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

7 thoughts on “The New Orleanian Scale

  1. Parkway Bakery is one of my favorite spots to eat in N.O.

    Their roast beef/shrimp combo po boy is to die for!!!!!!!

    Brothers on Magazine street makes awesome shrimp po boys. Quite possibly the best in the city.

  2. Thank you! I am moving to NOLA in a little over a month on my own and reading blogs like this inspire me to not back out.

  3. Riding the streetcar was a negative? But taking the bus was added points?
    Clarify – were you riding the streetcar just to ride the streetcar (yes, negative points you silly tourist)? Or were you riding it downtown to avoid parking or just to be green (positive points)? And while I support people that take ALL types of public transportation (including the bus) that is not a very local thing to do. sad truth.

    Gumbo Shop is touristy I think… right up there with Mothers.
    Camelia grill is too – but it’s also fun & delicious so I support it! As do many locals.

    Add to your to do list –
    1) attend a boil (crawfish, crab, shrimp) worth +1
    2) boil for yourself +2
    3) host a big boil +3
    4) eat vietnamese food on the west bank
    5) join a league that involves something active + drinking (like kickball or coconut beach volleyball or a playnola sport or run with the hashers or nola social bike rides)
    6) DJ soul sista saturday night at Mimi’s
    7) dance with me at the goldmine until 4am!!!

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