Big Easy Culture

Come have fun on the Bayou. Cajun food and Cajun dancin’…and maybe a little moonshine, too!

New Orleans culture is music, food and family. Big family gatherings. We don’t get together every week, but every chance we can there’s a big function and everybody’s invited. But…if there was no New Orleans food, what would New Orleans be? I can’t imagine our city without New Orleans food! This is why I want to preserve our Food Culture!

Nina in front of the Nola 300 sign beside the Mississippi River.Growin’ Up In The Iberville

I grew up in the Iberville in New Orleans, and we slept with the windows open every night. We’d go to sleep and our bedroom window overlooked Marie Laveau’s grave, the Queen of Voodoo, and we’d watch people make “X’s” on her grave. The X’s were to ask favors of Marie Laveau. My brothers and I played in the graveyards. If you wonder why New Orleans people are a little different, it starts really young.

From the time I was eight years old, I remember walking by myself through the French Quarter going anywhere I wanted. I’d go get my beignets and take a walk on Royal Street. Back then, it was 35 cents for three beignets, and milk was 35 cents, too. If I had a dollar, I could go all day! I call the French Quarter the heart of New Orleans, and City Park is the soul of New Orleans.

Nothing Stops New Orleans People From Havin’ A Good Time

We have a parade for everything in New Orleans. A second line is a party within a party. It’s a line of people dancin’ around just bein’ silly. It happens at parties, weddings, parades funerals…we second line for everything in New Orleans. We even play second line with kids and grandkids marchin’ through the house with umbrellas, handkerchiefs and music. I don’t know what happened to the first line, but the second line is lots of fun!

Nina strolling the French Quarter.After Katrina, everyone lost everything they owned. I remember piles of furniture in the street. It looked to me like an atomic bomb had exploded. The trees that were standing were burnt. It was so eerie, there wasn’t a leaf left. About three months later, I was in a store around Christmas time, I was trying on some clothes in the ladies fitting room, and I could not believe my ears. I just stopped. I heard the women in the fitting rooms next to me picking out their Mardi Gras clothes and ball gowns. They were so excited for Mardi Gras. I could not understand how they could be excited and ready for a party because we had no bridges, no roads and no homes, yet the excitement of Mardi Gras was still there. It just reminded me of the resilience of the New Orleans people. We just keep going. Nothing stops us, especially from having a good time.

My Happy Place: City Park

If you travel to the back end of the French Quarter, take a left on Esplanade Avenue. You will run into City Park. It’s very close, maybe a 10-minute drive. The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans, but City Park is the soul of New Orleans. As a child, I went there with my mother and grandmother and now I bring my granddaughter to City Park. It’s the best part of Louisiana. It’s got the Botanical Gardens, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Sculpture Garden, an incredible horse stable, Tad Gormley Field, Storyland, a new Putt Putt mini-golf for families, and a brand new 18-hole golf course. You can spend an entire day in City Park and see another layer of our beautiful city.

Lake Pontchartrain

After leaving City Park, it’s about a 5-minute drive to the lakefront. Take time to enjoy what the locals have enjoyed their entire lives and another reason why we enjoy living in New Orleans. It’s more than just a beautiful scenic drive, it’s a life source for the city, abundant with fresh fish, crabs and shrimp.

New Orleans is such a unique city, I could not live anywhere else. Anyplace else would be boring to me!