A local’s guide to New Orleans
- By Stephanie Carter
- Photos by Emily Kask
New Orleans is a city built on joie de vivre. Excess is the order of the day, whether you’re a first-timer hunting for cheap beads and bad booze on Bourbon Street or a lifer deciding what to order on your po’ boy. Everyone’s mom or grandma makes the best gumbo, and — yes — they do want to talk about it. Food is synonymous with identity here, one that all New Orleanians hold equally regardless of race or class.
The Crescent City’s rich history dates back more than three centuries. Over that time, Africans, Choctaw Indians, Haitians, Sicilians, Spaniards, Germans, French, Croatians and many other individuals have stirred the melting pot. Newer arrivals from places like Vietnam and Honduras are adding their own style. New Orleans bounces to its own brass band beat. The architecture is grand. The music comes from every corner. Art is everywhere — even on the water-meter covers. There are at least as many ways to experience New Orleans as there are people who have contributed to its revered culture.
Meet Stephanie Carter
Stephanie has lived in New Orleans since 1997, except for a couple of years when she bounced around Europe, Mexico, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. She is the author of “The Little Local New Orleans Cookbook,” a forthcoming book about the Louisiana go-cup, and other works.
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- If service takes a little longer than it does where you’re from, just remember that you aren’t where you’re from — and that’s the most wonderful thing in the world at the moment.
- Locals don’t usually wear beads or eat king cake outside of Mardi Gras season.
- Please put your trash and your urine where it belongs. New Orleans has a laissez-faire attitude, but public urination isn’t acceptable.