Five Must Do Things in New Orleans

New-orleans10As you might guess, there are a lot of enjoyable things to see and do in a city as culturally rich and diverse as New Orleans. The Crescent City has certainly earned its reputation as a party town, but there are other aspects of the thriving port city that aren’t quite as well known. For those whose visit is a short one, we’ve come up with a short list of things to see and do that covers a wide spectrum of the famous town’s personality.

Bourbon Street – Though best known as a late night party spot that goes into hyper mode during Mardis Gras, Bourbon Street also has a kinder gentler personality during the day. If partying isn’t part of a given trip, an afternoon drink in a quiet atmosphere can be enjoyed in the afternoon. It’s always a great place to people watch no matter the time of day.

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Top 9 Places To Live In Louisiana

Thinking about moving to Louisiana? Taking all fifty American states into consideration, Louisiana rivals only Hawaii and Alaska in extraordinary cultural diversity, fascinating history, and a breathtaking wealth of natural landscapes and ecosystems. Louisiana is also rich in excellent places to make a home. Here’s a short-list of the top ten best places to live in Louisiana.

1.New Orleans

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New Orleans will have to top our list. Who hasn’t dreamt of a visit to the Big Easy? This city is the biggest in the state, and surely the most famous. New Orleans is the mecca of multiculturalism. French, Creole, Spanish, Native American, and Caribbean cultures continue to form a part of this city’s vibrant core. Tulane and Loyola Universities provide the academic anchors of a great tradition.

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Twin Span Bridge Brief History

The Twin Span Bridge is probably one of the most well-known bridges in Louisiana. It covers about 6 miles and it consists of two bridges, each running parallel to one another. The bridge runs across the east end of Lake Pontchartrain. You find this bridge in the southern parts of Louisiana.

THE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTIONThe original bridges opened up, back in 1965. They opened in December, to be exact. There was a short commencement ceremony to initiate the opening. Each bridge was two lanes wide. Most of the bridge had a 8.5 clearance overhead. So what happened? Hurricane Katrina, is what happened.

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The Sports Teams of New Orleans

New Orleans is one of the most unique cultural hotbeds in the United States, with a long history spanning from its birth as a French colonial town to its heyday as the home of Mardi Gras and jazz. The city also has a deep love of sports, from football to baseball, basketball, golf, and racing. It is unique in the same way the state of Hawaii is in regards to melding of disparate cultures to form one unique one.

Chief amongst New Orleans’ sports teams is the New Orleans Saints, who play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and are one of the National Football League’s best teams. The Saints were born in 1967, as local politicians and then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle sought to bring an NFL franchise to the city.

Once the team was approved, the NFL set about announcing their new team on November 1st, during which All Saints’ Day was celebrated and forever connecting the team to its New Orleans roots. Despite this inauspicious beginning, however, the Saints never saw success until 20 years later, and it was only in 2000 that they won their first NFL playoff game. Ten years later, they finally won their first Super Bowl, and brought a feeling of resurgence back to a city recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile, as the Saints began ascend the NFL ladder, a basketball team arrived in New Orleans in 2002. Relocating from Charlotte, the New Orleans Hornets brought with them the typical inconsistency of a young team, before Hurricane Katrina struck and they had to move out of New Orleans. Between 2005 and 2007, the Hornets played most of their games in the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

Once they had moved back to New Orleans Arena, the Hornets were embraced by their city and found new success, competing with the National Basketball League’s best teams but ultimately falling short of a championship. In 2013, with a new owner, the team underwent a significant rebirth, relinquishing its Hornets title and becoming the New Orleans Pelicans. A year later, the team also found itself playing in the renamed Smoothie King Center. With a new identity befitting its location, the Pelicans hope to surpass the Hornets’ brief glimpses of success.

Despite not having a major league baseball team, New Orleans boasts the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs, who play in Metairie, Louisiana’s Zephyr Field. As a franchise, the Zephyrs go back to 1901, when they were founded in Kansas City and quickly found success, winning three championships. In 1955, the Zephyrs were forced to relocate, and moved to Denver with a new name: the Denver Bears. Much like the Zephyrs, the Bears saw success in Denver, playing in the famous Mile High Stadium, one of the largest venues in which minor league baseball has been played.

Then, in 1985, the team was once again renamed, this time back to the Zephyrs. As the Zephyrs, the team continued its winning ways until it was once more forced to relocate in 1992. Arriving in New Orleans, the Zephyrs embraced their new city and would go on to win the Triple-A World Series in 1998, as well as becoming co-champions in 2001. On May 5–6, 2006, the Zephyrs played in a game known as the “Music City Marathon,” which lasted 24 innings over a span of two days. Along with setting 12 franchise records over those two days, the Zephyrs matched the Pacific Coast League’s record for longest game, a remarkable feat considering the record had stood since 1909.

Even though New Orleans’ sports teams are all remarkably different in how they came to be, they all share one thing in common: their city’s cultural heritage has left an indelible mark on them.

Shooting Alligators and Reloading Ammo — the Other New Orleans

I love living in New Orleans. I was born here, and although I have travelled a lot with my job I am always happiest when I am at home. There is something in the air here that I have not been able to find anywhere else in the world.

Lately I have been working too much. I work really long hours at the office and I often bring my work home with me as well. It feels like I am always working and it has taken its toll. I need to take some time off. That is why my two buddies and I have hired a local guide this weekend to explore the swamps. We are going to go alligator hunting. Although we didn’t need them, we brought our guns and plenty of ammo just in case.

I grew up playing in the swamps but I have never killed an alligator. I saw quite a few when I was a kid but I always managed to stay out of their way. I saw one go after a neighbor’s dog once though and I was in awe of the speed they possess on land. Luckily the dog was just a bit faster and he got away.

As we set out on our airboat into the swamps of New Orleans I felt like I had been transported back in time. After we had gone five minutes from the dock all I saw were Cypress trees, birds, turtles, fish jumping and alligators. Oh, and a lot of voracious insects but luckily I had worn bug spray.

The airboat was pretty loud which made talking impossible. We all sat in silence for the first half an hour and watched the sights flash by. When we got to the area we were going to be fishing in the guide killed the engine and we drifted along in silence for a bit.

A huge alligator popped his head up out of the water and drifted beside us for a minute or two. He was huge, at least sixteen feet long. He did one quick roll in the water and with a flick of his tail he went under and we never saw him again.

We decided to set up our lines there in hopes that we would catch the big one. We caught our alligator about an hour later. He was only about twelve feet long but he was the first one that came upon the lines we had set out. It only took about half an hour for him to get hooked. I aimed my gun at the spot they told me would do the least damage to the hide and I took my shot. It was a good shot through and through and he barely struggled at all.

My friends and I have decided to split our trophy three ways. We will each take a portion of the meat, one of my friends wants the head for his games room, and I will split the hide with my other friend. I just might get a pair of boots made. They won’t go with my suit for the office but they will look great when I am drinking a beer on Bourbon Street. We returned home and laughed and drank beer and reloaded our weapons for our next outing.

While New Orleans has a lot of sophisticated places to see—like our beloved Twin Span Bridge—sometimes you just got to really go hillbilly.

The Attributes of Your Quintessential New Orleans Homes

New Orleans is a bastion of historic architecture, finding its roots in a vibrant multicultural heritage that spans over three hundred years. From creole cottages to the fantastic mansions found on St. Charles, New Orleans is unquestionably a sight to behold. But when you ask a local resident what attributes make the typical home, all you’ll get are ums and ahs.

In this editorial, we’re going to turn you from a casual admirer to a connoisseur of New Orleans architecture. Next time someone asks you about the makeup of the city’s architectural history, you’ll be able to bore your audience to sleep without giving it a second thought (not sure if that’s a good thing!).

Townhouse: Greek Influences

Most people assume that just because New Orleans was part of the French dominion in the New World, Napoleon and friends inspired everything. But nothing could be further from the truth.

New Orleans is a melting pot of a wide range of cultures and one of the least recognised is that of Greece. The ancients were going through a massive revival during the renaissance and the influences seeped into every facet of society, from culture to politics to art. And yes, even architecture.

What you’ll find is that many homes will feature a townhouse-style layout with Greek columns acting as the structural support. Porches are wide and spacious. Intriguingly, a good chunk of such homes also make heavy use of board and batten shutters, giving it that rustic look that we’re accustomed to as well as the mixture of styles within one design.

Creole Cottage: Steeply Pitched Roof

The term ‘steeply pitched’ may not mean anything to you as you read it, but once you see a picture of such a design you’ll recognise it at once. This feature is primarily an attribute found in the creole cottage, arguably the symbol of New Orleans architecture.

The main function of the steeply pitched side gabled roof is to protect homes from rainfall. New Orleans is a city known for its heavy downpours, so this design style was the result of practicality over aesthetics. Nevertheless, the look is now deeply engrained in the city’s visual history and it wouldn’t be the same without it.

The Shotgun: Simple and Basic Turns Elegant

The ‘Shotgun’ style home is narrow, usually less than 12 feet in width. Doors are found on either end. This style is thought to have been wholly developed in New Orleans and as such is the most prevalent in the city.

The first Shotgun home (as far as we know) was built as early as 1848, but the style really took off from the 1920s onwards. They were cheap, easy to manufacture, and well equipped to deal with the local weather. Modern Shotgun homes come in several shapes and sizes, including the ‘Double Shotgun’ and ‘Humpback’. The former is essentially a duplex, while the latter has a small second floor at the back of the home.

New Orleans has a strong tradition that still stands despite the devastating effects of nature. Katrina may have damaged the city, but it has not broken it. We’re glad to say that our heritage has been preserved through the valiant efforts of rebuilders, city planners, and local residents. We encourage you to appreciate our history through our inspiring architecture!