The city of New Orleans [‘NAW – linz], home to the most soulful brand of jazz and funk that’ll leave your spirit in an elated daze for months. You’ll be tapping your feet to this city’s tunes a long while after you’ve departed while staring sideways at the frenzied humdrum of busy East Coast living—separated’ enlightened. You’ll notice the lack of humanity in most places once you’ve left; the serene, hospitable personalities, the soulful energy, the conglomeration of cultures meshing and working together to create not a dull shade of brown, but an explosion of art, a celebration of life’ won’t exist back at home in the stale suburbs of North Jersey or the brash brawns of South Philly. If Dixieland had a motto, it’d be ‘Slow and Steady Wins the Race.’ If New York had a motto, it’d be ‘Slow and Steady Wins the Race My Ass.’ For New Orleans, it’d be ‘What Race? This Dance Floor Aint’ No Competition.’
Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday,’ a Christian day reflecting the practice of eating rich, fatty foods, and drinking in high quantity on the last night before the traditional fasting of the Lenten season. This story’s evolution from its humble, religious beginning to the iconic event it is now speaks only to the unfaltering energy at this city’s core. So, when attending a world famous event in a city that’s no rookie to partying, going in blind is a risk not wise to take.
My recommendation for shelter: Airbnb. It’s affordable, manageable, and you’ll find yourself in the residential areas of the city, which, if you’re like me, is something to be absorbed: the bold architecture, the hip people, the array of colors, the intrusive botany, the funky street art all ooze a wonderfully original creativity unique to the city.
My recommendation for food: eat out’ as often as your budget allows. This is soul food at the highest possible quality.
Further advice: don’t let your hangover keep you down. The southern sun is a beautiful remedy in the heart of winter. Don’t expect too much nudity, it’s going to be a little chilly. Don’t get too used to being able to leave the bar with your beer because you may make this mistake once you’re back home. Go with good friends. You’ll leave great friends.
Last but certainly not least: don’t bother with Hurricanes being sold at every bar in the French Quarter: very little alcohol, tons of sugar—paralyzing hangovers in waiting.
Quick lil’ som’ somethin’