N ew Orleans is piss, pride, poverty, prosperity, and po-boys. I mean that with love -- but a love I came by honestly. I was born here. I've lived here for 30 years. This city still crawls with secrets, the neighborhoods, affluent societies, and places I've heard of only as whispers. I haven't been invited, and to some I never will. But I'm inviting you into parts of New Orleans now. Because this city, and its people, are your passport to worlds you haven't yet imagined.
Your oyster shucker might be a big chief in a Mardi Gras Indian tribe, who sews beautiful suits that are rich with historical bearing but financially unappreciated by our city's tourism peddlers. Or you could run into another culture bearer who has played in second-lines since he could walk, even while earning his PhD. Your bartender might be one of the foremost authorities in the field, traveling the world to educate others on proper drinks.
Take the chance on the place no one's noticing. Great adventures, outside your comfort zone, always ride tandem with risks.
Little People's Place | Flickr/duppy5446
In the French Quarter, the more neon a place has, the less confidence it inspires.
Engage with New Orleanians. Talk long enough with locals about the city, and your questions will be addressed organically.
The author, in sunglasses, watches Wynton Marsalis play in this 1995 Michael P. Smith photo hanging in the Little People’s Place | Courtesy of L. KASIMU HARRIS


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