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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Interesting Wildlife of New Orleans

New Orleans has a unique reputation for wildlife, and boasts of an incredible assortment of furry, feathered and finned animals. Every bit of scenery from swans, ducks, pelicans and alligators to the crickets and frogs will excite you. New Orleans is truly a home for wildlife and a natural wonder for wildlife enthusiasts. A description of the wildlife someone is likely to see when visiting follows below. Get to know the wildlife and look forward to seeing them during a tour.

1. The American Alligator
New Orleans is a thriving destination for alligators. The Southern edge is ideal for such large reptiles due to the large swamp lands that stretch hundreds of miles. The American alligator is considered to be the largest reptile in the US. It is the most sought after inhabitant of the Jean Lafitte Swamp and has a maximum lifespan of 80 years. While there, try determining the size of the alligator by guessing the number of inches between the eyes and the snout end.

2. Large Birds
New Orleans is home to large fishing birds like the pelicans, cranes, ibises and egrets. These birds stand at the edge of water to hunt for fish or snack on amphibians. Wonderful birds inhabit swampy areas such as the Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons. Other species of birds you are likely to see during the tour include loons, owls, cuckoos, warblers and owls among other magnificent birds. At times, the birds focus too much and are in turn sneaked up in the shallows by an alligator.

3. Turtles
You will easily spot large and horned turtles resting on the logs or swimming in the swamp. Common snapping turtles and soft shell turtles are also common depending on the time of the year. Soupy lands shelter various species of turtles. In this region, you are also likely to see an alligator snapping on turtles, map turtles and sea turtles.

4. Wild Pigs
Wild pigs are invasive to the New Orleans area and often feed on wetland vegetation. They commonly appear black and prefer travelling in groups.

5. Nutria
Nutria is at times referred to as “river rats”. You are likely to see these large rodents in the wetlands of New Orleans. These rodents are also invasive to the area due to their destructive habits of feeding and burrowing. Thus, they immensely contribute to the erosion of sustainable plant life.

6. Otters
River otters are another type of animal you are likely to see in swamps. They are cute and playful, and equally comfortable in water or on land. Their webbed feet make them excellent swimmers. They feed on small rodents, birds, crabs, frogs and fish.

7. Black bear
The black bear is the largest mammal in the US. It is considered a lumbering giant and a rare threat to humans. At times, they can become a nuisance by eating bird seed and causing some costly damage around homes while looking for food.

Other reptiles you are likely to see are snakes, though many of them are semi-aquatic. Other nuisance animals include raccoons, skunks, rabbits, squirrels and armadillos among others. With the incredible assortment, you are likely to be thrilled while on your New Orleans tour.

New Orleans: A Haven for Archery Lovers

New Orleans is not necessarily the place where you think of starting a career in archery, but when you try some places for practice here, you will love it.

We usually associate New Orleans as a place that has been extremely damaged by hurricane Katrina several years ago. We might also think of it as a place that has been devastated and can no longer go back to where it used to be. However, this is not necessarily true. In fact, several years after the devastating hurricane, New Orleans has already bounced back. It has created tall buildings once again and a lot of houses have already been restored. The people are working together to rebuild the city. To top it all, residents now have the time to do recreational activities. In fact, locals are fund of archery.

New Orleans is a perfect place for practicing archery. It also has nice views to enjoy while doing the games outdoor. The best part is that there are a lot of other archery enthusiasts who will motivate you to do well in archery too. Thus, if you want to give archery a try, you can go to New Orleans and enjoy what it has to offer.

The best archery centers

There are a lot of places all over New Orleans where archery lovers gather and play the game. There are also some centers offering archery courses for beginners. There are also competitions being held every now and then. Thus, you will totally enjoy what they have to offer. The best part is that even those who come from far places travel all the way to New Orleans just to play the game. In fact, New Orleans has attracted a lot more people with the explosion of archery shops.

Find a one-stop shop where you can first find the right equipment to use. They should also offer archery courses and they must be able to provide you with a good mentor as well. Once you have found the right partner, then it is high time to select the best equipment to use and start playing the game. For more information on the best crossbow, you can check this out. On the other hand, if you have already chosen to use recurve bows and you just need to read about recurve bow reviews, you can go to http://ultimatearcheryhq.com/best-recurve-bow-reviews/. It might take some time before you land with the right equipment. However, you can easily feel it when you have already chosen the right one.

Practice more and do better

As soon as you have finally chosen your partner crossbow, it is time to improve your skills and practice. You might find it difficult at first. Take note that archery is not just a physical sport. It is also a mental game. You need to ensure that you focus on the target really well. Once you get the hang of it, you would want to do it over and over again. You can even join competitions the next time around when you feel more confident already. You can even make a steady career in this field if you really push for it and spend more time honing your skills.

Enjoying New Orleans All Year Round

If you are looking for a place that is truly a unique melting pot of music, food and culture, there is only one answer to that – New Orleans. Here, you will tremendously enjoy yourself in its historic neighborhoods, dark jazz clubs, and great architectural sites. Another thing that you need to know about this wonderful place is that it is considered the world’s Festival Capital in view of the dozens of festivities and special events celebrated there, all coupled with unique  music, food and multicultural heritage. So if you plan to visit the area anytime soon, here are some of the festivities that you can participate in while you are there.

In the month of April (2015), New Orleans becomes the place to be for music festival lovers. From April 9 to 12, the outstanding French Quarter Festival will be held. At this special occasion, you will witness superb live music and enjoy sumptuous Cajun and Creole foods. On Thursdays between the 16th of April and the 11th of June, make sure that you drop by at the Louis Armstrong Park. There, free live music will be held. While you’re there, make sure to get some taste of the local jams and food. You can also find some of the local artists in the area selling their wares.

In the month of May, particularly on the 15th to the 17th, another free music, food and art festival will be held. It will be alongside the famous Bayou St. John. On the 20th to the 23rd, you will get the chance to sip locally produced wines. In between, you can also check out the Greek Fest, which is usually held from May 22 to 24. Just proceed to Bayou St. John on a Labor Day weekend and eat and dance the Greek way! One last food festivity you shouldn’t miss during this month is the Oyster Festival, which will be held on the 30th near Jax Brewery. There are also eating contests that you can join if you’re up to it. Be sure to drink lots of water after so you don’t get sick! Now that I’ve mentioned water, just in case you need to look at a an interesting aqua ionizer deluxe 7 review, check out this site. For alkaline water 2015 reviews, go to http://www.waterionizerreviews.net/.

On the month of June, be sure to check out the Cajun Zydeco Festival, which is held on the 6th and the 7th. In this event, you will certainly have fun dancing to the tunes of Cajun and Zydeco music. Of course, there will be fabulous food and colorful crafts for you to taste and enjoy. From the 11th up to the 14th, watch out for the ‘Festigals’, which is the ultimate getaway for ‘gals’ being a long celebration of being a woman! So grab your girlfriends and celebrate your hearts out! Lastly, on the month of June, there is a 2-day festival featuring creole tomatoes. This will be held on the 13th and 14th, where you can head to the French Market and buy the freshest, plumpest, and juiciest tomatoes you can find in the US at this time of the year!

There are more festivals that will be held on the latter half of the year wherein you can also enjoy New Orleans music, food and culture. Watch out for my future posts for that list!

Gunsmithing Experience Opportunities In New Orleans

Here are a couple of gunsmith shops in the Baton Rouge area which are well known for the standard of their services, and you could consider for apprenticeship after you have studied the craft at one of Americas top gunsmithing schools.

Reynorson’s Gunsmith Service

This shop caters to the needs of every kind of gun enthusiast, and proudly proclaims their ability to stock you up for your next hunting trip. Their merchandise includes various rifles, shotguns, handguns and other firearms, both used and new. They also offer gun appraisal services for those who are looking to sell them. Besides the weapons themselves, Reynorson’s also sells gun modifications and accessories as well.

As far as gunsmithing is concerned, they’ve got over a century’s worth of combined experience between their gunsmiths and they consider the maintenance of firearms important, which is why they are stocked with various gun cleaning kits, lubes and solvents to keep their customers’ guns in tip top shape. The shop is also a warranty repair center for gun makers such as Browning, Metro Arms, Remington, Bersa, Winchester, Comanche, Firestorm, Arms and Benjamin/Sheridan.

All in all, an excellent place to gain experience provided you have what it takes.

Hunter’s Run Gun Shop

Hunter’s Run Gun Shop offers to do installations, repairs, cleaning, custom work and more. A full service gunsmith shop, HRGS caters to the needs of the greater Baton Rouge area, as well as Louisiana. The chief gunsmith at the establishment, Nick Niblick, is an avid gun enthusiast with more than three decades of experience as a professional. Hunter’s Run Gun Shop also has an affiliation with Baton Rouge’s leading shooting club – the Hunter’s Run Gun Club, but this doesn’t mean it services only the club’s members.

Regardless of the type of gun work you want done, be it an old shotgun or a fully customized AR15 assault rifle utilizing topnotch components, HRGS guarantees their ability to do it. Their specialty is 1911s, custom coatings and antique restorations, so those aspiring gunsmiths who have an interest in these particular areas should give this place a try when seeking experience. HRGS promises utmost care for their customers’ weapons, which means they’ll work on them without damaging its appearance in any way. They also proudly feature Cerakote ceramic coating for firearms which is basically the most durable finish in all of the industry. It comes in many different colors and is resistant to water, abrasion and chemical damage.

The shop is looking to add to their offerings, which means this is an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and land a job. Engraving and custom checkering was their most recent target.

Even though there are plenty of gunsmith shops in the New Orleans area, gun hobbyists are frequently looking for talented gunsmiths whom they can forge contacts with on a personal level, especially since many of the old talent was displaced by hurricane Katrina. This is quite understandable since antique guns are extremely valuable and their owners aren’t willing to drop them off at just another gunsmithing shop. This means that there is an excellent opportunity for you to become a specialist gunsmith if you have a passion for guns and people handling skills. You should start by checking out Gun Gods list of the best gunsmithing schools to pick up the tricks of the trade, and, if you feel that you need experience, there are gunsmith businesses who can provide apprenticeships.

Mardi Gras: New Orleans’ Most Famous Festival

The origin of Mardi Gras started in medieval Europe, including the French House of Bourbons. And as with every tradition, France has adopted Mardi Gras and introduced it to each of her colonies. Since New Orleans has become one of its colonies in the 1700s, Mardi Gras has been celebrated since then. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, and it is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The festivity falls on any Tuesday between February 9 and March 3. But just like any festive occasion, Mardi Gras is not celebrated in just a day, but for days leading up to Tuesday.

The festivities begin a couple of weeks prior to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, with different events, balls, king cake parties and shows in the French Quarter and other neighboring cities of New Orleans and throughout Louisiana.

The parades 

The Carnival parades are the highlights of the Mardi Gras season. Typically there is one parade each day, and several major ones leading to Fat Tuesday. Each parade is arranged by krewe. There are several Carnival krewes that participate and they top their presentations each year with colorful costumes and floats. Men and women participate in the parades in their most colorful and attractive costumes. The rides of each krewe’s float give away throws – those colorful bead necklaces you often see on Mardi Gras parades – and doubloons, coins made of wood or aluminum with the krewe’s logo engraved on them.

Tourists from different states in the US and from all over the world flock to New Orleans to witness this festivity. There are so many sights and sounds to enjoy in this occasion. Although Mardi Gras appeals to most adults, it is most appealing to the younger demographic, with all the parade krewes wearing skimpy and sexy costumes, with alcohol in abundance.

Any festivity is incomplete without food 

An occasion is never complete without food to enjoy it by. New Orleans, and the whole of Louisiana is very rich in culinary wonders, with the state’s Cajun culture. One of the most famous dishes in New Orleans is the Crab-and-Shrimp Étouffée, which is a concoction of crabs, shrimp, crawfish or a combination of these three and served with gravy and rice. Cooking rice is easy, especially if you have the best rice cooker to cook it in. Click here to learn more. To achieve the perfectly-cooked rice, check http://www.homecentric.org/best-rice-cooker-reviews/ for appliance reviews for the best cooker you can use for this year’s festivities. Muffulettas cannot be forgotten to be served during Mardi Gras, as they are one of the festival’s staple foods. There are many other Cajun dishes that are famous for their good taste that you can serve guests.

If you haven’t been to New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season, make sure to include it in your travel bucket list. New Orleans and the whole of Louisiana is very rich in culture and tradition, as well as famous sights and sounds that you will surely enjoy. Be prepared to feast your eyes and palate when you visit New Orleans.

Tracing the Development of the Culture of the City of New Orleans

In a discussion ont he existing distinct cultures in the United States, it is certain that the City of New Orleans would be mentioned. Since the early 1700s, this City has been the busiest northern port in the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana’s chief city. It was founded by people from France and was thereafter ruled by the Spaniards for 40 years. In 1803, it was eventually bought by the United States to become part of the continental US. Such vibrant history has resulted to the distinctive New Orlean culture that is Creole. But to appreciate this further, let me take you back in time and trace the development of such culture.

The Founding of the City of New Orleans

Records show that the first and foremost residents of this area were Native Americans with Mississippian and Woodland cultures. After, the expeditions of La Salle and De Soto passed thru it and as such, white settlers starting coming to the area until the year 1718. It was in this year when the city was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, the French Louisiana governor at that time, who named it Nouvelle-Orléans. Three years after, it became the new capital. However, most of the city area was destroyed that same year by reason of a hurricane. When rebuilt, it came to be known as today’s French Quarter.

New Orleans City under Spanish Rule

In the years 1762 and 1763, treaties were signed between France and Spain whereby the former ceded New Orleans to the latter. For forty years, this city became a Spanish city. It traded heavily with Mexico and Cuba, and the racial rules that were followed were that of Spain as well. As such, people of color enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the free class. In the year 1803, Louisiana briefly reverted to the French people. Immediately thereafter, the United States bought it, which came to be known in history as the Louisiana Purchase.

The City of New Orleans in the 18thand 19thCentury

During the first 50 years after the Louisiana Purchase, New Orleans became the wealthiest city in the United States. Its port was the one used in shipping most of the country’s produce to Europe, South America and the Caribbean. In the century after, the Civil War started and like many other cities, New Orleans was taken. Fortunately, this didn’t have much effect on the growth of the city up until the era of Reconstruction, except for the becoming of race as a potent and strong political force.

The New Orleans of Today

The continuous development of technology also meant growth for the city. And although many white settlers moved out of New Orleans as a result of conflicts involving school integration after the Second World War, the city remains to be a tourist attraction, especially its Mardi Gras festivities. Speaking of schools, if you are interested in diagnostic medical sonography for schools, check out http://www.healthtechcareer.com/diagnostic-medical-sonography/diagnostic-medical-sonography-schools/. And even though hurricanes might have caused several devastations such as the infamous hurricane Katrina that caused the destruction of the Twin Span bridge, people continue to strive here and live their lives to the fullest.

The Twin Span Bridge, Then and Now

New Orleans is among the treasured cities in the United States in view of its very distinct culture and its very rich and vibrant history. Part of such history is the city’s seemingly constant battle against natural calamities. For several times, New Orleans was hit by hurricanes that caused destruction, some catastrophic, some not as much. Among the hurricanes recorded in history happened in 1772, when most of the city was destroyed, in 1909, in 1915, in 1947, and in 1965. The most recent and probably the most unforgettable was the one that took place in August 29, 2005, which is known as the Hurricane Katrina. To this day, people are reminded of the damage that this calamity caused them in view of the many changes that had to be effected, especially with respect to the structures around the city. One such structure is the Twin Span Bridge.

The Twin Span Bridge Then

It was in the year 1965, specifically on the 21st of December that year, that this bridge was opened. Officially, it is called the Frank Davis "Naturally N'Awlins" Memorial Bridge. The same consists of 2 parallel bridges that covered a distance of almost 6 miles. It served as a connection between Lake Pontchartrain’s eastern end in New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. Each bridge was 2 lanes wide and was constructed with 433 segments that are sixty five feet each. For decades, this was how the Twin Span Bridge looked until the happening of the Hurricane Katrina.

The Hurricane Katrina

On August 29, 2005, the Hurricane Katrina made its landfall on the City of New Orleans. Two days after, it was given a Category 5 designation, prompting the issuance of a mandatory evacuation and clearing of the whole city. Nonetheless, there were still residents who refused to leave and some others who had no means of leaving the area. As such, almost 2,000 residents died, half of which were senior citizens, as nearly 80% of the city was flooded. According to the estimates, the totality of the damages caused amounted to almost $25 billion. After said incident, the destruction that left was said to be the biggest civil engineering catastrophe in United States history.

The Twin Span bridge, like many other structures in the city, suffered extensive damage. The storm surge shifted the segments of the bridge off their piers. 38 segments in the eastbound span werewhile 170 were misaligned. Immediately after the storm, reconstruction efforts commenced and it was the Boh Brothers Construction Company that won the bid of reconstructing the bridges. On the 10th of October 2005, the east bound bridge was reopened

The Twin Span Bridge Now

In view of the extensive damage that Hurricane Katrina caused to the Twin Span Bridge and even after the reconstructions done, it was decided that it was too vulnerable to future hurricanes and storm surges. As such, the solution was the creation of a new and wider bridge. But despite such change, there is still an effort among the residents to retain its old name for old time sake. The new structure is said to accommodate a wider traffic and eliminated the bottlenecking that was previously experienced in the older bridge. Now that I have mentioned the word bottle, just in case you are in need of tear bottles, see http://tearcatcher.com/tear-bottles/. In connection with that you can also check this out for some thumbies.

The Booming Boots Industry of New Orleans: A Sign of Hope

New Orleans has gradually picked up the pieces after Katrina and its boots industry is a proof to that.

When hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, a lot of people were left with nothing. It was one of the worst disasters in modern history. In fact, it was so bad that it was almost impossible for a lot of locals to rise up after that. There were a lot of residents who left New Orleans in search for a better place and in fear of another Katrina coming to them. However, there are also those who stayed and never gave up in rebuilding their place.

Several years after Katrina hit New Orleans, the local government in cooperation with the residents rebuilt the city from scratch. Old establishments that were severely affected were demolished and were built again. Disaster preparedness programs were enhanced. Projects to help those who have been severely affected were in place. Most of all, small and medium enterprises were empowered. Local businessmen who gave Louisiana a brand to be proud of were given the chance to rebuild their business and eventually they picked the pieces up.

The boots industry

Being known as a country part of America, Louisiana takes pride in things related to farming, cowboys, country songs and the like. This is where most local businesses gave more focus on. Since cowboys were mentioned, New Orleans is in fact a home to so many authentic cowboy boots makers. They create boots for both girls and boys and for all ages. Thus, if you want to find authentic boots in the US, the city has a lot to offer. In fact, over 20 stores have risen to the top after the devastating hurricane and gave people outside the state a reason to visit New Orleans.

The people in this industry already know what they are doing and they just continued improving their craft. They sourced out the best materials in creating these boots and eventually came up with a business that is appealing to a lot of people. If you wish to see the best cowboy boots, you can visit here.

Let’s help make the industry bigger

Aside from the fact that these stores provide genuine items, you also get the chance to help rebuild the city for every penny you invest on these boots. Therefore, even if you splurge, you won’t feel guilty at all. You know that your money is going to local businesses and it will help uplift a city that was once devastated by a hurricane.

You can buy these items on the actual stores in New Orleans. This will give you an actual feel of the boots that they sell. You can even buy customized boots. The best part is that while you are there, you can travel around New Orleans and see how it is now years after the disaster. If you really don’t have the time to visit the place, you can just order online. They now sell items online and will be delivered straight to your home. New Orleans has indeed come so far and you can do your part in helping the place go even further.

Visit New Orleans and Enjoy its Racing Facilities

You can now enjoy New Orleans by visiting some of its most exciting car and motorcycle racing facilities.

There are a lot of reasons for visiting New Orleans. Aside from its beautiful sites and breathtaking views, the place has a lot more to offer. For instance, it has become a major sports center today. There are a lot of sports tournaments in recent years that took place in New Orleans. Super Bowls, College Bowls, Sailing Regattas and Golf Tournaments are only some of the major sporting competitions that took place in New Orleans. Aside from these popular activities, New Orleans also offers some of the most exciting racetracks in the world.

For instance, you can check out the NOLA Motorsports Park. It offers driving schools and karting. It also has activities that will cater not just those who are into sports, but the entire family as well. They also have staff who will serve as your guide while you are at the park and if you wish to travel around town.

Something for everyone

Whether you are a beginner or a professional racer, you will surely have something to look forward to as you visit the motorsports facilities. There are tracks for those who are into karts and car racing. There is also a place for motorcycle racers. Again, whether you are there just for fun or for professional practice, you will enjoy what the place has to offer. They have different schedules to accommodate those who are just beginning and those who have been racing for a long time. There are also tournaments being done every now and then and some of them are racing open. Racing competitions are usually done on weekends. Tournaments are organized in partnership with the National Auto Sport Association. Therefore, this tournament is guided by the rule books for races. Anyone across the country can come to New Orleans to compete.

Open days

There are some days when the track is just opened for everyone. This means that you can use whatever vehicle you have. You can try out your own vehicle on the tracks and see how it performs. They offer different riding gears if you don’t have one. They are available for sale or for rent. They provide a lounge if you wish to rest before and after using the tracks. If you want to go there, then you have to bring the necessary equipment you need. If you want a helmet better than your current one, you can go for Gmax Gm54s modular helmet which you can buy here. You can also check out Bell rogue helmet at http://bikergearlab.com/bell-rogue-helmet-review/. For sure, you won’t regret your decision if you stick with these high quality items.

Exploring New Orleans

Once you are done with racing, you are always welcome to travel around New Orleans. From the wonderful accommodation choices to the sumptuous meals, New Orleans definitely has a lot to offer. If you wish to party at night, you can visit the Bourbon Street which is located near the French Quarter. There are places as well that are perfect for educational trips. Whatever reason you have for visiting New Orleans, you will definitely enjoy the entire experience.

Archery in New Orleans

As is often seen in society certain trends come about as a result of successful movies and TV shows. The Karate Kid in the 80’s started the karate boom, the live action movie 101 Dalmatians had thousands of people going out and buying Dalmatian puppies, and now Archery is picking up steam with the help of such movies as The Hunger Games and Brave. Of course, there doesn’t have to be a successful movie to see why Archery is both a great hobby as well as an entertaining sport.

Archery Lessons

For anyone looking to begin learning the art of archery, improve their existing skills, or just practice, Archery Lesson Pros offers you a variety of training courses throughout New Orleans. Their program teaches you everything from; stance and posture, draw and load, aiming, and follow through. From beginners to seasoned pros Archery Lesson Pros has something for everyone. For those people just starting out or who do not have a bow you can rent a beginner bow for around $100. Additionally beginner bows are included with the lessons. For people looking for a more intensive archery lesson, Archery Lesson Pros offer their boot camp training option. These lessons are back to back daily lessons and can be scheduled around your daily routine.

Supplies

Archery like many recreational sports requires a number of different items to be able to shoot. Whether you need bow strings, fiberglass shafts, or finger guards New Orleans has a number of great archery supply stores to choose from. Puglia’s Sporting Goods and Chag’s Sporting Goods for example are located less than 20 miles from New Orleans and carry a number of different supplies for all levels of archer. Additionally they offer other services for archers to explore.

Target Range

What good is learning and practicing archery if you don’t have a place to shoot. If you live in a rural part of Louisiana you can set up a target in the backyard and shoot to your hearts content. However, if you live in a more populated area, this isn’t really an option for you. This is where finding a decent target range comes in handy.  One thing to check ahead of time is to make sure that the shooting range is equipped for bow and arrow or crossbow shooting. Many shooting ranges are specifically for guns and may not be able to accommodate you. West Bank Archery, however is entirely for bow and crossbow target practice. They have 6 20 yard lanes, offer private lessons and workshops, as well as have an onsite archery pro shop. West Bank Archery is just outside New Orleans in Harvey, LA.

Conclusion

Archery is a wonderful hobby for people of all ages and all levels. Whether you are just starting out or have 40+ years of experience, grabbing a bow and letting the arrows fly is a sensation like no other. When it comes to practicing archery in New Orleans, Louisiana there is something for everyone. If you are looking for lessons to improve your skill or start fresh then Archery Lesson Pros is for you. If you need supplies then look no further than Puglia’s Sporting Goods or Chag’s Sporting Goods to stock up on all your archery accessories, or visit specialist archery websites. When it comes time to let the arrows fly, hop over to West Bank Archery and enjoy a few rounds of practice or sign up for some of their shooting leagues. No matter what your archery needs New Orleans has it all.

Surfing New Orleans

Many of you may not realize but there is a (small) surf culture in New Orleans. There is even a small surf shop, N.O. Surf Shop – unfortunately they don’t have a website, in East Carrollton a few blocks from the Mississippi River. Of course you won’t be surfing on the river, though paddle boarding is always a possibility if you want to brave the congested river traffic. If surfing is your life you probably don’t live in New Orleans or Louisiana for that matter – the surf is just not that good and the best conditions are to be had in the winter. The weather situation may be just right from time to time but likely you are living in California or Hawaii if surfing is your reason for being. But that being said you can have some good fun on mostly beginner waves.

Hurricane Katrina took a toll on many surf spots in the region including Grande Isle, and the Chandeleur Islands which we mention later. The nearest spot, though, for a decent days wave riding is Fourchon though it is getting harder to reach with the bridge out. If you are determined though, it is a possibility. If you do go you’ll have the place to yourself as it is about 90 minutes from New Orleans and, as mentioned, the last bridge to get to the beach is often out. Make sure you are well-equipped with your best surfboard (check out some online) and a good knife for dealing with tethers and who knows what else: search for the best survival knife on this site.

If you are not too fussy, and desperate to get out on the water you can even surf the beach at Lake Pontchartrain. There’s a youtube video named Surfing New Orleans at Lake Pontchartrain so there is visual proof. The surfers in this video mention that even with the waves as poor as they were in the video they had to wait for conditions to be just right.

Other spots not too far from New Orleans are Grande Isle, and Chandeleur Islands. Grand Isle is two hours distant and has plenty of amenities for tourists and they are used to seeing the occasional surfer. In summer the town’s population can mulitply 20-fold so best not to try then, but off-season produces the most surfable waves regardless. Chandeleur Islands are way out there. They are islands and you will need a boat to get there. These islands are losing out to rising sea levels and intense storms so if you do go there, go soon. Mother nature and climate change may make them non-existent some time within the next ten years depending on storms.

So other than the few spots mentioned your best best for surf near the New Orleans area is to drive several hours to Texas or Florida. There are plenty of excellent spots a little further afield. Hope this has helped you all get a little insight into a little known sub-culture within our rich and varied New Orleans way of life.

New Orleans Must Listen: Bubba Blue’s Starry Skies

This week one of our blog contributors had the chance to interview one of New Orleans own rising jazz musicians, Bubba Blue. You may have seen him ticketing big clubs around town or even for free at an open mic, but now he is about to embark on his first North American tour. Bubba Blue, born and raised in New Orleans, has been a musician since his teenage years and was inspired by jazz music even before that.

Bubba Blue’s new album, Starry Skies, hits stores and is available for download this upcoming Tuesday. He leaves for tour today, but before he left we had a chance to ask him a few quick questions about his new album and passion for all things astronomy.

Question (Q): So, Bubba Blue, first off, where does your stage name originate from?

Bubba Blue (BB): Well, to make a long story short, one of my earliest memories was my brother taking me out to the backyard of our home where I was allowed to touch and look through his telescope for the first time. I cannot begin to explain to you how happy I was to finally get my hands on “blue,” what I creatively named the telescope after its color. He picked me up so I could see through the scope and I remember being astounded for the first time. After my first astronomy session, I ran up to my parents who were looking on and kept repeating “bubba blue, bubba blue” , which I guess was my way of saying brother let me use blue. The name kind of just stuck because every time I wanted to use the telescope I would just say bubba blue.

Q: Fantastic. With a debut album name like Starry Skies, can we assume this blue telescope wasn’t the end of your foray into astronomy?

BB: Your assumption is correct. In fact, I currently own my own telescope now and I write the most songs following an awesome astronomy session. Something about jazz music and stargazing just really go together, I guess. About three quarters of Starry Skies was written after stargazing; but specifically the songs Polaris, Jupiter and Ballad #3 I vividly remember being charged up after a good telescope session.

Q: Are your bringing your telescope on tour with you?

BB: I wouldn’t have it any other way. Man, I’m telling you, it’s like an addiction! I spend a lot of hours each week on astronomy and telescope review sites like telescopeobserver.com, just wasting my time looking for a solid deal on a new telescope. I’ve also carved in some time in my tour schedule to make sure I can do some side trips to some spots I’ve been dying to explore after sunset.

Q: Lucky you! So how exactly does jazz and astronomy fit together in your life?

BB: Well, since I’m from New Orleans, it’s pretty impossible to escape jazz. My parents are both strongly into jazz, as they grew up here as well. It was something that was just naturally passed on to my brother and me. We listened to it when we stargazed and eventually we both decided we wanted to pick it up ourselves and began to learn how to play various instruments. The two of us spent a lot of time making music and looking at the stars. He has inspired me a bunch throughout my life and I have pretty much copied every hobby he has ever had.

And on that heartwarming note, we left Bubba Blue to pack up and get on with his tour. Be sure to visit his website to keep abreast of his tour dates and buy his new album.

Almost Alligator Season!

The United States has one of the world’s largest population of alligators, and southern states like Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas are their home. Most of these states allow for hunting of alligators, and you can pencil in the New Orleans area as a new area for alligator hunting in the near future!

Louisiana has plenty of habitat for the large reptiles with its vast wetlands, swamps, lakes, and marshes. Alligators can potentially inhabit any permanent or semi-permanent body of warm water.

The Result of Historical Alligator Hunting

As mentioned before, hunting alligator was not permitted and was even banned in the 1960s, but population numbers for the species has recovered mainly after the control and conservation efforts that began in 1960s. Breeding season for alligators can start in April and end the latter part of May, and in Louisiana the alligator population increased considerably primarily due to the programs established cooperatively by southern states. Many people now consider the population to be sustainable now – and large enough to allow them to be hunted in New Orleans.

The hunting of alligators is strictly monitored particularly because of their past, where they occasionally flirted with complete extinction. Strict quotas, controls and license guidelines can prevent low population number.

Guidelines to American Alligator Hunting

In a press release in 2013 by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, the announcement was made that the ban of all alligator hunting in certain parts of Louisiana had been removed particularly in East and West Zones. Further reports announced that the alligator season would open the last Wednesday in August and lasts for 30 calendar days, strictly for the East Zone in Louisiana; and for the West Zone, it opens first Wednesday of September and lasts for 30 calendar days as well.

These dates and the rules may change from time to time, so be sure to check with the appropriate authorities.

The New Orleans hunting guidelines are strict and outline the property where hunters are allowed to hunt. For non-owners of a wetland habitat, a hunter will need to hunt with a licensed alligator guide with the proper harvest tags. The alligator hunters can apply for tags before the season begins.

Getting Geared Up

If you are a hunter in the New Orleans area, you must be excited about this new opportunity! If reading this has inspired you to try to get into hunting as a hobby, be sure you are geared up properly. My advice is to get ahold of an experienced hunter to get recommendations for guns and other equipment you may need. Also be sure to properly store any new firearms you may buy in a gun safe. It’s not required by law like it is in California, but it’s just plain common sense to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

I geared up myself to become a hunter a few years ago and found this article on finding a good value for my safe to be very helpful.

Whatever you choose to store your guns in – stay safe and have fun!