Hey Cuties,

While hanging out in the bayou {New Orleans} one of the things that attracted me to the city the most was the culture. According to Merriam-Webster culture is defined as: cul·ture: the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time – : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc. New Orleans is a place that has its own particular way and I dig it. There was an air of freedom of expression that I hadn’t experience anywhere else to date. The biggest draw for me was the local music and traditions. I was a lover of the show Treme which was based in New Orleans post Katrina. You already know that I love food but Babe has been talking about the Second Line since I met him. I had no idea what it was until I saw it on the show.

Part 1: Tramping Around New Orleans Part 2: Essence Festival Recap: Actors Edition
Part 3: New Orleans #FatSnacks Part 4: Essence Festival Recap: Musician Edition Part 5: New Orleans Music & Culture

According to Wikipedia the Second Line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. The “main line” or “first line” is the main section of the parade, or the members of the actual club with the parading permit as well as the brass band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the “second line.” The second line’s style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called “second lining.” It has been called “the quintessential New Orleans art form

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Brass Band

I didn’t get to experience a Second Line while in New Orleans but the next time I’m in New Orleans for sure. A second line is celebration of freedom; they can be done for funerals, weddings, Mardi Gras, opening of a business etc. I did get to experience a Brass Band and these young kids playing were nothing but natural talent. It was hot as he!! and the humidity was 400% but they were out there playing. The boxes are for tips, we made sure we did our part and so did a lot of others. It makes me so glad to think that these days we have access to apps like garageband so people like these of all ages and backgrounds can make music. Especially as much more people would know how to run garageband on windows rather than on their phones. Much more old-school! There is so much raw talent out there, I might have a new interest in brass band music now! Thank you New Orleans!

Take a listen…

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Artist: Victor Valenzuela

Babe and I met Victor on the street and he had a ton of pictures for sale. They were all done by hand and they were incredible. (He was working on the one in his hand.) He had so many he loved it was hard for us to decide which one to get. Victor cut me a deal and I ended up purchasing two. (Insert fail because I should have snapped a pic of them.) I promised to shout him out because I appreciated and respected his talent. His attention to detail is insane; he shared his experience and talked about his amazing mentors. Although Victor is now in New Orleans he went to Arthead High School in Miami. If you visit N.O and see Victor make sure you buy some of his art. I found a video of him drawing on YouTube.

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Photo Credit: Babe

Babe was killing the photography game while we were in New Orleans. This is another one of his shots while we were waiting for the Trolley. He does good work.

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Trolley Ride

We wanted to see and experience as much as we could in five days. The Trolley was fun, it is cheap and we had walked a million steps a day. I don’t own a fit bit but I’m certain I would have broken it with the insane amount of walking we did. The Trolley makes several stops and will take you from the Convention Center all the way down to the French Quarter. It was worth the $1.25, they only take cash and you need exact change.

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Photo Credit: Babe

You already know you must take a picture of it didn’t happen. The sun was starting to set and it gave excellent lighting in this picture.

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Bourbon Street

What is New Orleans without Bourbon Street?

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Street Entertainment

You see street entertainment in most major cities. We have them here in DC and I’ve seen them in Miami and New York. Well New Orleans is no different; I already told you it was a 1,000 degrees and 500% humidity and this man was committed to his craft. I don’t know how that gold paint didn’t just melt off of his face. We stood and just watched and he didn’t move. You can file this under things MimiCuteLips will never do; but I respect their hustle. I wonder if he was drinking 211.

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Mardi Gras Mask

I wanted to buy up the entire store. The masks were beautiful and they had a variety of styles, designs and colors. You know I had to go for that MimiCuteLips hot pink, I know you see the lips on my shirt. I wanted to be real Oprah like… “You get a mask, you get a mask, you get a mask.” but I know TSA has no respect for the New Orleans Culture and they would beat and bang up my luggage and I would be on fire if the mask were broken. So I didn’t purchase any, I played dress up in the store and left sulking. I will be carry on ready when I return, plus you know they charge you if your bag is over 50 pounds and I was on the edge y’all.

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Night Time Art Festival

I expect to see art all over New Orleans, but I didn’t expect to see so many late night art festivals. It was dark when we walked up on this Frenchmen Art situation. They were popping and so were we, so we checked them out.

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Bathtub Sofa

How can you not love this set up.

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Art Festival

This festival was hilarious, I love vulgarities, in particular I like vulgar old women. It is like a rite of passage once you hit like 65. I can’t wait; I’m going full on Betty White when I turn 65. This wall was painted with this funny illustration but the words on the door and inside the door that says “Do Not Enter” were freaking hilarious. They say things like “We suck at life but we do it right.”, “Need $ 4 Beer & Hookers”, “Alcohol Research money needed.”, “Lesbian needs money or di!do.”. They went on and filled up the inside wall. They were so bold and in your face we laughed for several minutes while reading them. I really loved that beaten up-looking “Do Not Enter” sign, definitely inspired me to look up antique signs when we got back home and see if there were any that would fit in with our decor.

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Side walk chalk

Who can resist sidewalk chalk? Clearly not me as I had to leave my mark in Nawlins.

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New Orleans African-American Museum of Art, Culture and History

In my Tramping Around New Orleans post I talked about our love for Treme. We stumbled across this New Orleans African-American Museum of Art, Culture and History compound. The sign said they were renovating it, I hope they finish before we come back down for a visit.

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*Insert the theme song for the HBO Show Treme*

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Door Decor

We walked past this house while in Treme and we had to stop and snap a picture. The door was so cool and funky looking. It was made out of random colored pieces and shapes of wood. The butterfly chair was everything, I wanted to sit and take a picture in it but trespassing is a crime and orange isn’t my color so I didn’t. The house number was 1018, that happens to be the month and date I was born October 18.

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Voodoo isn’t my thing but it is a part of the New Orleans culture so I snapped this picture in one of the shops.

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Hot Sauce

Do you remember my comment on my love for vulgarities a few pictures up? Well this Hot sauce feeds that, modest much? NOPE! Now this is some “I got hot sauce in my bag swag.” – Beyonce

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Vulgar, Skeletal Hot Sauce

Yeah well…

I love to soak up other cultures and we totally did that while in New Orleans. I can’t wait to go back and soak up a bit more.

New Orleans Music & Culture_edited

What do you love about the New Orleans culture and music? Chat with me in the comment below or FB, IG or Twitter.