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.

The French QuarterThe French Quarter is really the heart and soul of New Orleans. The architecture, great restaurants and friendly people all add up to a fabulous experience for the visitor. Royal Street is something like Bourbon Street’s quieter but prettier sister. St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square are places where you can feel the spirit and humanity of New Orleans. Cafe Du Monde is a great place to enjoy a robust breakfast.

The Garden District – This quiet part of town is a great place to check out the city’s architectural past. The area is packed with handsome homes, unique homes and cemeteries that tell a lot about the history and culture of New Orleans. The cemeteries themselves are a great way for those interested in history to learn more about part of the American story.

City Park – This beautiful green space is home to the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden. A great outdoor place to chill out even if you don’t go inside the museum. There’s also a nice little amusement park complete with an old fashioned carousel that’s great entertainment for children of all ages.

Streetcars – Most visitors to New Orleans don’t have the luxury of riding streetcars in their hometowns. This is a great way to take in the city’s unique character while making friends with fellow passengers. Canal Street is a very popular route but St. Charles Street is a great way to take in all the delights of the Garden District. The St. Charles Street route ends at the bucolic Audubon Park that’s another quiet corner of the bustling city.

There are also some things that are just part of the fabric of the city. You can hear a wide array of jazz styles all around the town where the truly American form of music was born. Food is another ubiquitous aspect of New Orleans. Restaurants all over town serve some of the best seafood with that distinctive Cajun flair. If you’re not in the mood for bounty from the ocean, you can find just about any kind of food you can imagine, and the restaurants will stay in your memory for a long time.

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.

2. Baton Rouge

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Baton Rouge is the state capital, and another city with a rich history. It’s located upriver on the Mississippi. Starting from its harbor facilities, the city has grown to become a major center of industry, technology, and the arts. Education in Baton Rouge is particularly impressive. In addition to its wealth of public and private primary and secondary schools, Baton Rouge also the home of Louisiana State University.

3. Shreveport

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Shreveport is the central city of Ark-La-Tex: this is the area in northwest Louisiana where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. This is cotton country. If you’re looking for a landscape that typifies the Deep South, you’ll find it here.

4. Bossier City

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Bossier City is located just across the Red River from Shreveport, and forms part of the greater metropolitan area around that city. The recreational attractions of this area include fishing and boating on the Louisiana bayous, a kind of slow-moving river system that is the habitat of shellfish, amphibians and reptiles, and a host of exotic native birds.

5. Alexandria

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Alexandria, like Shreveport and Bossier City, is located on the Red River; in the case of Alexandria, downstream a bit. The city is in the very center of Louisiana. Here you’ll find plenty of history. Alexandria has one of the largest Acadian settlements in the country. These French Canadian refugees have helped make Alexandria a haven of Cajun culture. Mardi Gras is an official holiday here.

6. Lafayette

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Lafayette shares Alexandria’s Acadian cultural heritage. In fact, its motto is “The Heart of Cajun Country.” Lafayette is located on a naturally terraced plain, at a higher elevation above wetlands than many parts of the state. This location makes it free of flooding problems.

7. Lake Charles

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Lake Charles lies far to the southwest, in the so-called “Lake Area” of Louisiana. Surrounded by Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River, it’s a small city (72,000) with an economic base in oil refining and casino gaming.

8. Metairie

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Metairie and Kenner are small cities that make up the suburbs of New Orleans. As such, they offer all the vibrant cultural life of the metropolis along with a more family-oriented lifestyle.

9. Youngsville

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Youngsville is a town in south-central Louisiana. Although it lacks the energy and diversity of the big urban areas, if you are drawn to a small-town lifestyle, then Youngsville is the place for you. Originally an Acadian settlement, it retains its agricultural origins in the soybean and sugarcane fields that surround the town. The quality of its lifestyle was recognized by a Yahoo! study in 2011, which found Youngsville to be the best place to live in Louisiana.

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.

HURRICANE KATRINA

download (1)Hurricane Katrina came through and left a major devastation, in it’s wake. This all happened on August 29, 2005. Because of the hurricane, the bridge suffered a lot of major damage. The eastbound parts of the bridge were the ones who got the most damage.

There was a $30 million bid to reconstruct the Twin Bridge. This happened on September 9th, 2005. Boh Brother’s Construction Company was called in to take care of it. They began with the eastbound portion of it, since this was the one with the least amount of damage. With some hard work they were able to reopen the eastbound portion on October 10, 2005. This was all Phase One of the plan. The eastbound side had one lane open, in either direction. This way they could focus their efforts on Phase Two.

Phase One had a contractual obligation for 43 days. But, because of the hard work, they got done a5 days prior. This left the city very happy. The company got awarded $1 million bonus, because of how quickly it was reconstructed. Phase Two was completed on January 6th, 2006. It took longer for the westbound side, due to more severe damage.

With the reconstruction, there were prefabricated steel segments put into place. This meant a speed and weight restriction for drivers and other cargo. Due to the monitoring, some of the 4 lanes were periodically closed for regular maintenance and repairs. This was all part of Phase Three of the contract.

All in all, everything was completed on schedule and looking better then before.

TOO VULNERABLE

One thing that was noticed, after the storm hit, the bridge was too vulnerable in places. This vulnerability left the bridge open to future storm damage, as well as other severities.

TWO NEW SPANS

This is the reason why they constructed two new spans, to improve the conditions on the bridge. This project was estimated at $803 million. On July 13, 2006, the bridge was officially reopened. It saw a two new spans of 300 feet, across the east end of the old spans. These new spans were also able to accommodate more traffic. When compared to the original span bridge, this new one held up to 5o% more traffic.

This new bridge also features cameras and message boards. These alert the drivers to what is going on around them. This greatly has reduced many of the casualties of before. if you would like to learn more about this bridge check out its full history here.