I’ve been a New Orleans resident for exactly two weeks. I’ve moved into a traditional shotgun style house, started a business and have been called “baby” countless times. Having only enjoyed this city as a tourist, I’m thrilled to be here permanently. The culture and the people here are amazing and there is just so much more to this city than the French Quarter. After vagabonding through S.E. Asia for a year, New Orleans feels like the right place to be.
I’ve been humbled by the hospitality and generosity of the people. It’s just a way of life here. The New Yorker in me is waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me, but the New Orleanian love just continues. Our first weekend in NOLA was the last weekend of Jazz Fest. We weren’t planning on going, there was too much to unpack and I was eager to get settled in our new, quirky house.
On Sunday afternoon, the last day of the Fest, we decided to step out for a walk and made it 3 steps from our front porch when our neighbor Gary asked us if we wanted to go to Jazz Fest – he had a free ticket and thought we would want to go, being new to the city and all. We stared at each other wide-eyed and before we could say anything Gary called another neighbor who gave us a second ticket for a laughable price. I was mind blown. Tickets like this would sell for a lot of money on Craigslist or the like, but our neighbors insisted we must experience one of the best festivals in the city that happens only once a year. We profusely thanked Gary and then our other neighbors, Dan and John, strolled by and heard we were going to Jazz Fest. They told us to hang on a sec and went to get us VIP entrance tickets to the Miller Beer tent along with an absurd amount of free drink tickets and two bikes to ride up Esplanade to get to the concert! As we rode up to the Fairgrounds with huge smiles on our faces, I knew I was home.
Fast forward a few days later and I really feel like a local because we bought bikes! Yahoo! New York City wants to be bike friendly, but get real, sh*t is scary on your bike in NYC. Anytime I was on two-wheels there I was white-knuckled, praying for my life and hoping that a taxi didn’t run me off the road. Here, beach cruisers are the norm and all bikes have drink cup holders that are not designed for water bottles :). This week is Bayou Boogaloo, a local festival in mid-city and apparently it’s a right of passage to show up on your bicycle. I can’t wait.
I have to admit, it’s all a bit overwhelming. There is so much to do, eat and drink…ALL THE TIME. Time management is tricky here, very tricky.
The best piece of advice I’ve received about the city is to pace yourself. There’s always second lines to dance in, booze flowing, decadent food to enjoy and more festivals than you can possibly imagine. In the spirit of all things PartyGirlFit, balance is key. As always, a good sweat session always makes me feel better and I’ve found my favorite spot to run and watch life go by the mighty Mississippi…
To becoming a New Orleanian,
Party Smart. Sweat Smarter.