POSTED Mon. Feb 17, 2014

A few reminders of what makes this snowflake so special.

A few reminders of what makes this snowflake so special.
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

While exploring the city during this Krewe de Vieux weekend, I saw plenty of reasons to be grateful to live in New Orleans. I’m not just saying this in a rah-rah, civic booster blogger kind of way . This morning, I (stupidly) clicked on the comments section of a New Orleans news link to see if I could find out more past the initial article. I was greeted with a bunch of mouth breakers farting on about how New Orleans is a cesspool only inhabited by thugs and animals – language so weakly coded and offensive it would make me mad, if I didn’t pity the people writing it.

They’ll never get how good it can be here. And it’s a shame, because most of the worst insults cast at New Orleans came from our fellow Louisianans. Oh well. Here’s some of the things they’re missing.

1 Unicorn car.

You know what? I’m not into unicorns or anything. But I’m into a place that’s so comfortable with itself, a random feels good with painting a unicorn mural on their wheels. You go, unicorn worshiper.

2 A playful sense of anarchy.

No pedestrians past this point – unless it’s several hundred pedestrians led by the Rebirth Brass Band, followed up by a truck blaring some crunk hip hop. This is from the Second Line on Sunday. A nice illustration that we follow the rules, unless the rules need to be…well, not broken, as there was a police escort. But sometimes, the rules need to be shifted so we can have a parade.

3 Well, breaking the rules isn't always bad.

Just now, I said we live in a city that likes to bend, as opposed to break, the rules. Well, let’s be fair – sometimes we out and out break the rules too. Like this guy, who was dancing on top of the skeleton of a building on St Claude. I mean, why not? Well, death and injury I suppose – but he tightrope walked across the beams, did a dance and entertained the crowd.

4 We're still good for kids.

Don’t ever forget that. A kid grows up here and they come of age in a city with plenty of issues. But they’re also enveloped in a magic that fosters imagination, discovery and community. This is a simple picture. It’s a kid in red wagon. But the feather in the hair of the mom really makes it that much more different and quintessentially New Orleanian.

5 There's a reason we're called the Big Easy

Do we follow the advice in this graffiti to our detriment? Sometimes. But what the haters don’t get is this: New Orleans can take a load off and simultaneously create one of the most uniquely livable cities anywhere. The load we take off has as much to do with preconceived notions and prejudices, the same prejudices that keep our critics from really experiencing the magic of this town beyond a drunk stumble on Bourbon. Their loss. their load will lay heavy on their heads. We’ll be dancing on building frames and marching in no pedestrian zones to Rebirth.


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    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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