The Soul of New Orleans
Music, culture and identity in the city that never sleeps.
It’s hard to find a city in the United States that looks like New Orleans or better combines the music, style, cuisine and spirit of different cultures. Together with yourasteria.com, we help open the door to this magical city that never goes to sleep.
Foundation in French and Spanish
The first pages of New Orlean’s history were written by decree of Jean-Baptiste Le-Moine de Bienville in honor of the regent of France, the Duke of Orleans, Philip II.
From 1762 (legally) and 1769 (in fact) until 1803, the Spanish crown ruled these lands. In 1803, in the wake of the Louisiana Purchase, the city was sold to the Americans.
The Americans managed the settlement better than the French and Spanish and, within 40 years, New Orleans was the fourth-largest city in America. Every inch of the city is steeped in history. New Orleans has retained French, Spanish and Caribbean architecture.
Sadly, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina nearly wiped out this beautiful city. But thanks to an incredible effort, almost all buildings were reconstructed and the French Quarter was saved.
Today, tourists can stroll through the old French Quarter or ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the stone streets, just as they did 150 years ago.
A visit to New Orleans alone makes a trip to the United States worthwhile. The air is filled with music, and endless outdoor cafes invite you to sit in the shade of the awnings and sip coffee or a cocktail. Musicians, artists and fortune tellers line the sidewalks of the French Quarter, ready to provide souvenir to take home.
A Gastronomic Paradise
New Orleans cuisine is considered the most delicious in America—a French base combined with ingredients added by immigrants worldwide. The Spanish contributed onions, red bell peppers and celery. The Italians added tomatoes. African and Caribbean immigrants added hot peppers and spices.
In some of the city’s most historic restaurants, you can taste deliciously cooked seafood, especially oysters and lump crabmeat. The interiors of many establishments are lush and colorful, with hidden courtyards offering private dining experiences.
In these latitudes, alligators are on the menu as well. You can try its meat fried in small cafes or buy it in the supermarket and grill it with spicy tomato sauce.
A special treat is to visit the French Market for a vast selection of spices and other culinary goods to take home.
Home of Jazz
New Orleans is the cradle of jazz music and the birthplace of jazz, the most beautiful musical style in the world.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a new style of jazz emerged, incorporating folk music from around the world, in addition to blues, ragtime and brass band music. Louis Armstrong and Joe “King” Oliver presented their first performances to New Orleans audiences in the early 1920s. Jazz orchestras and brass bands in New Orleans are countless today. In this city, everyone everywhere is playing music. And if you were going to propose and offer dainty engagement rings to your loved ones, the streets filled with second-line parades or a cozy jazz club would be the place to do it.
Nighttime Entertainment and Attractions
The central street in the New Orleans French Quarter is Bourbon Street, a kind of analog to the Red Light Street in Amsterdam. In the evening, this street gathers all the tourists to the city, along with the most cheerful and unusual residents.
New Orleans is also home to many Black Americans and is the center of voodoo culture in the U.S. As the witch doctors say, voodoo is a religion that unites people’s souls and brings back self-respect. In addition to many stores selling various souvenirs, New Orleans has a Historic Vodoo Museum on Dumaine Street.
Most cities in America have nicknames that reflect the characteristics of a particular place. New Orleans’ nickname, The Big Easy, alludes to the free atmosphere on the streets and the carefree flow of life in this entertainment and culinary center that will leave you wanting to come back for more.