above:street sign in New Orleans courtesy of videotechservices.com
I recently booked a flight down to NOLA for my family and I to visit my best friend who’s a student of Tulane University. Tons of people visit Nawlins solely to celebrate Mardi Gras. Others visit for Bourbon St. and the Quartier Francais. Others are drawn just from rumors about the amazing culinary and musical experiences. I fall into the small subcategory of Drawn to NOLA by Galia Binder. Now that she lives there, the fact that New Orleans is also a new and exciting cultural endeavor is simply the cherry on top. After visiting initially and learning a bit more about the spirit and feel of the city, I’m now also majorly enticed by my visits because of the countless adventures to be had and learning about how a different people goes about day to day life. I would say in this case I’m as much a “local” there as I am a tourist–that’s to say many now locals in Nola are originally from someplace else, and I’m a tourist simply because I’m making other people’s banality my own entertainment, as Jamaica Kincaid defines tourism in her article “The Ugly Tourist.” The thing that will never be banal about New Orleans compared to many other American cities, is the spirit of celebration that happens daily in the streets, stores, or on the radio. This sort of celebration is a slower pace that promotes relaxation much more effectively than a weekend at a beach.