Jan 2, 201309:37 AM
Dispatches from a New Orleans Newcomer
Questions About New Orleans from Yankees
This is my brother on Christmas morning using Coach on a Stick from Fleurty Girl. New Orleans stocking stuffer!
Chris and I spent Christmas week (and my birthday week!) in Missouri at my parents' house, celebrating the holiday season with family and friends. And like any hometown trip, I ran into people from high school, reminisced about yesteryear and found old gems from my youth, like a Ricky Martin cassette tape.
I'm the first person of my family and friends to move to New Orleans, so I got a lot of questions about life here. Here are some of my favorites and my thoughts about them.
"Is it Mardi Gras there all the time?"
No, but New Orleanians do like to party. Walk through the Quarter and you're sure to see some bachelor party being celebrated or some business meeting attendees letting loose. And now with Mardi Gras coming up, I've been seeing lots of King Cakes and Mardi Gras decorations.
"How hot is it? Do you miss the cold?"
So I was really excited to go North for Christmas because of all the winter stuff that I can't get here. (Snow! Mittens! Cute coats!) However, once I stepped outside and felt the chilly Midwest air sting my nose, I started to miss mild, balmy New Orleans. Well, I can't wait to see snow! I thought. But it only snowed once while I was there, and it wasn't enough to stick to the ground. Not quite the winter wonderland I was hoping for... So I do miss snow, but I don't miss being cold all the time.
"How are you liking the food?"
"You don't sound like you have an accent yet."
I think this is a myth about New Orleans and the South in general. I haven't met a ton of people that have the Southern accent I was expecting. And I have not adapted to "y'all" yet.
"I heard New Orleans is corrupt."
The fiscal cliff was looming when I was in Missouri, so naturally there was a lot of talk about politics and politics in New Orleans. I usually let Chris, a political science professor, field these, but I did have some stuff to share about corruption in New Orleans after reading this story from the latest issue of New Orleans Magazine about the Orleans Parish School Board.
"Are they really racist in New Orleans?"
This is another myth about the South, at least from my perspective. You find racism everywhere. I interviewed Melissa Harris-Perry on my last blog post, and I think she said it best: “People in the North are always like 'Oh those Southern racists,' but we’re the ones actually figuring race out. We’re the ones actually working on it. We’re the ones actually dealing with all the complicated effects.”
Well said, MHP.
"What are you doing for New Year's?"
I spent my first New Year's Eve in the French Quarter and it was great! Probably some of the best people watching I've ever experienced. Especially when I walked by a group of girls and overheard one say, “I love that we can drink outside here. There are NO RULES!!!!!!”
Happy 2013, everyone!