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.