To say that New Orleans is a vibrant, culturally diverse city is truly an understatement. Between the colorful sights and sounds of Mardi Gras, to the historic architecture of the French Quarter, to the famous foods like beignets and jambalaya, the Big Easy has something for everyone to explore and enjoy.
However, although there are a variety of beautiful sites to see in New Orleans that will allow you to immerse yourself in the city’s culture, perhaps the most interesting sites to see in New Orleans are its people. New Orleanians are notoriously resilient, and have been able to retain their laid-back and easygoing, yet warm and welcoming attitude (hence the nickname “the Big Easy”) despite being faced with hardship after hardship.
Although the history of the city of New Orleans is a checkered one, filled with various conquests, wars, and slavery, these hardships and obstacles have only served to foster a deep sense of resiliency in its people. This is perhaps most evident in how the New Orleans community pulled together following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina landed in New Orleans. By the time it made landfall, it had decreased in strength from a Category 5 to a Category 3. Nonetheless, Hurricane Katrina is considered the costliest natural disaster, and one of the top five deadliest hurricanes, in American history, causing over $108 billion in damages. Final reports confirmed that 1,464 New Orleanians died as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Despite grappling with bleak odds and terrible conditions, the people of this city were able to come together and rebuild, even in those neighborhoods that were flooded after the levee system was overpowered by the storm. Now, almost ten years later, activities in New Orleans are all but back to normal. Many of the historic architecture and famous places in New Orleans that had been destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina have now been restored. However, the devastation that Hurricane Katrina brought upon and its people has not been forgotten.
So, while you find and enjoy all the interesting sites to see in New Orleans, don’t forget to mingle with its locals. Their hearty laughter is contagious, their positivity infectious, and their laid-back and relaxed attitude towards life is a welcome break from the constant buzz of the modern world.