My husband and I were born and raised in New Orleans and moved to the Red Stick in Aug 2005, one week before Katrina…darn you hurricane!…but that’s a whole other story. Our original plan was to move back to NOLA in December after football season was over (my husband was a football coach), so he could join the New Orleans Fire Department. Fast forward 8 years…we still live in the wonderful Red Stick; we both have jobs that we love and now have two kids that we strive to teach to love everything about both cultures.
It always amazes me how two large cities, which are only 80 miles apart and an hour’s drive away, can be so different. While, both cities have a wonderful sense of family and hospitality, here are just a few ways that our cities seem to differ and ways we raise our kids to love and cherish both cultures.
NOLA is mostly Catholic and people identify themselves by which parish they belong.
BR has a huge variety of religions represented i.e. Catholic, Baptist, Non-Denominational, Lutheran, and Episcopalian. This leads to many discussions concerning religion for our children instead of just following one path.
NOLA citizens take pride and listen to local music from a young age. We expose our children to Amanda Shaw, Imagination Movers, Dr. John, and Trombone Shorty on a regular basis at French Quarter Fest (FQF) and Wednesday at the Square.
BR citizens enjoy local music, and we are always on the hunt for local music experiences that the kids can enjoy. There is Live After Five, Rock n’ Rowe, and a ton of great festivals throughout the year that feature local musicians.
(Avery meeting Amanda Shaw at French Quarter Fest.)
NOLA residents frequent music festivals, walks around the Quarter, and adventures in City Park.
BR residents frequent LSU tailgates or “LSU ‘All Day’ Day”, as my 5 year old has called it for years. They also take strolls around the lakes, splash in fountains outside of Shaw Center, and play sports at various organizations.
In NOLA, neighborhood restaurants and sno-ball stands are fixtures on almost every corner. National chain restaurants usually don’t have a large following in the city. It’s also hard to find a bad sno-balll; they all have thinly shaved ice with the perfect amount of syrup.
BR has a few family friendly neighborhood restaurants that are perfect for that last minute eating out adventure. George’s, Izzo’s, La Carreta’s, Sammy’s and Fleur de Lis Pizza are just a few of our favorites. We have been on the search for the perfect sno-ball in BR and are now loyal to SnoMan and Way Cool Snowballs.
This is one parallel for both NOLA and BR…Roar like a Tiger on Saturday, then be a Saint on Sunday.
(Bennett’s newborn picture just weeks after the Saints won the Superbowl.)
Since BR is a college town, many families have ties to other parts of the state. How do you expose your children to the cultures we call South Louisiana?