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  • The Current UMSL

New Orleans: What Makes it so Special? What can I do There?

Many people will tell you; you can travel the whole world and never find a place like New Orleans. New Orleans is home to jazz music, delicious and unique foods, and lots of oddities you won’t find anywhere else. New Orleans is a place a lot of people want to visit, or love visiting and never want to leave. But what makes New Orleans a place where many people call home? And what kind of attractions does New Orleans have to offer?

New Orleans has a culture that will make you want to stay forever. New Orleans, nicknamed The Crescent City because of its quarter-moon shape, was isolated from the mainland for 250 years. This isolation is the reason why New Orleans’ culture is so unique, they had a quarter millennium to create it. New Orleans’ culture includes its food passed down from generation to generation. Red beans and rice, po-boy sandwiches, crawfish, and muffulettas are just to name a few. On the many hot, humid summer New Orleans days, you can stop by your local snowball stand. Snowballs are a little like snow cones, but the ice is shaved more. This makes the flavor of your choice soke down into the ice, making it even more enjoyable. They come in many different flavors and are cheap (usually a small is $1).

Apart from the food, New Orleans hosts Mardi Gras every year. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a holiday which celebrates spring and fertility. In New Orleans, Mardi Gras begins a few days after the New Year and ends around the first week of March (depending on the year). Fat Tuesday is the last day of eating fatty foods before the Lent season starts. You

can also visit Mardi Gras World. This museum will explain the full history of Mardi Gras and will also show you the float making process. New Orleans is also home of the traditional jazz funerals. In New Orleans, music is deeply invested into the way we express ourselves in life and in death. The traditional jazz funeral starts out just like any other funeral but on the way to the burial site, a party begins. A crowd of people gather, and jazz music fills the streets in what is called a Second Line parade to celebrate the life of the dead. You will most likely see people carrying decorative umbrellas and waving handkerchiefs in the air. These are symbols of the Second Line parade that have originated from many generations ago. The traditional Second Line parade can also be celebrated at a wedding. While the traditional jazz funeral celebrates the dead, the Second Line parade at a wedding celebrates a new beginning for the couple.

No matter what time of the year you decide to make a trip to New Orleans, there will

always be something happening. New Orleans is home to the Saints and football season starts in August. The Saints also host their training camps starting at the end of July. You can see the players train and buy merchandise. After each training camp session is over, the players sign autographs. Another place to visit (if you’re old enough) is Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street is filled with many bars and hang out spots. It’s a great place to be for your 21st birthday. One of my favorite attractions in New Orleans is the Death Museum. The Death Museum features a wall full of serial killers, explains how an autopsy is performed, displays different days in history where death was prominent, and a whole lot more. New Orleans has much more to offer than what I’ve said but I hope I’ve convinced you to take a trip to the Crescent City. So, what are you waiting for?


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