POSTED Fri. Sep 5, 2014

New Orleans Moments

Why New Orleans Will Always Beat Atlanta
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

The Saints play their season opener against the Falcons on Sunday, which has prompted the usual outpouring of dirty bird trash talk in New Orleans.

When we discuss great sports rivalries in this country, it seems like the Northeast always gets mentioned above other regions, and there’s a precedent for that. It’s basic proximity; the cities – and their fan bases – are mushed together. A Jets supporter can find themselves in Giants territory in 30 minutes if they head in one direction, and in Eagles territory if they head an hour in another. Divisional rivals like the Giants and Redskins are a half day’s drive away. Atlanta, on the other hand, is eight hours away.

And yet, the Saints-Falcons enmity has the same level of passion of an old school East Coast sports rivalry, even if the vitriol isn’t quite as venomous. That isn’t to say Southerners can’t be as crude and offensive when it comes to sports. But I I feel like that sort of poison is generally reserved for college ball.

ESPN gives a great little breakdown of the history of the rivalry here, but I want to take it a step further, beyond this quote: New Orleans is Saturday night, Atlanta is Sunday morning. New Orleans is etouffee and a Pimm’s cup, Atlanta is Chick-fil-A and a Coke. In Atlanta, you put a tie around your neck; in New Orleans, it’s Mardi Gras beads.

Because hey, that’s a great quote. It nails a lot. But it doesn’t quite get at why we are a superior city. That’s where I step in.

For one, we’re a city. Atlanta? It’s a region, a series of suburbs connected by clogged highways lacking a cohesive center. You can’t call yourself a city when the suburbs overwhelmingly dominate civic life. This state of affairs is the reason why the Braves are moving out to Marietta, to a ‘burb a metro Atlantean can’t even access via his own town’s public transportation network. Yes, we have Metairie and Hammond, but urban life in Louisiana marches to the beat of the New Orleans drum. In Atlanta, the social compass might as well point to Woodstock, which lays over a hour north.

The uniformity and isolation of Atlanta’s suburbs does make them appealing to a broad base of population, and I commend their demographic variety; my sister-in-law lives near Kennesaw, and as strip mall-centric as that area is, it’s heavy with immigrant enclaves as well. But those communities are enclaves – self isolated and alienated. New Orleans may not be as ethnically diverse as Atalanta, but our small proportions force us to exist within a melting pot, one that’s been simmering for centuries and has created gumbo, jazz and some of the world’s greatest architecture. Our meting pot is hardly a perfect one, but it is, by dint of our river-bound geography unavoidable.

You have to learn to live in close proximity to all kinds – be they of different race, class or sexuality – if you want to live within the borders of Orleans parish. I love that. Living within close proximity forces different demographics to both appreciate difference while cultivating a sense of self. Proximity forces one to create community, and in this town, the bonds of community are marked via festivals, rituals and celebration – in short, culture, which is the private and public expression of community. In Atlanta, community is the cars you cuss out under your breath while you’re stuck on 285, and culture is a shopping trip to Buckhead.

We’ve managed, in New Orleans, to cultivate an incomparably distinctive sense of place. Said place isn’t always pretty – there are issues of corruption, poverty and violence that plague us on a daily basis – but our soil is as deep as it is muddy, and we are rooted in it. In Atlanta, self-proclaimed Southerners will tell you their home is distinctive and special even as they expound on the matter from the 88th variation of Peachtree Road, on a cul de sac you could plop into Seattle.

So Who Dat. Because however the game goes on Sunday, I’ll go home with this knowledge: on any given day, I can look out my door and know, by sight, smell and taste, that I am home in New Orleans. If I look out a door in Atlanta, all I see are houses that fit in anywhere, which means they truly end up being nowhere.

POSTED May 16, 2019


Bayou Boogaloo & You!

Bayou Boogaloo & You!

In the seemingly never-ending string of festivals New Orleans hosts all year round Bayou Boogaloo (Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19) is one of the standouts. Since…....

Written by NEW ORLEANS & ME
POSTED Mar 18, 2019

New Orleans Moments

The New Orleans & Me Guide to Irish Pubs

The New Orleans & Me Guide to Irish Pubs

Celebrate your Irish heritage — or that buddy of yours who always talks about their Irish heritage (we all have one) — with a good old-fashioned Gaelic pub…....

Written by NEW ORLEANS & ME
POSTED Dec 14, 2018


Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Hey, the weather outside is kind of frightful! About as frightful as it gets down here anyways (also, note that next week temperatures will be back in the…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED Feb 28, 2018


Off To The (Wiener) Races...

Off To The (Wiener) Races...

We often stress on this site the unique nature of New Orleans. The one of a kind confluence of cultures, ethnic groups, immigration patterns and geographic conditions that…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN

    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.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook