The Locals-Only Guide to New Orleans

Julia Millay Walsh

Ten years ago today, as a student at Tulane University, I was evacuating New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina was barreling toward the coast.

I didn’t know what would become of my city. For days, I waited with bated breath, glued to the television, hoping the storm would dissipate, wondering how my school, my home, and my favorite people and places would fare.

In the end, I was lucky, losing my car and little else. I was privileged, living in a nice neighborhood that endured minimal flooding. And had I lost it all, I would have had a nice family home to go back to. I was even luckier to be able to return to New Orleans and watch the city rebuild itself, a luxury still not afforded to thousands.

Over the following two years, I enjoyed seeing some of my most beloved haunts reopen after renovations, energized by the spirit of the community. I saw new businesses open with fresh ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit—signs of a modern city on the horizon. Every time I return to that fair city (yearly, if I’m lucky), I can’t wait to visit my old favorites, and I’m thrilled to discover a restaurant or shop I’ve never seen before.

I’ve grown to love this dichotomy of old and new in New Orleans today... and you will, too. Without further ado, I bring you my locals-only guide—a little bit of the old, a little bit of the young, and a lot of good times ahead.

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