back – we will rebuild!”
This beautiful cosmopolitan city is doing its best to rise again. Please consider it as a future travel destination!
St. Louis Cathedral looms in the background. I've read that the gaily decorated horse-drawn carriages are actually pulled by mules. Horses can't take the heat and humidity in New Orleans, but mules can.
- Pros:Great food, great music
- Cons:High humidity and changeable weather
- In a nutshell:The Best of the American South
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Rixie's Related Pages
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Badges & Stats in New Orleans
- 38 Reviews
- 90 Photos
- 94 Forum posts
- 37 Comments
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Latest Activity in New Orleans
- Posted in Miscellaneous Forum "Re: Study Abroad"
- Commented on one of Rixie's New Orleans tips
- Wrote a Review A Total Experience about Jaques-Imo's in New Orleans Restaurants
- updated a New Orleans Travel Page "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Another War, Another Time"
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