New Orleans is one of the most culturally distinct cities in the country. It’s a mishmash of distinct heritages, each with plenty to offer in their own right. The city attracts many visitors from around the country, and indeed the world, who come here for the music, for the museums, to take a nice quiet evening stroll down bourbon street, and of course the annual Mardi Gras Festival.
But every year, many people relocate their whole life and move to Nola. Which can lead to a very different experience than spending a long weekend in the French Quarter. If you’re one of those people who are planning a move to New Orleans, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of things to know before moving to New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Culture of New Orleans is Diverse
New Orleans culture has a bit of everything. Native American, Spanish, French, Creole, Afro-American, English, Catholic, Voodoo, the list goes on. And the influences are apparent everywhere. From the music, the architecture, the food, the accents, the politics and infrastructure, nothing in Nola is homogenous. You can be sure of one thing when you move here: you’ll experience a wealth of cultures at their most authentic.
Learn the Vernacular
Being such a unique culture, naturally, New Orleanians have their own vernacular. Strangers will certainly call you “baby” on a daily basis. Making groceries = grocery shopping. Rather than soda, coke, or pop, it’s a “cold drink.” “Ax” instead of “ask.” “By” instead of “at.” The list can go on and on. But the important thing to remember is that isn’t even a southern accent; it’s a New Orleans dialect.
Beware of the Hustlers
If you plan on spending any time downtown, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the numerous scams you may encounter. Like any big city, Nola has its share of hustlers. The best tool to avoid these is a simple “I’m good, thanks.”
“Hey man, I bet I can tell you where you got those shoes.” “I’m good, thanks.”
“Hey y’all, I’ve got a rap for you.” “I’m good, thanks.”
“You folks want to play three-card monte” “We’re good, thanks.”
You get the idea. In general, if strangers are coming up to you on the street, it’s not for any benevolent reason. They’re trying to leave with more money in their pockets than they approached you with.
The Roads. Oh, the Roads
The infamy of New Orleans roads will never be lived down. Despite the construction, you’ll see everywhere at all times; the city can’t seem to fill in the endless potholes. It may be best to use the streetcars.
But the Food!
On the short list of things people love about Nola, the food has got to be near the top. Whether it’s in the restaurants or your neighbor’s backyard, you can’t beat those crawfish boils. And if you’re not a fan of seafood, there’s plenty more world-famous Cajun, barbeque, and fine dining to choose from. You’ll never run out of new and interesting places to try.
The New Orleans Experience
Nola can’t be fully experienced in a few days. If you’re lucky enough to be relocating to this great city, you’re in for the most unique blend of cultures in the country. So make sure you get yourself a good New Orleans moving company, and c’mon down!