The New Orleanian Scale

As of Monday, I’ve lived in New Orleans for a month!

I’m into anniversaries. They’re a fun way to celebrate life’s little victories. I also use them as an opportunity to reflect.

The (kind of) New Orleanian Scale
Being that this blog is an exploration of what it means to be a New Orleanian, I am initiating a score sheet for myself. I’ve listed some of my activities over the last month. Are these experiences part of what I need to earn to become a real New Orleanian?

This scale is an idea in flux–I’d love any contributions or suggestions!


Rebirth at House of Blues

  • Rebirth at House of  Blues. (+2) (-1 for not yet seeing Rebirth at the Maple Leaf on a Tuesday, their regular stint)
  • Heard a brass band on Frenchmen street and music at the Spotted Cat. (+2)
  • Soul Rebels at Le Bon Temps on a Thursday night. As already mentioned, I live across from Le bon Temps, so this was an easy one. (+1)
  • Saw Galactic (+1)
  • Saw Kermit Ruffins (+1) at the Blue Nile (+1) (-1 for not yet seeing Kermit at his regular Vaughns)

Total: 5

Instead of making a list of every bar I’ve been to, I’m going to list the bars that I didn’t go to the last time I lived here. Since I lived here for 11 months, any new bars I’ve patronized would be super-local.. right?

  • Uptown: Henry’s Uptown Bar (+1)
  • Marigny: Hi-Ho Lounge (+1)
  • Midcity: Bayou Beer Garden, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, The Red Door, Crescent Pie and Sausage Company (+4)
  • I have not gone to Pat O’Briens, since that is a tourist bar. (+1)
  • I have not drank until 4 a.m. (-2)

Total: 6


A view of the Mississippi from the Fly

  • Running on the St. Charles streetcar line (+1)
  • Audobon Park (+1)
  • City Park (+1)
  • Went to the Fly and brought a daiquiri with me (+2)
  • Lagniappe: I have been outside despite the fact that the heat and humidity make me want to die. (+1)

Total: 6

Festivals, Celebrations, Events

New Orleans Zephrys game

Total: 6

This is a difficult one. Instead of listing every place I’ve eaten, I’m going to include the places that seem very New Orleanian:

  • Plum St. Snowballs (+1)
  • Parkway Bakery (+1)
  • Cafe du Monde (+1) [I am unsure if this is a +1 or -1. In my experience, locals AND tourists go to this spot. Thoughts?]
  • Creole Creamery (+1)
  • Slim Goodies (+1)
  • The Trolley Stop (+1)
  • Liuzza’s by the Track (+1)
  • Ate a Doberge cake from Haydels in Metarie (+1)

Total: 8


Ogden After Hours

  • Ogden After Hours (+1)
  • Hipster art party in the Bywater (+1)

Total: 2


This is the feral cat that I love. I call him My Friend.

  • I have bumped into people I know when out and about. (+2)
  • I rode the bus. (+2)
  • I rode the streetcar (-1)
  • Toured the NOLA Brewery (+1)
  • Went to a Yacht Music/Bounce dance party (+1) but did not dress up (-2)
  • I have driven over the Causeway to visit friends in Mandeville (+1)
  • I have pet many, many feral cats. More than one New Orleanian (and my boyfriend) have told me not to do this. (-1)

Score: 3


Wow, I’ve done a lot of things!Being unemployed means you have a lot of free time. Jokes!

I suspect that once I’ve been here for awhile I’ll have done everything that I want to do, at least once. Will that make me a local? With that logic, a lower score on the New Orleanian Scale would be better. Or maybe in the initial months it is better to have a higher score…?

Or maybe you can’t quantify what it means to be part of a city’s fabric. Nonetheless, there is more to see and do!

What I Still Want to Do (List in Progress)

  • World War II Museum
  • Lousiana State Museum
  • Civil War Museum
  • Historic New Orleans Collection
  • Big Fisherman Seafood
  • 45 Tchoup
  • Cafe Reconcile
  • Visit a nature-type thing outside of the city
  • Visit another city in Louisiana
  • Go to a Gulf-Coast beach
  • Camelia Grill
  • Chickie Wah Wah
  • Gumbo Shop
  • Preservation Hall
  • Rock N Bowl
  • Vaughns
  • Tipitinas