Living The Big Easy



The Big Easy



I must, least I loose my street cred, say right up front, that NO ONE in this town refers to New Orleans as ‘The Big Easy’.




This was a fabricated ‘term’ made-up by Hollywood paper-pushers to sell tickets to this movie. Well enough.



What we do refer to ourselves as is The Crescent City, the City Of Second Chances, The Center Of The Universe, and the best damn place in the whole freakin’ world to hang your hat.



What we produce (as a State) is… 70% of all the fish consumed in the USA, Movies (we’re #1 for active production with California & Canada tying for 2nd place), 30% of all agriculture (livestock feed, fruits and produce) Energy (petrol, wind, natural gas), Import/Export (both domestic and international), and shipbuilding. Well enough, but a bit boring.



Let’s discuss what we produce that we are the most proud of … great Chefs, great food, great cocktails, great architecture, great festivals, great art, great music, great times.



Why does this happen here?






I’ve given this a lot of thought and have come up with a few unique cultural differences:



The State’s Civil laws are carved from Napoleonic Codes– still. These laws are VERY female and child friendly. As such, there are a lot of happy women here. They open the businesses their former partners thought they couldn’t handle– and are laughing all the way to the bank. Ha. Ha… HA.



The region was settled by European wealth, pirates, and people that were thrown out of other places. This is a great combo- money, people who know to hide money, and people who are willing to do whatever they need to do for money create new streams of commerce. They had to learn to live together to survive the heat and the swamps. Toss in a little malaria and a revolving door of Imperial ownership (Spanish-French-Spanish-French-USA) and you get a very inclusive society that pretty much just did what they wanted. We still do.



New Orleans has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. A true ‘vivre et laisser vivre’ attitude. I real ‘I’ll do my thing, you do yours and we’ll meet for drinks’ kind of awesomeness.



I typical day goes something like this: wake-up late, go out for coffee, smell the jasmine, dance a little to the jazz tunes you hear coming over the rooftops, swing by the fishmonger, strike-up conversation with the Chefs that are in line, get an invite to join in a private party after hours at their restaurants because you’re fabulous, meet up with a girlfriend for grilled oysters and champagne in the late afternoon, invite her to the party, go home and change your single-strand day pearls for your multi-strand evening pearls, fill your to-go cup of libation while applying mascara and telling your husband there is no need for him to accompany you, call a cab, refill your to-go cup of libation, wind through our narrow streets yelling out salutations to pedestrians, get several other invitations, consider them, end up somewhere where you will eat gumbo, get the name of the stylist that does the maitre d’ drag Queen’s wigs and who tells you who you should see about getting into the back door of the Jazz club down the block where Jonny Lang is on stage with the house band tearing one up off tour, and finally, get a late night beignet, ’cause a girl’s gotta eat to keep her strength…


 …to do it all over again.



Cafe Amelie

  • Carollynn - You nailed it. That is the life. Working on making it mine.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Sounds like the Crescent City is a large slice of perfection! I must come and visit! I’ll call first . . .ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - A simple email would suffice my dear Diane. The door is always open. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Jeffrey Scott - Great Scott, what a post.
    Such information may come in handy when I come to visit the city.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - There’s a whole playbook- (I’m NOT kidding) but I can’t remember the title!! Anywho- just bring your wonderful self and the city will embrace you.ReplyCancel

  • Pia Savage - You had me at “wake up late.”
    In NY everybody has to prove how busy and productive they are so it’s wake up early.
    When I moved to South Carolina and didn’t want appointments before 10AM–8 AM if it had to do with my house renovation people would make snide comments and talk among each other about my need to sleep late—and really I just like to write without people around
    I’ve never heard anybody call NY “The Big Apple.” And lately I’ve heard Times Square referred to as “Times.” Never plus no real New Yorker would ever go there except for a play or an appointment
    You shouldn’t show that picture or talk about New Orleans to a person who is on a diet
    I did love The Big Easy–the movie. It was a perfect 1980’s romance.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - I wish I knew you when we took our vacation in New Orleans (my 10 year old son’s choice!) during pre-Katrina. Cheryl we probably walked right by your house. I must say we had some of the BEST meals there. My husband does a lot of research before we go away, so every meal was great, plus one French place we took a chance on and yum. My son was wide-eyed walking down Bourbon Street! xoxo Great post. Oysters and champagne? Book me now!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy Bleck - Love New Orleans. My aunt still lives there. I remember going to my first Mardi Gras when I was 25. Crazy town! The best part was listening to Al Hurt and sipping hot coffee and eating a freshly baked croissant on the banks of the great river at 5:30 in the morning. It was packed. No one sleeps in NOLA. It is a city that is personal in the grandest of ways. Just like you!ReplyCancel

  • Tam Warner Minton - Okay, I need to refresh my knowledge of the Napoleonic Code.ReplyCancel

  • Alison F. - I LOVE New Orleans. Went there for my honeymoon. Still miss it – miss the smells, the sounds, the people. Amazing city.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - There is simply nothing more sublime then smelling the flowers wrapping themselves around a pot of gumbo in someone’s kitchen while music trills in from above. It happens every day! I’m so lucky. *wink*ReplyCancel

  • Richard Rumple - My wife and I spent our honeymoon there. It was fantastic. Later, I lived just north in Baton Rouge and loved it. The food was tremendous. It’s impossible to find true Cajun food in Kentucky and I miss is so. May have to go back for our 40th anniversary (if I make it that long, lol). However, Ellen Barkin was really hot in the movie even if Dennis Quaid’s accent left something to be desired. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - What a magical, charmed life it sounds like you (and all the other happy women in NOLA) live. I’m delighted to live vicariously through you now and then. (And hungry now, too!)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s a HAPPY place, Lisa. I think you’d fit in perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - I’m just drooling over the food and sighing at the thought of a typical day for you!! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Of course I didn’t mention the laundry and the time I spend writing this dang blog- but you get the picture. *wink*ReplyCancel

  • Cary Vaughn - Reading this took me back to the time I went on an art-buying trip with a friend that owned a gallery in Oxford, MS. We had such a fantastic time in New Orleans and absorbed as much of the culture as we could. During one of our excursions, we found a very small bar with a live band (drummer, guitar, and bass). The bass player was a rather friendly female that strongly resembled Mick Jagger. While playing, our eyes met. She effortlessly climbed onto the bar, strolled on the bar towards me, and crouched so that she could plant her crotch in my face as she played. My art-gallery friend has a picture of this somewhere. Wonder if I can dig it up.
    Sigh. Good times. It really makes me miss New Orleans. Thank you for inspiring that flashback.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Hahahaah. That’s so NOLA! People just live their lives, and as long as you don’t hurt someone- so be it! You’d better call before your next visit!ReplyCancel

  • Doreen McGettigan - That settles it, I need to schedule another visit.
    I know there are an awful lot of pretty famous authors that live in the area too!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - There are. Some are in my neighborhood!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Oh, girl, I want YOUR life. I love New Orleans and haven’t been in at least 12 years. It’s on the list.ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - LOL Waking up late is 6:00 a.m. There is no way I could consume that amount of food or liquor now. Now being the optimum word.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Hill (@Nerthus) - I knew that Spanish settled lands tended to have more women-friendly laws than those settled by Northern Europeans, but I did not know about the Napoleonic whatever. I will have to check that out!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Child and woman friendly to keep fortunes together. It’s always about $$$. Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - You vividly convey the spirit and character of your city, with your inimitable style. A wonderful post.

    New Orleans is one the (many) places I intend to visit over the next few years. To date, New York and Florida are the only parts of America I’ve experienced. From your description, I’m sure I’m missing out.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh I hope you do Gary. I’d love to show you and your wife around!!ReplyCancel

  • Penelope Shelfer - Hell. Yes.

    Excellent article, my friend!ReplyCancel

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