POSTED Thu. Aug 1, 2013
Welcome to the Neighborhood(s)
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

We’re called New Orleans & Me. Half of that equation is you, our readers. And the rest is New Orleans: our audience, as well as our inspiration.

And while New Orleans is more than the sum of her parts, she is very much her constituent pieces as well. Those pieces – those building blocks – are the neighborhoods of New Orleans. They are the small cities-within-the-city-that-makes-the-city; the okra, chicken and sausage (or oysters or crabs or whatever) in the gumbo; the scales on the trumpet.

They’re integral.

And they’re different. New Orleans, contrary to her very name, is old. She was originally a walled fortress for the French, later a trading outpost for the same nation, then a prize for the Spanish, then a purchase for the Americans. A beacon for Jews, Irish, Italians and Vietnamese. A sometimes prison, sometimes workshop, sometimes palace for those of African descent.

We’d be lying if we said all those histories and cultures just got along with a handshake and a smile. But their tensions and rivalries, their loves and dialogues, are the backdrop and the original zoning map. When Americans weren’t welcomed by the French, they bought up plantation land up river that would become Uptown. When the Irish got the cold shoulder from the Americans, they carved their channel out of the Lower Garden District. The children of placage grew up in the Treme, across the street from a Red Light district that gave birth to jazz.

If you look at a map of congressional districts, you see counties or parishes as one solid color block, whereas cities are a multi-hued skittles bag of interests. Those little blobs reflect different demographics and history, and represent difference and variety. The spice of life, if you will, and in New Orleans, we’re partial to hot sauce.

In an effort to better understand our city, we are going to examine her one neighborhood – one ingredient, one musical note – at a time. For each month, we’ll dissect a New Orleans neighborhood inside and out, with profiles of events, businesses, people and places. And in August, that hottest and slowest of months, we’re starting by the breezy river. The Riverbend, that is, and green and leafy Carrollton.

Welcome to New Orleans & me. And starting in August, welcome to the neighborhood.


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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