The Big Easy
The origin of the nickname “The Big Easy” for New Orleans is not entirely clear, but there are a few theories about its origin. One theory is that the name originated from musicians in the 1960s who found New Orleans to be an easy-going place to perform in compared to other cities with more strict and rigorous performance schedules.
Another theory is that the nickname was used to refer to the city’s carefree lifestyle and relaxed pace of life, with its abundance of music, food, and culture. Some also suggest that the nickname may have come from a reference to its early 20th-century red-light district, which was referred to as “The Big Easy” due to its relaxed attitudes towards vice and pleasure.
Things To Do In The Big Easy
Spending a few days in New Orleans is a great way to add some excitement and culture to a road trip along the Gulf Coast. The city, known as the Big Easy as well as the Paris of the South, is a paradise for creole cuisine, history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and, of course, party-goers. There are plenty of things to do in New Orleans not related to Mardi Gras.
Since the time zone in the Big Easy is central standard time, it is not a difficult adjustment. If you are coming from the eastern standard time zone or the mountain standard time zones, you are only a one-hour difference in either direction. Your internal time clock will find the central time zone to be an easy adjustment
- French Quarter: The French Quarter is the historic heart of New Orleans, with its iconic architecture, music venues, restaurants, and bars. Some must-see spots in the French Quarter include Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, and the St. Louis Cathedral.
- Garden District: The Garden District is a picturesque neighborhood with stunning historic homes, gardens, and tree-lined streets. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood to see some of its highlights, including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
- National World War II Museum: This museum is one of the top-rated museums in the country and offers an immersive and informative experience of the events of World War II.
- New Orleans Museum of Art: The New Orleans Museum of Art houses an extensive collection of American and European art, as well as important works by regional artists.
- City Park: This park is one of the largest urban parks in the country and features beautiful gardens, walking trails, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Visitors can also rent bikes and explore the park’s many attractions.
- Streetcars: New Orleans is known for its iconic streetcars, which offer a unique way to see the sights. Visitors can take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar to see some of the beautiful homes and neighborhoods.
- Music: New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz, and visitors can experience live music performances in various venues throughout the city, including the famous Preservation Hall.
- Food: New Orleans is famous for its cuisine, including dishes like gumbo, crawfish, and jambalaya. Visitors can sample these and other local specialties at restaurants and cafes as well.
- Cemeteries: New Orleans is famous for its above-ground cemeteries, which are known as “Cities of the Dead.” Each cemetery has its own unique history and cultural significance. The practice of above-ground burial in New Orleans has a few different origins, including the city’s high water table and its history of French, Spanish, and African influences. No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to at least one cemetery. Here are some of the most well-known cemeteries in New Orleans and why they are famous:
- St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: This cemetery is the oldest and is the final resting place of many famous New Orleanians, including voodoo queen Marie Laveau. The cemetery is known for its above-ground tombs and intricate ironwork.
- Lafayette Cemetery No. 1: This cemetery is located in the Garden District and is known for its picturesque setting and well-preserved above-ground tombs. The cemetery has been used as a filming location for several movies and TV shows, including “Interview with the Vampire” and “American Horror Story: Coven.”
- St. Roch Cemetery: This cemetery is dedicated to St. Roch, the patron saint of healing and protection from disease. The cemetery is known for its striking chapel and unique tomb designs, including tombs that resemble small houses.
- Metairie Cemetery: This cemetery is located just outside of New Orleans and is the final resting place of many notable figures, including former Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long and author Anne Rice. The cemetery is known for its elaborate tombs and monuments, including a replica of a Gothic castle.
- Greenwood Cemetery: This cemetery is located in the heart of New Orleans and is the final resting place of many jazz musicians and other notable New Orleanians. The cemetery is known for its ornate ironwork and above-ground tombs.
Is the Big Easy Dangerous?
Like any major city, New Orleans has its share of crime, and visitors should take precautions to ensure their safety. However, most of the tourist areas are generally safe, and many visitors enjoy a trouble-free visit. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, take common-sense safety precautions, and avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar or isolated areas.
According to recent crime statistics, the Big Easy has a higher-than-average crime rate compared to other cities in the United States. The most common crimes are property crimes, such as theft and burglary, but violent crimes such as robbery and assault can also occur. Although the crime rate has been decreasing in recent years, unfortunately, 2022 may reverse that trend.
However, visitors who exercise caution and common sense can enjoy a safe and enjoyable visit to the area.
In conclusion, while the origin of the nickname “The Big Easy” for New Orleans is uncertain, the city’s vibrant culture and relaxed lifestyle continue to attract visitors from all over the world. With its historic landmarks, museums, parks, and delicious food, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in the Big Easy. While crime can be an issue in some areas, visitors can take precautions and enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip to this iconic city, full of rich history. Overall, the city remains a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the unique charm of New Orleans.