Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lagniappe: 15 Things You Should Know About New Orleans

This has nothing to do with TV and everything to do with my beloved New Orleans, so I had to share considering the Super Bowl is tomorrow and Mardi Gras is only a week and a half away. Big shout out to Kenny Belau for authoring this little gem and sharing it with the Who Dat Nation via Facebook.

15 things you need to know if you are visiting New Orleans or watching any of the horrible pre-game New Orleans fluff pieces before the Super Bowl:

1: We are NOT CAJUNS! Cajuns live West of here and were never in New Orleans. We're Creole by fact, which is not Cajun. If you meet someone from New Orleans who says that they are Cajun, they are 1 of two things: Really stupid... or Cajun.

2: We DO NOT PRONOUNCE IT "N'awlins". Not sure what Middle Eastern T-shirt shop owner came up with that, but it's not from us. We say it like: "nu-ARE-lins". Some parts of town say it: "nu-AW-lee-ins". But we do NOT friggin say N'Awlins. It sounds stupid and if you're a TV personality, quit saying it!

3: We ARE NOT COUNTRY or SOUTHERN. Would you call Miami "Southern"? No. We don't wave rebel flags, wear cowboy boots or know how to do the 2-step. Nothing wrong with "Country". We're surrounded by "Country", most of us have family who are "Country". But we identify more with New York than anywhere else. Our ancestory and New York's ancestory are almost identical, except we had French and Spanish beginnings. Everything else is the same. The same Irish influx, the same Italian influx, the same German influx, plus we had a lot of Caribbean people come here, mainly from Haiti. Does that sound Country?

4: We DO NOT Speak with Southern accents. Many say we sound something like Brooklyn. I call it "Brooklyn with a dash of stupid". Just watch our local commercials and you'll see what I mean.

5: We do not eat clams. Our waters are FULL of clams but we don't serve them. Why? because we have Oysters. They are better. Much better. Better by miles and miles and miles. Like how the SuperBowl is better than all other sporting events combined.

6: You are as safe here as you would be in any major city. Yes, we have a LOT of murders, but if you aren't selling crack to a guy in a 1998 Escalade, you won't be catching any bullets. However, don't stand on the sidewalk yapping away on your iPhone. An iPhone is worth about 3 days worth of crack to a crack head. And if you're fat, you can't run down the crack head who snatched your iPhone out of your hand. He's faster than you for at least 1 city block.

7: Mardi Gras is as much for families as it is for the drunken college student found face down in a river of party gravy. Just pick your neighborhood wisely and you can see or not see whatever you want. It's the best time of year, in the best city on the planet.

8: We don't care where you are from. Seriously. No place is better than here so if you tell us where you're from, you might hear back "well I'm from right here, bitch", knowing that we just "1-upped" any response you might have about your musically impared town. We don't give a shit. Especially people from Boston. We don't give a damn about Boston or anywhere else. No one here ever leaves. Most people here don't even travel. That's a fact. We don't want to leave. Even Katrina couldn't get us to leave. New Orleans has the highest "nativity rate" in the country. Meaning: is your mother from here? is your father from here? and do you live here? Yes and you're a true native. No other city is even close. We're over 80% in that statistic. We've got better food, better music, better looking chicks, worse streets, the most corrupt politics, the worst education, the hardest core of criminals, better desserts including King Cake and we'll shout you down about all of it. Come here, enjoy yourself and tell us you're never going to leave. But we don't give a shit about Boston!

9: We eat crawfish. They're tiny lobsters. If you're from Boston, you'll love em.

10: The Saints should be in the Super Bowl. Period. Watch any TV program this weekend about the Superbowl and you'll see tons of Saints jerseys in the crowd. This is a city-wide, organized "Screw you" to the NFL. Our entire 2012 season was stolen by mismanagement of the NFL by an ambitious A-hole named Rodger Goodell. He penalized the Saints for things that were later disproved and overturned in court, but the Saints paid the price by having our coach held in house arrest and taking away his cell phone. Goodell is here this week and if he knows what's good for him, he won't eat anything while in town. Ever. People here are insane about the Saints and this man's lack of clarity and overreaching of his authority has cost the Saints an entire season. Ask any man wearing a Saints jersey this week if he'll take a murder rap for Sean Payton or Drew Brees if either men were to fly off and stick a knife through Goodell's eye. Well, you'd have a line of other Saints jersey wearers standing in line behind the first one, ready to serve the time. Did the Saints do something wrong? Probably. But they were made scapegoats for the entire "head injury" scandal that the NFL is currently trying to defend in court and the Saints did nothing every other team was doing. The whole thing stinks of corruption.

11: Take a Street Car ride. Take the green one and don't call it a "trolley". Trolleys are in San Francisco. The Street Car will take you Uptown, down St. Charles Avenue, past some of the most scenic places you'll ever see in a major city. We're not just Bourbon Street and naked breasts. Take a ride to the other parts of town in between texting your buds pictures of naked breasts. Breasts are great, but you might even see better breasts on the natives.

12: If there's a line waiting to eat, you're probably at a tourist trap, walk on. There are only 2 restaurants where a local will wait to eat and you don't know of either of them. We have more 4 and 5 star restaurants than any other city in the country, especially Boston. And we won't wait for it. Just step out of line and ask a local where to eat. If you saw it on the food channel, it probably sucks by now.

13: Find Magazine Street. Walk down it until you wear holes in your shoes. Really.

14: Ride the Ferry across the river. It's free for pedestrians and you'll have a better photo-op than any other place in the city. It's at the foot of Canal Street.

15: Move here! Houses are pretty reasonable in some areas, but if you want to look in the older areas, you can pick up a fixer-upper for next to nothing. Give yourself a year to get it ready and deal with contractors, but you'll end up with a 200 year old masterpiece with a yard for the price of a small condo in Boston. We've got more tech companies moving here these days than Silicon Valley. You can ditch one of your cars and ride that bike you paid too much for. Our winters are... well... look outside, it's February and it's 65. The cost of living is cheaper than you would expect. Get here before all that changes. The people will welcome your talents and brains like the return of the prodigal son. There's a lot you'll have to forgive living here, but there's a lot you'll never get anywhere else (See #8)

Got all that? Good.

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