New Orleans is Special

Once you move to New Orleans, it’s impossible to not feel like you’ve become part of a special secret society that is wholly New Orleans. This “specialness” is due in large part to many things that are uniquely New Orleans. And while you may never reach the upper echelon of “born and raised” New Orleans (super secret society, but perhaps you could marry into it…), everyone who has spent more a few weeks in New Orleans knows the Big Easy is one-of-a-kind.
You’ll have to discover them all for yourself because writing about these eccentricities does not comes close to doing them all justice. Below are a few of my favorites:

Second Lines – Traditionally, the “main line” of the parade is the organizers, usually involving a brass band. The “second line” are those who follow the main line, the band and enjoy the music, usually with a very specific style of dancing. Actually, as I write this entry, I realize you really have to be part of one to fully grasp the concept.

Architecture – Yes, there are gorgeous southern mansions all over the city. But I’ve become quite familiar with the famous “shotgun house” (a.k.a. railroad apartments). This style of house is particularly popular in my neighborhood, the Marigny.

The Food – The local cuisine in New Orleans is particularly impressive. As a vegetarian, I rarely get to partake, but I live vicariously through friends! Red bean and rice, po-boys, jambalaya, shrimp creole, crawfish etouffee and all your other standard southern fare is readily (and affordibly) available all over the city.

Drinks – four words: no open container laws

There’s more: Streetcars! King cakes! French Quarter Fest! Mardi Gras Indians, Jazz funerals! Above ground cemeteries!
Come see for youself.
(Thanks to Rachael for your brainstorming efforts)