50th Post: The New Orleanian Scale

Huzzah! This is my 50th post, just in time for the blog’s six-month anniversary. I’ve had so much fun writing this and it’s given me a great outlet to express my thoughts. Thanks for reading! The most salient lesson I’ve learned about maintaining a blog is that when something happens that inspires me to write a post, I should do it as soon as possible. Trying to recall what was so special about a moment that occurred days–or sometimes weeks–earlier  has proven really difficult.

The (kind of) New Orleanian Scale
Being that this is my 50th post, I thought it would be a great time to take another measurement for the entirely subjective New Orleanian Scale, first established in July. This is a score in which I evaluate if I’ve undergone the experiences necessary to further my journey to become a real New Orleanian.

This is not an all-inclusive list. I’ve included venues/businesses I’ve never been to before or ones that are very New Orleanian, are  new (and therefore hip, which I attribute to being local) or because I indicated on the to-do list that I wanted to go there before.

This scale is an idea in flux–I’d love any contributions or suggestions! I don’t have anything here about shopping in the Greater NOLA area. Where do I have to shop to be a  New Orleanian? What do I have to buy? I own shirts from Dirty Coast and Defend New Orleans… Do I have to own a painting by Simon or Dr. Bob?

Music

Balcony Music Club

Hot 8 at the Howlin Wolf’s

  • Paul Sanchez at Chickie Wah Wah (+2 because Sanchez used to be in Cowboy Mouth, a seminal NOLA band)
  • Went to Harvest Fest and saw Big Sam’s Funky  Nation (+2)
  • Three Muses on Frenchman (had never been there before) (+1)
  • Cake at Mahalia Jackson Theater (Never been there before!) (+1)
  • Hot 8 at Howlin Wolf (+2) (extra point for it being the band’s weekly stint)
  • Tipitinas for their Friday Free Show (it’s just in the summer) + a show I paid for (+2)
  • Vaughns for Kermit Ruffins (This is before he announced he would start his sets his sets earlier so he could get to bed at a decent hour! He was pretty loaded when we saw him… and it was late) +1
  • Bonus: Bought two CDs from local musicians (+1)
Total: 9


Restaurants/Food

  • Bywater: Satsuma, Elizabeths (+2)
  • CBD/Warehouse District: Capdeville, Cochon Butcher, Cochon for real, Domenica for Happy Hour pizzas and drinks (+4)
  • Farmers Markets: Crescent City Farmers + Hollygrove (+2)
  • Freret St: Dat Dog, Sarita’s Grill, Ancora Pizzeria, High Hat (+3)
  • French Quarter: Gumbo Shop (+1)
  • Mid City: Venezia Restaurant, Crescent City Steakhouse, Katie’s (+3)
  •  -1 for not eating at that many restaurants in my neighborhood
  • +2 because I haven’t eaten at a lot of Mid City Restaurants because I am always eating at Boo Koo BBQ in Finn McCools and pizza at Banks St. Bar. That makes me a New Orleanian/Mid Citizen.
  • Oak St/Carollton/Riverbend: Tru Burger, Boucherie, Dantes, Oak St. Cafe (+4)
  • Uptown: Mahony’s Po Boy Shop, Cafe Atchafalaya, Dick and Jennys (+3)
  • Vietnamese Food on the West Bank (it deserves its own category, based on what I’ve heard about it!): Tan Dinh (+2 for the travel)
Total: 25

Bars

  • CBD/Warehouse District: Handsome Willy’s, W.I.N.O. (+2)
  • French Quarter: Balcony Music Club, Bar Tonique (+2)
  • Mid City: 12 Mile Limit, Banks St. Bar, Holy Ground, Pals, Bulldog (+5)
  • Marigny/Bywater: All Ways Lounge, The Country Club, Kajun’s pub (+2 cos it’s a karaoke bar, and I SANG, which is something I have RARELY done), Lost Love Lounge, , The Maison, Saturn Bar (+7)
  • Uptown/Garden District: Avenue Pub, Delachaise, 45 Tchoup (+2 cos it was on the to-do list!), Traceys (+3)
  • -1 for not going to all the Mid City bars, which is something I have pledged to do for MONTHS.
Total: 20

Theater/Film

The Rock Cats, AcroCats’ house band

  • Saw a movie at the new Canal Place (Fancy! $$$, folks) (+1)
  • Saw two movies at Zeitgeist (The Conan Documentary and the Swell Season Documentary) (+2)
  • Went to the Shadowbox Theater for Acrocats! (+1)
  • -1 for not going to the NOLA film fest
  • -1  for not going to any plays from the Fringe Fest
Total: 2

Art/Museums

Total: 5

Bob Snead’s installation for Parallel Play, by T-Lot

From the Parallel Play exhibition by T-Lot

Sacrificed Objects

Sea goddess Thalassa by Swoon, at NOMA (temporary installation)

From the Ogden’s permanent collection (apologies for no picture information!)

From the Ogden’s permanent collection (apologies for no picture information!)

by Elayne Franks Goodman from her moving Whispering Pines Series (temporary exhibit)

Outdoors

  • Have spent a lot of time on Bayou St. John–running and drinking wine (+1)
  • Have gone on numerous long bike rides to Lake Pontchartrain (+1)
  • Finally went out with the NOLA Social Ride, a weekly bike ride that took me through Mid City (+2)
Total: 3

Festivals, Celebrations, Events 

Opening night of Hell Yes Fest, staged by The New Movement.

  • Burrito Juke Joint (+1)
  • Hell Yes Fest (+1)
  • Street Fair Derby (+1)
  • Halloween (+1)
  • Bicycle Second Line (+1)
  • White Linen Night (+1)
  • -1 for not going to Voodoo Fest, which is even in my neighborhood!
  • +1 for not going to Voodoo Fest because it had a horrible lineup– so it was a genuine reaction… genuine = local

Total: +6

Misc

The list of sessions for the Bar Camp “unconference.” The sessions are not announced ahead of time– participants just post ’em up at the event.A Star Wars presentation at Bar Camp

A Star Wars presentation at Bar Camp

  • I’ve sat on my porch and talked to my neighbors (+2)
  • Finally went to Rock N Bowl! (+1)
  • My boyfriend and I moved into our own place. Moving out of sublet definitely makes me more of a local! (+1)
  • Got my hair cut here. Beginning the trek to find your own businesses for your personal routines = local (+1)
  • I’ve hung out on the North Shore multiple times (+1)
  • I’ve attended two conferences: Bar Camp and Rising Tide (+2)
  • I have a library card and have done work from a library (+1)
  • -1 for not actually checking things out from the library!
  • I did my laundry at a bar (+2)
  • I have worked out at a local gym and yoga studio (thanks Groupon!) (+2)
  • I have had business at local universities (Loyola and Xavier) (+2)
  • I ordered a cake from a bar. Doberge from 12 Mile Limit. I prefer the one from Haydels! (+1)
  • Spend a day in Baton Rouge (I’d like to go back and give it another try) (+1)
  • I finally went to a Saints game! (Yes, it was preseason, but I’ll take it!) (+1)
  • Went to an event at Fair Folks and a Goat, which is now closed. (Isn’t that hip, to go to a place that is closed?) (+1)
Total: 18

Saints vs Titans, Preseason

The doberge cake I ordered from 12 Mile Limit, in celebration of my boyfriend’s new job.

Total
78

Summary
In July I scored 36, after being here a month. However, I had just arrived and life had yet to normalize a bit. I will take the liberty to assume that a normal month’s score would be 25. In that case, my points should be at 125… I am behind!

What else do I need to do to become a  New Orleanian?

What I Still Want to Do
New items added since last time are in green.

  • 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
  • Visit Prospect 2 installations
  • See a local comedy show
  • Bacchanal
  • Visit the pool at The Country Club
  • Marckey’s Bar
  • Attend an event at The Eiffel Society
  • Parasol’s
  • Dance night at the Saint
  • Dance night at Mimi’s in the Marigny
  • St. Roch Tavern
  • Carrollton Station
  • Rebirth at the Maple Leaf (obvious)
  • Wit’s Inn
  • Family Ties
  • Yang’s Po Boys
  • Rendonn Inn
  • Willie Mae’s Scotch House
  • Dooky Chase
  • Lil Dizzy’s Cafe
  • Backstreet Cultural Museum
  • The Old Absinthe House
  • Preservation Hall
  • Cafe Amelie
  • Cowbell
  • Molly’s at the Market
  • Cafe Envie
  • Il Posto
  • Dino’s Bar & Grill
  • Southern Food & Beverage Museum
  • Cake Cafe
  • Gott Gourmet
  • Hong Kong Market
  • Squeal BBQ
  • Visit another city in Louisiana that is not Baton Rouge
  • Go to an event at the 3 Ring Circus
  • Get a book from the library
  • NOLA Healing Center
  • A Saints game that isn’t a preseason game
To Do List Suggestions from Commentors in Last Post
– Shrimp Po Boy at Brothers on Magazine
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!!!
**A  note on this** I HAVE danced late with this poster, and she is a True New Orleanian and I cannot keep up with her.  I wrote about it here

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!

Music

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

Bars
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

Outdoors

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

Food
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

Art/Museums

Ogden After Hours

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

Total: 2

Miscellaneous

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

Total
36

Summary
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