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New Orleans: My City Is Better Than Yours

The American Sector Restaurant at the National World War II Museum (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

I’ve been in New Orleans for long enough to know this place is cooler than any other city in the United States. How do I know? New Orleans oozes culture. Our food, our music, our people and celebrations are colorful, bright, brilliant, and savory. Per pound, this city throws its weight around.

Here are a few of the reasons I think New Orleans is the best city in the world:

Music Galore

Every night of the week, we have live music. From the Monday Night Super Jam at Maison to Tuesdays at Maple Leaf Bar for Rebirth Brass Band, Wednesdays at the Candlelight Lounge for Treme Brass Band, to Thursdays at Hi Ho Lounge for The Stooges— and we haven’t even hit the weekend  yet.

Those few that I have mentioned are just the a couple that I preach. There are hundreds– literally, hundreds more.  Show me a city that boasts live music 7 nights of the week, that has given birth to genres of music, and that cherishes and celebrates its musicians.

Beignets and coffee from Café du Monde for breakfast? It must be New Orleans! (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Top Chefs

We have world class chefs leading the way in amazing restaurants, like John Besh’s American Sector, Susan Spicer’s Bayona, and Donald Link’s Calcasieu, Herbsaint, Cochon, and The Butcher. Emeril Lagasse has a huge presence with three restaurants: Emeril’s, Delmonico, NOLA Restaurant, and I guess I should mention the places that have been here for generations: Galatoire’s, Antoine’s, Cafe du Monde.

Our gumbo and jambalaya and French bread beats yours any day. Our crawfish tails are bigger and our fried chicken is crispier.

Jazz Fest (Photo: Paul Broussard)

We Celebrate Great Times

We celebrate better and more than anywhere else. We’ve all heard the addage, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Well, what happens in New Orleans lasts forever. It bleeds out of you when you go home, and changes you as a human.

Talk to anyone who has spent some time in New Orleans. From Jazz Fest to Voodoo Experience to Mardi Gras (and all of Carnival), we make it happen. And– the best part about this city– our celebration is about community. We don’t celebrate in our back yards behind fences. We’re on the street, parading, sharing our crawfish boils with our neighbors.

And we have the Mighty Mississippi and the Mardi Gras Indians and and and and and. If any of this makes sense to you, you might belong here. I know I do. And maybe that’s the biggest factor in my city-challenge: knowing you belong. I belong in this cultural hot spot. I mean, where else would I go?

What are your favorite things about New Orleans? Let us know in the comment section.

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