Kudos for Embracing the Heat, New Orleans

I'm getting really excited because one of my best friends from college, Hilary, is coming to visit this weekend. She’s one of my more adventurous friends, so she asked if we could go on a swamp tour. I of course said yes because I have never been on a swamp tour before, but I’m a tad apprehensive about one thing: it is going to be HOT.

Just like everyone else, I’ve been complaining and small talking about the heat this week. It seems like the temperature took a quick glance at the calendar and thought, “Oh right, it’s August. Time to show these folks what I can do.” Every time I take the dog out or walk to my car in the morning, I start sweating. One of my friends once described the summer humidity here as the inside of a mouth; when you open your mouth outside, you can't feel a difference.

But even though I detest this heat, I have also been impressed by how New Orleanians let the unpleasant weather inspire fun activities. Example: White Linen Night, a fundraiser for the Contemporary Arts Center. I went to the event last weekend and thought it was such a pretty evening. Everyone was in white on Julia Street and it all looked very fancy. Yes, it was humid, but I got a free fan to keep myself cool, plus lots of free beer coozies and even a $50 gift card from BP.

I have since learned there are a lot of other nights devoted to linen, including Dirty Linen Night, which is coming up this Saturday, Aug. 10. Seersucker, another fabric that’s great for the heat, got a shout-out at the beginning of the summer with Sippin’ in Seersucker, which raised money for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

And then there’s COOLinary New Orleans. I've heard this is a good way for us twenty-somethings to try out the nice restaurants in New Orleans that we can't afford yet. There are special deals such as a three-course lunch for $20 or a three-course dinner for $35. I have read that the purpose is to get people in the city's restaurants in August since the month is usually a slow one. Galatoire's for cheap? Count me in!

I understand why August is New Orleans' slow time; why visit the city in the hottest month when you can come for Carnival in a cooler month? But I applaud locals for making the most of the miserable weather and turning it into something that helps out a local organization or business.

So this weekend, I will definitely be sweating on my swamp tour and wherever else Hilary and I decide to explore. I will, however, try to keep my complaining about the heat to a minimum. New Orleans is hot, but clearly New Orleanians don’t let that stop them from having fun. The fun never stops here, even in the off-season.

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