It’s one of the few places with the highest levels of diversity and cooperation. French aristocrats, Anglo-Americans, Creoles from Saint-Domingue and revolutionary Haitians on the run, Filipinos, Africans from the slavery era, Sephardic Jews, and waves of immigrants from Europe all made New Orleans their permanent home; and the smugglers, gamblers, prostitutes, and pirates who often docked in the ports of New Orleans connecting Northern America to the rest of the world all brought their languages, cuisines, art forms and entertainment with them. Although political corruption and poor education ratings suggest a harsher reality, the clear integration of different cultures in almost every industry says otherwise. Ask anyone off of the streets of New Orleans, and they’ll say they’re ahead of their time.
Food in New Orleans is nothing short of sacred. Unlike other cities, who can boast many different cuisines from their multicultural populations but are just experimenting with fusian foods for the first time, New Orleans did it first and did it best. As soon as Cajun food was born, it erupted into an eternally flowing volcano of flavor and worship.
Bourbon Street Jazz
And when it comes to music, New Orleans is Mecca. A career is a labor of love. Without loving the music, a musician can never make it there – and “making it” there is, in fact, measured by love. Money has always been the second priority, and according to the local musicians and local music-lovers alike, it always will.
That love is palpable. You can see, smell, and feel it in the air. Between the food, the music, the art, and nature relentlessly painting its beauty onto every surface of the city, it is one of the few places on earth where love truly does conquer all. And that just might be why everyone walks away in love with New Orleans.
Jay, a traditional jazz, punk, country, rock, hip-hop musician, breaks it down like this: “If you want a career in music, go to New York or Los Angeles. But if you want to live the music and play it until you die, come to New Orleans…Commercial success is not the measure. It may be the last interesting city in America where it’s possible to be a bohemian.”