New Orleans is a city externally defined by the influence of visitors who come under the impression that they are permitted to do pretty much whatever they want.
New Orleans isn’t really a new place––my family passed through on a road trip when I was a little kid and, according to my mom, I hated it (“too racy”). I’m happy to say that age (and probably travel) have made me a little more open-minded, so when I had an afternoon in the Big Easy free after a work trip to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, I found the city immediately endearing. The sleepy Caribbean rhythm, French details, and music-filled streets –– “Nawlins” is a city full of character, something I miss intensely in much of DC.
Originally written in February 2011. Read more of the First Impressions series.