In 2018, New Orleans celebrates its 300th birthday. One of the best features of this city is the little aspects you don’t notice. The hustle of the people who live and work there.
Every major city has a hustle, but few are as focused on hospitality as New Orleans, a premiere tourist destinations in the United States. In 2016, nearly 10.5 million people visited the city, dropping $7.4 billion. Mardi Gras alone on average brings in 1.4 million people. On a typical weekend, the city seduces thousands of visitors with music and libations.
Mediocrity doesn’t reside in the public areas of New Orleans. Stop in a bar to listen to live music early in the afternoon, and you’ll find a band that would headline most cities. One Cajun or seafood restaurant is better than the next. Signature cocktails reside at nearly every bar.
What makes it work are the people. Watch the servers run around Café Du Monde Coffee on a busy weekend, when the line to get in stretches around the block. The bartenders on Bourbon Street dance behind the bar, synchronized with their counterparts and seldom spilling a drop. Even the shoe shine guy has a story or a joke that will soon part an inebriated tourist from his cash.
The city offers activities from early morning until…early morning. Coffee, beignets, and the vendors around Jackson Square appease the early risers. Maybe a walk along the Mississippi River or through local tourist shops. During the day, Segway and bike tours fill the streets of the French Quarter.
The party starts early in New Orleans. By early afternoon, the bars on Bourbon Street are busy, and there is plenty of music all around. When one bad stops and the bar closes, the neighboring one will just be starting. Segways are replaced by ghost and vampire tours walking the narrow streets.
Bars are open late, and once they close the party moves to the street. You can drink outside the bars in New Orleans, so when you leave at night, your beverage comes with you, helping continue the festivities. Musicians take over corners and food carts provide nourishment. The fun continues until the sun rises.
Meanwhile, bars and businesses prepare for the next day, and the hustle goes on.