New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Overview
New Orleans is a major United States port
Port of New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans is a port located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 1st in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana, and 13th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo...

 and the largest city and metropolitan area
New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner, or the Greater New Orleans Region is a metropolitan area designated by the United States Census encompassing seven parishes in the state of Louisiana, centering on the city of New Orleans...

 in the state of Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

. The New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner, or the Greater New Orleans Region is a metropolitan area designated by the United States Census encompassing seven parishes in the state of Louisiana, centering on the city of New Orleans...

 (New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner) has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population of 1,360,436 as of 2000. The city/parish alone has a population of 343,829 as of 2010.

The city is named after Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Philippe d'Orléans was a member of the royal family of France and served as Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723. Born at his father's palace at Saint-Cloud, he was known from birth under the title of Duke of Chartres...

, Regent of France
Régence
The Régence is the period in French history between 1715 and 1723, when King Louis XV was a minor and the land was governed by a Regent, Philippe d'Orléans, the nephew of Louis XIV of France....

, and is well known for its distinct French Creole architecture, as well as its cross cultural and multilingual heritage.
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Encyclopedia
New Orleans is a major United States port
Port of New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans is a port located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 1st in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana, and 13th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo...

 and the largest city and metropolitan area
New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner, or the Greater New Orleans Region is a metropolitan area designated by the United States Census encompassing seven parishes in the state of Louisiana, centering on the city of New Orleans...

 in the state of Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

. The New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner, or the Greater New Orleans Region is a metropolitan area designated by the United States Census encompassing seven parishes in the state of Louisiana, centering on the city of New Orleans...

 (New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner) has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population of 1,360,436 as of 2000. The city/parish alone has a population of 343,829 as of 2010.

The city is named after Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Philippe d'Orléans was a member of the royal family of France and served as Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723. Born at his father's palace at Saint-Cloud, he was known from birth under the title of Duke of Chartres...

, Regent of France
Régence
The Régence is the period in French history between 1715 and 1723, when King Louis XV was a minor and the land was governed by a Regent, Philippe d'Orléans, the nephew of Louis XIV of France....

, and is well known for its distinct French Creole architecture, as well as its cross cultural and multilingual heritage. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras
New Orleans Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a Carnival celebration well-known throughout the world.The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany . It is a season of parades, balls , and king cake parties...

. The city is often referred to as the "most unique"Merriam-Webster Dictionary of American Usage, Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1994.
Fowler, Henry, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2003.
Nicholson, Margaret, A Dictionary of American English Usage, New York: Oxford University Press, 1957. in America.

New Orleans is located in southeastern Louisiana, straddling the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. The boundaries of the city and Orleans Parish are coterminous. The city and parish are bounded by the parishes of St. Tammany
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
St. Tammany Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana, in the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area. The parish seat is Covington....

 to the north, St. Bernard
St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
St. Bernard Parish is a parish located southeast of New Orleans in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Chalmette, the largest city in the parish. As of 2000, its population was 67,229. It has been ranked the fastest-growing county in the United States from 2007 to 2008 by the U.S....

 to the east, Plaquemines
Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana
Plaquemines Parish is the parish with the most combined land and water area in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Pointe à la Hache...

 to the south and Jefferson
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
Jefferson Parish is a parish in Louisiana, United States that includes most of the suburbs of New Orleans. The seat of parish government is Gretna....

 to the south and west. Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish estuary located in southeastern Louisiana. It is the second-largest inland saltwater body of water in the United States, after the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and the largest lake in Louisiana. As an estuary, Pontchartrain is not a true lake.It covers an area of with...

, part of which is included in the city limits, lies to the north and Lake Borgne
Lake Borgne
Lake Borgne is a lagoon in eastern Louisiana of the Gulf of Mexico. Due to coastal erosion, it is no longer actually a lake but rather an arm of the Gulf of Mexico. Its name comes from the French word borgne, which means "one-eyed".-Geography:...

 lies to the east.

Beginnings through the 19th century


La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans) was founded May 7, 1718, by the French Mississippi Company
Mississippi Company
The "Mississippi Company" became the "Company of the West" and expanded as the "Company of the Indies" .-The Banque Royale:...

, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville
Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville
Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienvillepronounce] was a colonizer, born in Montreal, Quebec and an early, repeated governor of French Louisiana, appointed 4 separate times during 1701-1743. He was a younger brother of explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville...

, on land inhabited by the Chitimacha
Chitimacha
The Chitimacha are a Native American federally recognized tribe that lives in the U.S. state of Louisiana, mainly in St. Mary Parish. They currently number about 720 people. The Chitimacha language is a language isolate.- History :The Chitimacha's historic home was the southern Louisiana coast...

. It was named for Philippe d'Orléans
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Philippe d'Orléans was a member of the royal family of France and served as Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723. Born at his father's palace at Saint-Cloud, he was known from birth under the title of Duke of Chartres...

, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France at the time. His title came from the French city of Orléans
Orléans
-Prehistory and Roman:Cenabum was a Gallic stronghold, one of the principal towns of the Carnutes tribe where the Druids held their annual assembly. It was conquered and destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, then rebuilt under the Roman Empire...

. The French colony was ceded to the Spanish Empire
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 in the Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

. During the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, New Orleans was an important port to smuggle aid to the rebels, transporting military equipment and supplies up the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez
Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez
Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Gálvez was a Spanish military leader and the general of Spanish forces in New Spain who served as governor of Louisiana and Cuba and as viceroy of New Spain.Gálvez aided the Thirteen Colonies in their quest for independence and led...

 successfully launched the southern campaign against the British from the city in 1779. New Orleans remained under Spanish control until 1801, when it reverted to French control. Nearly all of the surviving 18th century architecture of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter
French Quarter
The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré as it was known then...

) dates from this Spanish period. (The most notable exception being the Old Ursuline Convent.) Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 sold the territory to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 in 1803. Thereafter, the city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, Creoles
Louisiana Creole people
Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. The term was first used during colonial times by the settlers to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to those born in the Old World...

, Irish, Germans and Africans. Major commodity crops of sugar and cotton were cultivated with slave labor on large plantations outside the city.
The Haitian Revolution
Haitian Revolution
The Haitian Revolution was a period of conflict in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Haitian republic...

 of 1804 in what was then the French colony of St. Domingue established the second republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first led by blacks. Haitian refugees, both white and free people of color (affranchis or gens de couleur libres), arrived in New Orleans, often bringing slaves with them. While Governor Claiborne and other officials wanted to keep out more free black men, French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population. As more refugees were allowed in Louisiana, Haitian émigrés who had gone to Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 also arrived. Nearly 90 percent of the new immigrants settled in New Orleans. The 1809 migration brought 2,731 whites; 3,102 free persons of African descent; and 3,226 enslaved refugees to the city, doubling its French-speaking population. Many of these white francophones were deported by officials in Cuba in response to Bonapartist schemes in Spain.

During the last campaign of the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the British sent a force of 11,000 soldiers in an attempt to capture New Orleans. Despite great challenges, the young Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 successfully cobbled together a motley crew of local militia, free blacks, US Army regulars, Kentucky riflemen, and local privateers
Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte was a pirate and privateer in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. He and his elder brother, Pierre, spelled their last name Laffite, but English-language documents of the time used "Lafitte", and this is the commonly seen spelling in the United States, including for places...

 to decisively defeat the British troops, led by Sir Edward Pakenham
Edward Pakenham
Sir Edward Michael Pakenham GCB , styled The Honourable from his birth until 1813, was an Irish British Army Officer and Politician. He was the brother-in law of the Duke of Wellington, with whom he served in the Peninsular War...

, in the Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans
The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory the United States had acquired with the...

 on January 8, 1815. The armies were unaware that the Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent
The Treaty of Ghent , signed on 24 December 1814, in Ghent , was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 had already ended the war on December 24, 1814.

As a principal port, New Orleans played a major role during the antebellum era in the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

. Its port handled huge quantities of commodities for export from the interior and imported goods from other countries, which were warehoused and then transferred in New Orleans to smaller vessels and distributed the length and breadth of the vast Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 watershed. The river in front of the city was filled with steamboats, flatboats, and sailing ships. Despite its dealings with the slave trade, New Orleans at the same time had the largest and most prosperous community of free persons of color in the nation, who were often educated and middle-class property owners.

Dwarfing in population the other cities in the antebellum South
History of the Southern United States
The history of the Southern United States reaches back hundreds of years and includes the Mississippian people, well known for their mound building. European history in the region began in the very earliest days of the exploration and colonization of North America...

, New Orleans had, consequently, the largest slave market. Two-thirds of the more than one million slaves brought to the Deep South arrived via the forced migration of the internal slave trade. The money generated by sales of slaves in the Upper South has been estimated at fifteen percent of the value of the staple crop economy. The slaves represented half a billion dollars in property, and an ancillary economy grew up around the trade in slaves—for transportation, housing and clothing, fees, etc., estimated at 13.5 percent of the price per person. All of this amounted to tens of billions of dollars (2005 dollars adjusted for inflation!) during the antebellum period, with New Orleans as a prime beneficiary.
According to historian Paul Lachance, "the addition of white immigrants to the white creole population enabled French-speakers to remain a majority of the white population until almost 1830. If a substantial proportion of free persons of color and slaves had not also spoken French, however, the Gallic community would have become a minority of the total population as early as 1820." Large numbers of German and Irish immigrants began arriving at this time. The population of the city doubled in the 1830s and by 1840 New Orleans had become the wealthiest and third-most populous city in the nation.

The Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 captured New Orleans early in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, sparing the city the destruction suffered by many other cities of the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

.

In the 1850s white Francophones remained an intact and vibrant community, maintaining instruction in French in two of the city's four school districts. As the Creole elite feared, however, this changed with the Civil War; in 1862 French instruction in schools was abolished by Union general Ben Butler, and teaching of the language was forbidden in schools in 1868. By the end of the 19th century French usage in the city had faded significantly, although as late as 1945 one still encountered elderly Creole women who spoke no English.

During Reconstruction New Orleans was within the Fifth Military District
Fifth Military District
The 5th Military District was a temporary administrative unit of the United States set up during the Reconstruction period following the American Civil War. It included Texas, from Brazos Santiago Harbor, , at the Mexican border, north to Louisiana. General Philip Sheridan served as its first...

 of the United States. Louisiana was readmitted to the Union in 1868, and its Constitution of 1868 granted universal manhood suffrage. Due to the state's large African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 population, many blacks held public office. In 1872, then-lieutenant governor P.B.S. Pinchback succeeded Henry Clay Warmouth as governor of Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, becoming the first non-white governor of a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

, and the last African American to lead a U.S. state until Douglas Wilder
Douglas Wilder
Lawrence Douglas "Doug" Wilder is an American politician, the first African American to be elected as governor of Virginia, and the second to serve as governor of a U.S. state. Wilder served as the 66th Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. When earlier elected as Lieutenant Governor, he was...

's election in Virginia, 117 years later. In New Orleans, Reconstruction was marked by the horrible Mechanics Institute race riot (1866) but also by the successful operation of a fully racially-integrated public school system
New Orleans Public Schools
New Orleans Public Schools is a public school system that serves all of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Schools within the system are governed by a multitude of entities, including the Orleans Parish School Board , which directly administers 4 schools and has granted charters to another 12,...

. Meanwhile, the city's economy struggled to right itself after practically grinding to a halt upon the declaration of war in 1861, the nationwide Panic of 1873
Panic of 1873
The Panic of 1873 triggered a severe international economic depression in both Europe and the United States that lasted until 1879, and even longer in some countries. The depression was known as the Great Depression until the 1930s, but is now known as the Long Depression...

 conspiring to severely retard economic recovery.

Reconstruction ended in Louisiana in 1877, and white southern Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, the so-called Redeemers
Redeemers
In United States history, "Redeemers" and "Redemption" were terms used by white Southerners to describe a political coalition in the Southern United States during the Reconstruction era which followed the American Civil War...

, succeeded in stripping power from the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 and gradually circumscribing the only recently acquired civil rights of African Americans. In New Orleans, the public schools were resegregated and remained so until 1960.

New Orleans' large community of well-educated, often French-speaking free persons of color (gens de couleur libres), who had not been enslaved prior to the Civil War, sought to fight back against the incipient forces of Jim Crow
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

. As part of their ongoing campaign, they recruited one of their own, Homer Plessy
Homer Plessy
Homer Plessy was the American plaintiff in the United States Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. Arrested, tried and convicted of a violation of one of Louisiana's racial segregation laws, he appealed through Louisiana state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, and lost...

, to test whether Louisiana's newly enacted Separate Car Act was constitutional. Plessy duly boarded a commuter train departing New Orleans for Covington, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Covington is a city in and the parish seat of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 8,483 at the 2000 census. It is located at a fork of the Bogue Falaya and the Tchefuncte River....

, sat in the car reserved for whites only and was arrested. The case spawned by this incident, Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 , is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision in the jurisprudence of the United States, upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in private businesses , under the doctrine of "separate but equal".The decision was handed...

, was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 in 1896. The court, in finding that "separate but equal" accommodations were constitutional, strengthened by effectively consecrating the already-underway Jim Crow movement. The ruling was a key development in the nadir of race relations reached during this period
Nadir of American race relations
The "nadir of American race relations" is a term that refers to the period in United States history from the end of Reconstruction through the early 20th century, when racism in the country is deemed to have been worse than in any other period after the American Civil War. During this period,...

.

20th century


New Orleans reached its most consequential position as an economic and population center in relation to other American cities in the decades prior to 1860; as late as that year it was the nation's fifth-largest city and by far the largest in the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Though New Orleans continued to grow in size, from the mid-19th century onwards, first the emerging industrial and railroad hubs of the Midwest overtook the city in population, then the rapidly growing metropolises of the Pacific Coast in the decades before and after the turn of the 20th century, then other Sun Belt
Sun Belt
The Sun Belt or Spanish Belt is a region of the United States generally considered to stretch across the South and Southwest . Another rough boundary of the region is the area south of the 36th parallel, north latitude. It is the largest region which the U.S government does not recognize officially...

 cities in the South and West in the post–World War II period surpassed New Orleans in population. Consequently, New Orleans has periodically mounted attempts to regain its economic vigor and pre-eminence over the past 150 years, with varying degrees of success.

By the mid-20th century, New Orleanians were observing with concern that the city was even ceding its traditional ranking as the leading urban area in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. By 1950, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta had surpassed New Orleans in size, and 1960 witnessed Miami's eclipse of New Orleans, even as New Orleans' population was recorded as reaching its historic peak by the 1960 Census. Like most older American cities in this period, New Orleans' center city commenced losing inhabitants, though the New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner, or the Greater New Orleans Region is a metropolitan area designated by the United States Census encompassing seven parishes in the state of Louisiana, centering on the city of New Orleans...

 continued expanding in population – just never as rapidly as its metropolitan peers in the Sun Belt. While the port
Port of New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans is a port located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 1st in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana, and 13th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo...

 remained one of the largest in the nation, automation and containerization resulted in significant job losses. The city's relative fall in stature meant that its former role as banker and financial services provider to the South was inexorably supplanted by competing companies in its now-larger peer cities. New Orleans' economy was always more of a trade-based, commercial entrepot than manufacturing powerhouse, but the city's smallish manufacturing sector also shrank in the post–World War II period. Despite some economic development successes under the administrations of DeLesseps "Chep" Morrison (1946–1961) and Vic Schiro
Victor H. Schiro
Victor Hugo "Vic" Schiro , was an American New Orleans, Louisiana, politician who served on the City Council and as Mayor from 1961 - 1970.- Early life and political career :...

 (1961–1970), metropolitan New Orleans' growth rate consistently lagged behind the more vigorous Sun Belt
Sun Belt
The Sun Belt or Spanish Belt is a region of the United States generally considered to stretch across the South and Southwest . Another rough boundary of the region is the area south of the 36th parallel, north latitude. It is the largest region which the U.S government does not recognize officially...

 cities.

During the later years of Morrison's administration, and for the entirety of Schiro's, the city struggled to digest the ramifications of the legal enfranchisement of its sizable African-American population. New Orleans was very much at the center of the Civil Rights struggle. The SCLC
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr...

 was founded in the city, lunch counter sit-ins were held in Canal Street
Canal Street, New Orleans
Canal Street is a major thoroughfare in the city of New Orleans. Forming the upriver boundary of the city's oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter , it acted as the dividing line between the older French/Spanish Colonial-era city and the newer American Sector, today's Central Business District.The...

 stores, and a very prominent and ugly series of confrontations occurred when the city attempted school desegregation, in 1960. That episode witnessed the first occasion of a black child attending an all-white elementary school in the South, when six-year-old Ruby Bridges
Ruby Bridges
Ruby Nell Bridges Hall moved with her parents to New Orleans, Louisiana at the age of 4. In 1960, when she was 6 years old, her parents responded to a call from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and volunteered her to participate in the integration of the New Orleans...

 integrated William Frantz Elementary School in the city's Ninth Ward
Ninth Ward of New Orleans
The Ninth Ward or 9th Ward is a distinctive region of New Orleans, Louisiana that is located in the easternmost downriver portion of the city. It is geographically the largest of the 17 Wards of New Orleans....

. The Civil Rights movement's success in realizing the desegregation of public facilities and schools, and the enfranchisement of the black voter, constituted the most significant event in New Orleans' 20th century history. Though legal equality was established by the end of the 1960s, a yawning gap in income levels and educational attainment persisted between the city's white and black communities. The effects of this gap were amplified by accelerating white flight
White flight
White flight has been a term that originated in the United States, starting in the mid-20th century, and applied to the large-scale migration of whites of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions. It was first seen as...

, as the city's population grew poorer and blacker. New Orleans' political leadership, from 1980 onwards firmly in the hands of its African-American majority, struggled to narrow this gap by creating conditions conducive to the economic uplift of the black community.

New Orleans became increasingly dependent on tourism as an economic mainstay, arguably fatally so by the administrations of Sidney Barthelemy
Sidney Barthelemy
Sidney John Barthelemy is a former American political figure. He served as Democratic mayor of New Orleans from 1986 to 1994...

 (1986–1994) and Marc Morial
Marc Morial
Marc Haydel Morial is an American political and civic leader and the current president of the National Urban League. Morial served as mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana from 1994 to 2002. He is married to Michelle Miller, who has won awards as a CBS News Correspondent.- Early life and educations...

 (1994–2002). Unimpressive levels of educational attainment, high rates of household poverty and rising crime became increasingly problematic in the later decades of the century, with the negative effects of these socioeconomic conditions newly amplified as the United States economy increasingly rested upon a post-industrial, knowledge-based paradigm where brains were far more important than brawn.
The turn of the 20th century witnessed one of the earlier episodes in the ongoing series of energetic recommitments to jump-starting economic growth on the part of New Orleans' government and business leaders. The most portentous development during this period was a drainage plan devised by engineer and inventor A. Baldwin Wood
A. Baldwin Wood
Albert Baldwin Wood was an inventor and engineer from New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1899....

 and designed to break the surrounding swamp's stranglehold on the city's geographic expansion. Until then, urban development in New Orleans was largely limited to higher ground along the natural river levees and bayou
Bayou
A bayou is an American term for a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying areas, and can refer either to an extremely slow-moving stream or river , or to a marshy lake or wetland. The name "bayou" can also refer to creeks that see level changes due to tides and hold brackish water which...

s. Wood's pump system allowed the city to drain huge tracts of swamp and marshland and expand into low-lying areas. Over the 20th century, rapid subsidence
Subsidence
Subsidence is the motion of a surface as it shifts downward relative to a datum such as sea-level. The opposite of subsidence is uplift, which results in an increase in elevation...

, both natural and human-induced, left these newly populated areas several feet below sea level.

New Orleans was vulnerable to flooding even before the city's footprint departed from the natural high ground near the Mississippi River. In the late 20th century, however, scientists and New Orleans residents gradually became aware of the city's increased vulnerability. In 1965, Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy was a Category 4 hurricane of the 1965 Atlantic hurricane season which caused enormous damage in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana. Betsy made its most intense landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, causing significant flooding of the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into...

 killed dozens of residents, even though the majority of the city remained dry. The rain-induced flood of May 8, 1995
May 8th 1995 Louisiana Flood
The May 8th and 9th 1995 New Orleans Flood struck the New Orleans metropolitan area, shutting down the city for two days. It was a two-event phenomenon. Areas south of the lake began receiving tremendous amounts of rain at approximately 5:30 p.m. on May 7th, continuing into the early morning...

 demonstrated the weakness of the pumping system. After that event, measures were undertaken to dramatically upgrade pumping capacity. By the 1980s and 90s, it was worrisomely clear that extensive, rapid and ongoing erosion of the marshlands and swamp surrounding New Orleans
Coastal erosion
Coastal erosion is the wearing away of land and the removal of beach or dune sediments by wave action, tidal currents, wave currents, or drainage...

 especially that related to the Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet Canal had left the city far more exposed to hurricane-induced catastrophic storm surges than it had ever before been in its history.

Hurricane Katrina




New Orleans was catastrophically impacted by what the University of California Berkeley's Dr. Raymond B. Seed called "the worst engineering disaster in the world since Chernobyl
Chernobyl disaster
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine , which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities in Moscow...

" when the Federal levee system failed catastrophically during Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in 2005. By the time the hurricane approached the city at the end of August 2005, most residents had evacuated. As the hurricane passed through the Gulf Coast region
Gulf Coast of the United States
The Gulf Coast of the United States, sometimes referred to as the Gulf South, South Coast, or 3rd Coast, comprises the coasts of American states that are on the Gulf of Mexico, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and are known as the Gulf States...

, the city's federal flood protection
Flood Control Act of 1965
The Flood Control Act of 1965, Title II of , was enacted on October 27, 1965, by the 89th Congress and authorized the United States Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct numerous flood control projects including the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity, Louisiana Hurricane Protection Project...

 system failed, resulting in the worst civil engineering
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

 disaster in American history. Floodwalls and levee
Levee
A levee, levée, dike , embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels...

s constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

 failed below design specifications and 80% of the city flooded. Tens of thousands of residents who had remained in the city were rescued or otherwise made their way to shelters of last resort at the Louisiana Superdome
Louisiana Superdome
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, previously known as the Louisiana Superdome and colloquially known as the Superdome, is a sports and exhibition arena located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA...

 or the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. Over 1,500 people died in Louisiana and some are still unaccounted for. Hurricane Katrina called for the first mandatory evacuation in the city's history, the second of which came 3 years later with Hurricane Gustav
Hurricane Gustav
The name Gustav has been used for five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean:* 1984's Tropical Storm Gustav - Spent most of its existence as a tropical depression hovering over Bermuda, no major damage was reported....

.

Hurricane Rita



The city was declared off-limits to residents while efforts to clean up after Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 began. The approach of Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

 in September 2005 caused repopulation efforts to be postponed, and the Lower Ninth Ward
Lower Ninth Ward
Lower Ninth Ward is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. As the name implies, it is part of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The Lower Ninth Ward is often thought of as the entire area within New Orleans downriver of the Industrial Canal; however, the City Planning Commission divides this...

 was reflooded by Rita's storm surge.

Post-disaster recovery



The Census Bureau in July 2006 estimated the population of New Orleans to be 223,000; a subsequent study estimated that 32,000 additional residents had moved to the city as of March 2007, bringing the estimated population to 255,000, approximately 56% of the pre-Katrina population level. Another estimate, based on data on utility usage from July 2007, estimated the population to be approximately 274,000 or 60% of the pre-Katrina population. These estimates are somewhat smaller than a third estimate, based on mail delivery records, from the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center in June 2007, which indicated that the city had regained approximately two-thirds of its pre-Katrina population. In 2008, the Census Bureau revised upward its population estimate for the city, to 336,644. Most recently, 2010 estimates show that neighborhoods that did not flood are near 100% of their pre-Katrina populations, and in some cases, exceed 100% of their pre-Katrina populations.

Several major tourist events and other forms of revenue for the city have returned. Large conventions are being held again, such as those held by the American Library Association
American Library Association
The American Library Association is a non-profit organization based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 62,000 members....

 and American College of Cardiology
American College of Cardiology
The American College of Cardiology is a nonprofit medical association established in 1949 to advocate for quality cardiovascular care through education, research promotion, development and application of standards and guidelines, and to influence health care policy...

. College football events such as the Bayou Classic
Bayou Classic
The State Farm Bayou Classic is the annual college football game between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars, first held under that name in 1974 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, although the series itself actually began in 1936...

, New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans Bowl
The New Orleans Bowl is a post-season college football bowl game certified by the NCAA that has been played annually at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana since 2001. The game was sponsored by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts from 2002 to 2004 and was officially called the Wyndham New...

, and Sugar Bowl
Sugar Bowl
The Sugar Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sugar Bowl has been played annually since January 1, 1935, and celebrated its 75th anniversary on January 2, 2009...

 returned for the 2006–2007 season. The New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are members of the South Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League ....

 returned that season as well, following speculation of a move. The New Orleans Hornets returned to the city fully for the 2007–2008 season, having partially spent the 2006–2007 season in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

. New Orleans successfully hosted the 2008 NBA All-Star Game
2008 NBA All-Star Game
-Eastern Conference roster:The Boston Celtics, the team with the league's best record, came into New Orleans with three players. Kevin Garnett, top vote-getter in the league with 2,399,148 votes, was selected as a starter, while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were selected as reserves by the coaches of...

 and the 2008 BCS National Championship Game
2008 BCS National Championship Game
The 2008 Allstate BCS National Championship Game was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Monday, January 7, 2008, and featured the #1 and #2 college football teams in the United States as determined by the BCS Poll to decide the BCS National Championship for the 2007...

. The city hosted the first and second rounds of the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 NCAA schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2006–07 basketball season...

. New Orleans and Tulane University will be hosting the Final Four Championship
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 in 2012.

Major annual events such as Mardi Gras
New Orleans Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a Carnival celebration well-known throughout the world.The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany . It is a season of parades, balls , and king cake parties...

 and the Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana...

 were never displaced or cancelled. Also, an entirely new annual festival, "The Running of the Bulls New Orleans", was created in 2007.

Geography




New Orleans is located at 29°57′53"N 90°4′14"W (29.964722, −90.070556) on the banks of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, approximately 105 miles (169 km) upriver from the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 350.2 square miles (907 km²), of which 180.56 square miles (467.6 km²), or 51.55%, is land.

The city is located in the Mississippi River Delta
Mississippi River Delta
The Mississippi River Delta is the modern area of land built up by alluvium deposited by the Mississippi River as it slows down and enters the Gulf of Mexico...

 on the east and west banks of the Mississippi River and south of Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish estuary located in southeastern Louisiana. It is the second-largest inland saltwater body of water in the United States, after the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and the largest lake in Louisiana. As an estuary, Pontchartrain is not a true lake.It covers an area of with...

. The area along the river is characterized by ridges and hollows.

New Orleans was originally settled on the natural levee
Levee
A levee, levée, dike , embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels...

s or high ground, along the Mississippi River. After the Flood Control Act of 1965
Flood Control Act of 1965
The Flood Control Act of 1965, Title II of , was enacted on October 27, 1965, by the 89th Congress and authorized the United States Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct numerous flood control projects including the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity, Louisiana Hurricane Protection Project...

, the United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

 built floodwalls and man-made levee
Levee
A levee, levée, dike , embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels...

s around a much larger geographic footprint that included previous marshland and swamp. Whether or not this human interference has caused subsidence
Subsidence
Subsidence is the motion of a surface as it shifts downward relative to a datum such as sea-level. The opposite of subsidence is uplift, which results in an increase in elevation...

 is a topic of debate. A study by an associate professor at Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 claims:
On the other hand, a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers is a professional body founded in 1852 to represent members of the civil engineering profession worldwide. It is the oldest national engineering society in the United States. ASCE's vision is to have engineers positioned as global leaders who strive toward...

 claims that "New Orleans is subsiding (sinking)":
A recent study by Tulane
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 and Xavier University
Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana , located in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States, is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college with the distinction of being the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education...

 notes that 51% of New Orleans is at or above sea level, with the more densely populated areas generally on higher ground. The average elevation of the city is currently between one and two feet (0.5 m) below sea level, with some portions of the city as high as 20 feet (6 m) at the base of the river levee in Uptown
Uptown, New Orleans
Uptown is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Uptown/Carrollton Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: LaSalle Street to the north, Napoleon Avenue to the east, Magazine Street to the south and Jefferson Avenue to the west.-Geography:Uptown...

 and others as low as 7 feet (2 m) below sea level in the farthest reaches of Eastern New Orleans
Eastern New Orleans
Eastern New Orleans is a large section of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Developed extensively from the 1960s onwards, it was originally marketed as "suburban-style living within the city limits", and has much in common with the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans...

.

In 2005, storm surge from Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic failure of the federally designed and built
Flood Control Act of 1965
The Flood Control Act of 1965, Title II of , was enacted on October 27, 1965, by the 89th Congress and authorized the United States Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct numerous flood control projects including the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity, Louisiana Hurricane Protection Project...

 levees, flooding 80% of the city. A report by the American Society of Civil Engineers says that "had the levees and floodwalls not failed and had the pump stations operated, nearly two-thirds of the deaths would not have occurred".

New Orleans has always had to consider the risk of hurricanes, but the risks are dramatically greater today due to coastal erosion from human interference. Since the beginning of the 20th century, it has been estimated that Louisiana has lost 2000 square miles (5,180 km²) of coast (including many of its barrier islands), which once protected New Orleans against storm surge. Following Hurricane Katrina, the United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

 has instituted massive levee repair and hurricane protection measures to protect the city.

In 2006, Louisiana voters overwhelmingly adopted an amendment to the state's constitution to dedicate all revenues from off-shore drilling to restore Louisiana's eroding coast line. Congress has allocated $7 billion to bolster New Orleans' flood protection.

According to a study by the National Academy of Engineering
National Academy of Engineering
The National Academy of Engineering is a government-created non-profit institution in the United States, that was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act that led to the founding of the National Academy of Sciences...

 and the National Research Council
United States National Research Council
The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the United States National Academies, carrying out most of the studies done in their names.The National Academies include:* National Academy of Sciences...

, Levees and floodwalls surrounding New Orleans—no matter how large or sturdy—cannot provide absolute protection against overtopping or failure in extreme events. Levees and floodwalls should be viewed as a way to reduce risks from hurricanes and storm surges, not as measures that completely eliminate risk. For structures in hazardous areas and residents who do not relocate, the committee recommended major floodproofing measures—such as elevating the first floor of buildings to at least the 100-year flood level.

National protected areas

  • Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge
    Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge
    Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is a region of fresh and brackish marshes located within the city limits of New Orleans. It is the largest urban wildlife refuge in the United States.-Location:...

  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
    Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
    Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve protects significant examples of the rich natural and cultural resources of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta region. The park, named after Jean Lafitte, seeks to illustrate the influence of environment and history on the development of a unique...

     (part)
  • New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
    New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
    New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is a U.S. National Historical Parkin the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, near the French Quarter. It was created in 1994 to celebrate the origins and evolution of jazz, America’s most widely-recognized genre of music.The park consists of ...



Climate



The climate of New Orleans is humid subtropical
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Cfa), with short, generally mild winters and hot, humid summers. In January, morning lows average around 43 °F (6.1 °C), and daily highs around 62 °F (16.7 °C). In July, lows average 74 °F (23.3 °C), and highs average 91 °F (32.8 °C). The lowest recorded temperature was 7 °F (-13.9 °C) on February 13, 1899. The highest recorded temperature was 102 °F (38.9 °C) on August 22, 1980. The average precipitation is 64.2 inches (1,630.7 mm) annually; the summer months are the wettest, while October is the driest month. Precipitation in winter usually accompanies the passing of a cold front.
Hurricanes
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 pose a severe threat to the area, and the city is particularly at risk because of its low elevation, and because it is surrounded by water from the north, east, and south, and Louisiana's sinking coast. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

, New Orleans is the nation's most vulnerable city to hurricanes. Indeed, portions of Greater New Orleans have been flooded by: Grand Isle Hurricane of 1909, New Orleans Hurricane of 1915
New Orleans Hurricane of 1915
The New Orleans Hurricane of 1915 was an intense Category 4 hurricane that made landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana during the 1915 Atlantic hurricane season. The hurricane killed 275 people and caused $13 million in damage....

, 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane
1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane
The Fort Lauderdale Hurricane was an intense Category 5 hurricane that affected the Bahamas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi in September of the 1947 Atlantic hurricane season...

, Hurricane Flossy in 1956, Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy was a Category 4 hurricane of the 1965 Atlantic hurricane season which caused enormous damage in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana. Betsy made its most intense landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, causing significant flooding of the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into...

 in 1965, Hurricane Georges
Hurricane Georges
Hurricane Georges was a very destructive, powerful and long-lived Cape Verde-type Category 4 hurricane. Georges was the seventh tropical storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season...

 in 1998, Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in 2005, Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

 in 2005, and Hurricane Gustav
Hurricane Gustav
The name Gustav has been used for five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean:* 1984's Tropical Storm Gustav - Spent most of its existence as a tropical depression hovering over Bermuda, no major damage was reported....

 in 2008, with the flooding in Betsy being significant and in a few neighborhoods severe, and that in Katrina being disastrous in the majority of the city.
New Orleans experiences snowfall only on rare occasions. A small amount of snow fell during the 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm
2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm
The 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm was a rare weather event that took place in Louisiana and Texas in the United States on December 24, 2004 before the storm moved northeast to affect the coastal sections of the Mid-Atlantic states and New England in the succeeding few days...

 and again on Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 (December 25) when a combination of rain, sleet, and snow fell on the city, leaving some bridges icy. Before that, the last white Christmas
White Christmas
A white Christmas refers to the presence of snow on Christmas Day. This phenomenon is most common in the northern countries of the Northern Hemisphere...

 was in 1964 and brought 4.5 inches (11.4 cm). Snow fell again on December 22, 1989, when most of the city received 1 –.

The last significant snow fall in New Orleans was on the morning of December 11, 2008.

Cityscape



The Central Business District
New Orleans Central Business District
The Central Business District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the French Quarter/CBD Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial...

 of New Orleans is located immediately north and west of the Mississippi River, and was historically called the "American Quarter" or "American Sector", and it includes Lafayette Square
Lafayette Square, New Orleans
Lafayette Square is the second oldest park in New Orleans, Louisiana and was designed in 1788 by Charles Laveau Trudeau alias Don Carlos Trudeau , general surveyor of Louisiana under the spanish government...

. Most streets in this area fan out from a central point in the city. Major streets of the area include Canal Street
Canal Street, New Orleans
Canal Street is a major thoroughfare in the city of New Orleans. Forming the upriver boundary of the city's oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter , it acted as the dividing line between the older French/Spanish Colonial-era city and the newer American Sector, today's Central Business District.The...

, Poydras Street, Tulane Avenue and Loyola Avenue. Canal Street functions as the street which divides the traditional "downtown
Downtown New Orleans
In New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, "downtown" has historically referred to neighborhoods along the Mississippi River down-river from Canal Street, including the French Quarter, Treme, Faubourg Marigny, Bywater, the 9th Ward, and other neighborhoods...

" area from the "uptown
Uptown New Orleans
Uptown is a section of New Orleans, Louisiana on the East Bank of the Mississippi River encompassing a number of neighborhoods between the French Quarter and the Jefferson Parish line. It remains an area of mixed residential and small commercial properties, with a wealth of 19th century architecture...

" area.

Every street crossing Canal Street between the Mississippi River and Rampart Street
Rampart Street
Rampart Street is a historic avenue located in New Orleans, Louisiana.The upper end of the street is in the New Orleans Central Business District...

, which is the northern edge of the French Quarter, has a different name for the "uptown" and "downtown" portions. For example, St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue is a thoroughfare in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. and the home of the St. Charles Streetcar Line. It is also famous for the hundreds of mansions that adorn the tree-lined boulevard for much of the Uptown section of the route. The southern live oak trees, particularly found in...

, known for its street car line, is called Royal Street
Royal Street, New Orleans
Royal Street is a street in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is one of the oldest streets in the city, dating from the French Colonial era, and is most well known for the antique shops, art galleries, and stately hotels that line its sides as it runs through New Orleans' French Quarter and tourist...

 below Canal Street, though where it traverses the Central Business District between Canal and Lee Circle, it is properly called St. Charles Street. Elsewhere in the city, Canal Street serves as the dividing point between the "South" and "North" portions of various streets. In the local parlance downtown means "downriver from Canal Street", while uptown means "upriver from Canal Street". Downtown neighborhoods include the French Quarter
French Quarter
The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré as it was known then...

, Tremé
Treme
Tremé is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are Esplanade Avenue to the north, North Rampart Street to the east, St. Louis Street to the south and North Broad Street to the west...

, the 7th Ward
7th Ward of New Orleans
The 7th Ward is a section of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is geographically the second largest of the 17 Wards of New Orleans, after the 9th Ward.-Boundaries and geography:...

, Faubourg Marigny
Faubourg Marigny
The Marigny is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Bywater District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: North Rampart Street and St...

, Bywater
Bywater, New Orleans
Bywater is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Bywater District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Florida Avenue to the north, the Industrial Canal to the east, the Mississippi River to the south and Franklin Avenue Street to the west...

 (the Upper Ninth Ward), and the Lower Ninth Ward
Ninth Ward of New Orleans
The Ninth Ward or 9th Ward is a distinctive region of New Orleans, Louisiana that is located in the easternmost downriver portion of the city. It is geographically the largest of the 17 Wards of New Orleans....

. Uptown
Uptown New Orleans
Uptown is a section of New Orleans, Louisiana on the East Bank of the Mississippi River encompassing a number of neighborhoods between the French Quarter and the Jefferson Parish line. It remains an area of mixed residential and small commercial properties, with a wealth of 19th century architecture...

 neighborhoods include the Warehouse District, the Lower Garden District
Lower Garden District, New Orleans
Lower Garden District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Central City/Garden District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: St...

, the Garden District
Garden District, New Orleans
The Garden District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Central City/Garden District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: St. Charles Avenue to the north, 1st Street to the east, Magazine Street to the south and Toledano Street to the...

, the Irish Channel
Irish Channel, New Orleans
Irish Channel is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Central City/Garden District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Magazine Street to the north, 1st Street to the east, the Mississippi River to the south and Toledano to the...

, the University District, Carrollton
Carrollton, Louisiana
Carrollton is a neighborhood of uptown New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, which includes the Carrollton Historic District. It is the part of Uptown New Orleans farthest up river from the French Quarter...

, Gert Town
Gert Town, New Orleans
Gert Town is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. Local traditional definitions of the boundaries vary; this article discusses those designated by the New Orleans City Planning Commission, which includes the right across the Zion City area, which many locals consider a separate neighborhood...

, Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau, New Orleans
Fontainebleau and Marlyville are jointly designated as a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Uptown/Carrollton Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Colapissa and Broadway Streets and MLK Boulevard to the north, South Jefferson Davis...

, and Broadmoor
Broadmoor, New Orleans
Broadmoor is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Uptown/Carrollton Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Eve Street to the north, Washington Avenue and Toledano Street to the east, South Claiborne Avenue to the south, and Jefferson Avenue,...

. However, the Warehouse and the Central Business District
New Orleans Central Business District
The Central Business District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the French Quarter/CBD Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial...

, despite being above Canal Street, are frequently called "Downtown" as a specific region, as in the Downtown Development District.

Other major districts within the city include Bayou St. John
Bayou St. John, New Orleans
Bayou St. John is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Esplanade Avenue to the north, North Broad Street to the east, St. Louis Street to the south and Bayou St. John to the...

, Mid-City
Mid-City New Orleans
Mid-City is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: City Park Avenue, Toulouse Street, North Carrollton and Orleans Avenues, Bayou St. John and St. Louis Street to the north, North Broad...

, Gentilly
Gentilly, New Orleans
Gentilly is a broad, predominantly middle-class and racially diverse section of New Orleans, Louisiana. The first part of Gentilly to be developed was along the Gentilly Ridge, a long stretch of high ground along the former banks of Bayou Gentilly...

, Lakeview
Lakeview, New Orleans
Lakeview is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Robert E. Lee Boulevard to the north, Orleans Avenue to the east, Florida Boulevard, Canal Boulevard and I-610 to the south and...

, Lakefront, New Orleans East
Eastern New Orleans
Eastern New Orleans is a large section of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Developed extensively from the 1960s onwards, it was originally marketed as "suburban-style living within the city limits", and has much in common with the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans...

, and Algiers.

Architecture





New Orleans is world-famous for its abundance of unique architectural styles which reflect the city's historical roots and multicultural heritage. Though New Orleans possesses numerous structures of national architectural significance, it is equally, if not more, revered for its enormous, largely intact (even post-Katrina) historic built environment. Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the preservation of this tout ensemble. Thirteen of the local historic districts are administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts.

Many styles of housing exist in the city, including the shotgun house
Shotgun house
The shotgun house is a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than 12 feet wide, with doors at each end. It was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War , through the 1920s. Alternate names include shotgun shack,...

 (originating from New Orleans) and the bungalow style. Creole townhouses, notable for their large courtyards and intricate iron balconies, line the streets of the French Quarter
French Quarter
The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré as it was known then...

. Throughout the city, there are many other historic housing styles: Creole cottages, American townhouses, double-gallery houses, and Raised Center-Hall Cottages. St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue is a thoroughfare in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. and the home of the St. Charles Streetcar Line. It is also famous for the hundreds of mansions that adorn the tree-lined boulevard for much of the Uptown section of the route. The southern live oak trees, particularly found in...

 is famed for its large antebellum homes
Antebellum architecture
Antebellum architecture is a term used to describe the characteristic neoclassical architectural style of the Southern United States, especially the Old South, from after the birth of the United States in the American Revolution, to the start of the American Civil War...

. Its mansions are in various styles, such as Greek Revival
Greek Revival architecture
The Greek Revival was an architectural movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in Northern Europe and the United States. A product of Hellenism, it may be looked upon as the last phase in the development of Neoclassical architecture...

, American Colonial and the Victorian
Victorian architecture
The term Victorian architecture refers collectively to several architectural styles employed predominantly during the middle and late 19th century. The period that it indicates may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria. This represents the British and...

 styles of Queen Anne
Queen Anne Style architecture
The Queen Anne Style in Britain means either the English Baroque architectural style roughly of the reign of Queen Anne , or a revived form that was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century...

 and Italianate architecture
Italianate architecture
The Italianate style of architecture was a distinct 19th-century phase in the history of Classical architecture. In the Italianate style, the models and architectural vocabulary of 16th-century Italian Renaissance architecture, which had served as inspiration for both Palladianism and...

. New Orleans is also noted for its large, European-style Catholic cemeteries, which can be found throughout the city.

For much of its history, New Orleans' skyline consisted of only low- and mid-rise structures. The soft soils of New Orleans are susceptible to subsidence, and there was doubt about the feasibility of constructing large high rises in such an environment. The 1960s brought the World Trade Center New Orleans
World Trade Center New Orleans
Prior to June 2011, the World Trade Center of New Orleans was housed in the historic World Trade Center Building, located at 2 Canal Street in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana...

 and Plaza Tower, which demonstrated that high rises could stand firm on New Orleans' soil. One Shell Square
One Shell Square
One Shell Square is a 51-story, skyscraper designed in the International style by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, located at 701 Poydras Street in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the tallest building in both the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. The...

 took its place as the city's tallest building in 1972. The oil boom of the early 1980s redefined New Orleans' skyline again with the development of the Poydras Street corridor. Today, New Orleans' high rises are clustered along Canal Street
Canal Street, New Orleans
Canal Street is a major thoroughfare in the city of New Orleans. Forming the upriver boundary of the city's oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter , it acted as the dividing line between the older French/Spanish Colonial-era city and the newer American Sector, today's Central Business District.The...

 and Poydras Street in the Central Business District
New Orleans Central Business District
The Central Business District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the French Quarter/CBD Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial...

.

Tourism


New Orleans has many major attractions, from the world-renowned French Quarter
French Quarter
The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré as it was known then...

 and Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street is a famous and historic street that spans the length of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. When founded in 1718, the city was originally centered around the French Quarter...

's notorious nightlife to St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue is a thoroughfare in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. and the home of the St. Charles Streetcar Line. It is also famous for the hundreds of mansions that adorn the tree-lined boulevard for much of the Uptown section of the route. The southern live oak trees, particularly found in...

 (home of Tulane
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 and Loyola
Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola University New Orleans is a private, co-educational and Jesuit university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Originally established as Loyola College in 1904, the institution was chartered as a university in 1912. It bears the name of the Jesuit patron, Saint Ignatius of Loyola...

 Universities, the historic Pontchartrain Hotel
Pontchartrain Hotel
The Pontchartrain Hotel is a historic hotel building on St. Charles Avenue in Uptown New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Named after Count de Pontchartrain of the court of Louis XVI, the Pontchartrain Hotel commenced operations in March, 1927...

, and many 19th century mansions), to Magazine Street
Magazine Street
Magazine Street is a major thoroughfare in New Orleans, Louisiana. Like Tchoupitoulas Street, St. Charles Avenue, and Claiborne Avenue, it reflects the curving course of the Mississippi River...

, with its many boutique stores and antique shops.

According to current travel guides, New Orleans is one of the top ten most visited cities in the United States; 10.1 million visitors came to New Orleans in 2004, and the city was on pace to break that level of visitation in 2005. Prior to Katrina, there were 265 hotels with 38,338 rooms in the Greater New Orleans Area. In May 2007, there were over 140 hotels and motels in operation with over 31,000 rooms.

A 2009 Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure is a travel magazine based in New York City, New York. Published 12 times a year, it has 4.8 million readers, according to its corporate media kit. It is put out by American Express Publishing Corporation, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express Company led by...

poll of "America's Favorite Cities" ranked New Orleans first in ten categories, the most first-place rankings of the 30 cities included. According to the poll, New Orleans is the best U.S. city as a spring break destination and for "wild weekends", stylish boutique hotels, cocktail hours, singles/bar scenes, live music/conerts and bands, antique and vintage shops, cafés/coffee bars, neighborhood restaurants, and people watching
People watching
People watching or crowd watching is the act of observing people and their interactions, usually without their knowledge. This differs from voyeurism in that it does not relate to sex or sexual gratification...

. The city also ranked second for gay friendliness (behind San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

), friendliness (behind Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

), bed and bath hotels and inns, and ethnic food. However the city was voted last in terms of active residents and near the bottom in cleanliness, safety, and as a family destination.
The French Quarter (known locally as "the Quarter" or Vieux Carré), which dates from the French and Spanish eras and is bounded by the Mississippi River, Rampart Street, Canal Street, and Esplanade Avenue, contains many popular hotels, bars, and nightclubs. Notable tourist attractions in the Quarter include Bourbon Street, Jackson Square
Jackson Square, New Orleans
Jackson Square, also known as Place d'Armes, is a historic park in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.-Design:...

, St. Louis Cathedral
St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans
Saint Louis Cathedral , also known as the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans; it has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States...

, the French Market (including Café du Monde
Café du Monde
Café du Monde is a coffee shop on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is best known for its café au lait and its French-style beignets. In the New Orleans style, the coffee is blended with chicory....

, famous for café au lait
Café au lait
Café au lait is a French coffee drink. The meaning of the term differs between Europe and the United States; in both cases it means some kind of coffee with hot milk added, in contrast to white coffee, which is coffee with room temperature milk or other whitener added.- Europe :In Europe, "café au...

 and beignet
Beignet
A beignet in the U.S. is a pastry made from deep-fried dough, much like a doughnut, and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, or frostings. Savory versions of beignets are also popular as an appetizer, with fillings such as maple or fruit preserves....

s) and Preservation Hall
Preservation Hall
Preservation Hall is a noted jazz performance hall located at 726 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It hosts nightly concerts featuring a rotating roster of bands. The bands of Preservation Hall typically perform jazz in the New Orleans style.Despite the fame of the...

. To tour the port, one can ride the Natchez
Natchez (boat)
Natchez has been the name of several steamboats, and four naval vessels, each named after the city of Natchez, Mississippi or the Natchez people. The current one has been in operation since 1975. The previous Natchez were all operated in the nineteenth century, most by Captain Thomas P. Leathers...

, an authentic steamboat
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

 with a calliope
Calliope (music)
A calliope is a musical instrument that produces sound by sending a gas, originally steam or more recently compressed air, through large whistles, originally locomotive whistles....

, which cruises the Mississippi the length of the city twice daily. Unlike most other places in The United States, and the world, New Orleans has become widely known for its element of elegant decay
Elegant Decay
Elegant Decay is the distinct cultural/historical concept that some places, and structures, become gradually more elegant, notable or beautiful as they decay, or fall into ruin, due to their historical, architectural and/or cultural significance...

. The city's many beautiful cemeteries and their distinct above-ground tomb
Tomb
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes...

s are often attractions in themselves, the oldest and most famous of which, Saint Louis Cemetery
Saint Louis Cemetery
Saint Louis Cemetery is the name of three Roman Catholic cemeteries in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of these graves are above ground vaults; most were constructed in the 18th century and 19th century....

, greatly resembles Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, France , though there are larger cemeteries in the city's suburbs.Père Lachaise is in the 20th arrondissement, and is reputed to be the world's most-visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the...

 in Paris.
Also located in the French Quarter is the old New Orleans Mint
New Orleans Mint
The New Orleans Mint operated in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a branch mint of the United States Mint from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. During its years of operation, it produced over 427 million gold and silver coins of nearly every American denomination, with a total face value of over...

, a former branch of the United States Mint
United States Mint
The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State...

, which now operates as a museum, and The Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region of the United States. It is located in New Orleans' French Quarter. The institution was established in 1966...

, a museum and research center housing art and artifacts relating to the history of New Orleans and the Gulf South. The National World War II Museum
National World War II Museum
The National World War II Museum, formerly known as the National D-Day Museum, is a museum located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, at the corner of Andrew Higgins Boulevard and Magazine Street. It focuses on the contribution made by the United States to victory by the...

, opened in the Warehouse District in 2000 as the "National D-Day Museum", is dedicated to providing information and materials related to the Invasion of Normandy. Nearby, Confederate Memorial Hall
Confederate Memorial Hall
Confederate Memorial Hall is a museum located in New Orleans, Louisiana containing historical artifacts related to the Confederate States of America and the American Civil War. It is historically also known as "Memorial Hall". It houses the second largest collection of Confederate Civil War items...

, the oldest continually operating museum in Louisiana (although under renovation since Katrina), contains the second-largest collection of Confederate memorabilia in the world. Art museums in the city include the Contemporary Arts Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art
The New Orleans Museum of Art is the oldest fine arts museum in the city of New Orleans. It is situated within City Park, a short distance from the intersection of Carrollton Avenue and Esplanade Avenue, and near the terminus of the "Canal Street - City Park" streetcar line...

 (NOMA) in City Park, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is located in New Orleans, within the Central Business District adjacent to Lee Circle. It is associated with the University of New Orleans...

.

New Orleans also boasts a decidedly natural side. It is home to the Audubon Nature Institute
Audubon Nature Institute
The Audubon Nature Institute is family of museums and parks dedicated to nature based in New Orleans, Louisiana. It consists of the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Park, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center,...

 (which consists of Audubon Park, the Audubon Zoo
Audubon Zoo
The Audubon Zoo is a zoo located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is part of the Audubon Nature Institute which also manages the Aquarium of the Americas. The zoo covers and is home to 2,000 animals. It is located in a section of Audubon Park in Uptown New Orleans, on the Mississippi River side of...

, the Aquarium of the Americas
Aquarium of the Americas
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is a renowned aquarium in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.Recognized as one of the leading aquariums in the United States, it is run by the Audubon Institute, which also supervises the Audubon Zoo and Audubon Park...

, and the Audubon Insectarium
Audubon Insectarium
The Audubon Insectarium is an entomology museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. With more than 50 live exhibits and numerous multimedia elements, the facility is the largest free-standing American museum dedicated to insects.It opened in June 2008...

), as well as gardens that include Longue Vue House and Gardens
Longue Vue House and Gardens
Longue Vue House and Gardens, also known as Longue Vue, is a Classical Revival mansion and garden located at 7 Bamboo Road, New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States. It is open to the public Tuesdays to Sundays; an admission fee is charged....

 and the New Orleans Botanical Garden
New Orleans Botanical Garden
The New Orleans Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located in City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana.-1930s: Planning and construction:The Botanical Gardens in New Orleans City Park was unveiled in 1936 as a part of the massive restructuring and development project of City Park that took place in...

. City Park, one of the country's most expansive and visited urban park
Urban park
An urban park, is also known as a municipal park or a public park, public open space or municipal gardens , is a park in cities and other incorporated places to offer recreation and green space to residents of, and visitors to, the municipality...

s, has one of the largest (if not the largest) stands of oak trees in the world.

There are also various points of interest in the surrounding areas. Many wetlands are in close proximity to the city, including Honey Island Swamp
Honey Island Swamp
The Honey Island Swamp is a marshland located in the eastern portion of the U.S. state of Louisiana in St. Tammany Parish. Honey Island earned its name because of the honeybees once seen on a nearby isle.The swamp is bordered on the north by U.S...

. Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery
Chalmette National Cemetery
Chalmette National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located within Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Chalmette, Louisiana. The cemetery is a plot adjacent to the site that once was the battleground of the Battle of New Orleans...

, located just south of the city, is the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans
The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory the United States had acquired with the...

.

Entertainment and performing arts



The New Orleans area is home to numerous celebrations, the most popular of which is Carnival
Carnival
Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...

, often referred to as Mardi Gras
New Orleans Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a Carnival celebration well-known throughout the world.The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany . It is a season of parades, balls , and king cake parties...

. Carnival officially begins on the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as the "Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night (holiday)
Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas.It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the...

". Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday"), the final and grandest day of festivities, is the last Tuesday before the Catholic liturgical season of Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

, which commences on Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter...

.

The largest of the city's many music festivals is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana...

. Commonly referred to simply as "Jazz Fest", it is one of the largest music festivals in the nation, featuring crowds of people from all over the world, coming to experience music, food, arts, and crafts. Despite the name, it features not only jazz but a large variety of music, including both native Louisiana music and international artists. Along with Jazz Fest, New Orleans' Voodoo Experience
Voodoo Experience
Voodoo Experience, also commonly referred to as Voodoo or Voodoo Fest, is a multi-day music and arts festival held in City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana. It was first held on Halloween weekend in 1999. It has since moved between the weekend before Halloween and Halloween weekend throughout the years...

 ("Voodoo Fest") and the Essence Music Festival
Essence Music Festival
Essence Music Festival is an annual music festival celebrating contemporary African American music and culture. It is the largest event celebrating African American culture and music in the United States. It has been held in New Orleans, Louisiana every year since 1995 except for 2006, where it...

 are both large music festivals featuring local and international artists.

Other major festivals held in the city include Southern Decadence
Southern Decadence
Southern Decadence is a week-long, predominantly gay-male event held in New Orleans, Louisiana and its environs by the gay and lesbian community during Labor Day Weekend, climaxing with a parade through the French Quarter on the Sunday before Labor Day...

, the French Quarter Festival, and the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival
Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival
The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is an annual five-day literary festival in the city of New Orleans. The festival is dedicated to the Pulitzer prize-winning American playwright Tennessee Williams...

.

In 2002, Louisiana began offering tax incentives for film and television production. This led to a substantial increase in the number of films shot in the New Orleans area and brought the nickname "Hollywood South." Films which have been filmed or produced in and around New Orleans include: Ray
Ray (film)
Ray is a 2004 biographical film focusing on 30 years of the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was directed by Taylor Hackford and starred Jamie Foxx in the title role; Foxx received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.Charles was set to...

, Runaway Jury
Runaway Jury
Runaway Jury is a 2003 American drama/thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Weisz...

, The Pelican Brief
The Pelican Brief (film)
The Pelican Brief is a 1993 legal crime thriller based on the novel of the same name by John Grisham. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film stars Julia Roberts in the role of young law student Darby Shaw and Denzel Washington as Washington Herald reporter Gray Grantham...

, Glory Road
Glory Road (film)
Glory Road is an American sports film directed by James Gartner, based on a true story dealing with the events leading to the 1966 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, in which the late Don Haskins – played by Josh Lucas – head coach of the Texas Western College led a team...

, All the King's Men
All the King's Men (2006 film)
All the King's Men is a 2006 film adaptation of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. It was directed by Steven Zaillian, who also produced and scripted....

, Déjà Vu, Last Holiday, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (film)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 American fantasy-drama film directed by David Fincher. The screenplay by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord is loosely based on the 1922 short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald...

, and numerous others. In 2006, work began on the Louisiana Film & Television studio complex, based in the Treme
Treme
Tremé is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are Esplanade Avenue to the north, North Rampart Street to the east, St. Louis Street to the south and North Broad Street to the west...

 neighborhood. Louisiana began to offer similar tax incentives for music and theater productions in 2007, leading many to begin referring to New Orleans as "Broadway South."


New Orleans has always been a significant center for music, showcasing its intertwined European, Latin American, and African cultures. New Orleans' unique musical heritage was born in its pre-American and early American days from a unique blending of European instruments with African rhythms. As the only North American city to allow slaves to gather in public and play their native music (largely in Congo Square
Congo Square
Congo Square is an open space within Louis Armstrong Park, which is located in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, just across Rampart Street north of the French Quarter. The Tremé neighborhood is famous for its history of African American music....

, now located within Louis Armstrong Park
Louis Armstrong Park
Louis Armstrong Park is a park located in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, just across Rampart Street from the French Quarter. It was designed by New Orleans architect Robin Riley. The park contains the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the...

), New Orleans gave birth to an indigenous music: jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

. Soon, brass band
Brass band
A brass band is a musical ensemble generally consisting entirely of brass instruments, most often with a percussion section. Ensembles that include brass and woodwind instruments can in certain traditions also be termed brass bands , but are usually more correctly termed military bands, concert...

s formed, gaining popular attraction that still holds today. The city's music was later significantly influenced by Acadiana, home of Cajun
Cajun music
Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin...

 and Zydeco
Zydeco
Zydeco is a form of uniquely American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of "la la" Creole music...

 music, and Delta blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

.

New Orleans' unique musical culture is further evident in its funerals. A spin on the tradition of military brass band funerals, traditional New Orleans funerals feature sad music (mostly dirges and hymns) on the way to the cemetery and happier music (hot jazz) on the way back. Such traditional musical funerals still take place when a local musician, a member of a club, krewe
Krewe
A krewe is an organization that puts on a parade and or a ball for the Carnival season. The term is best known for its association with New Orleans Mardi Gras, but is also used in other Carnival celebrations around the Gulf of Mexico, such as the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida, and...

, or benevolent society, or a noted dignitary has passed. Until the 1990s, most locals preferred to call these "funerals with music", but visitors to the city have long dubbed them "jazz funeral
Jazz funeral
Jazz funeral is a common name for a funeral tradition with music which developed in New Orleans, Louisiana.The term "jazz funeral" was long in use by observers from elsewhere, but was generally disdained as inappropriate by most New Orleans musicians and practitioners of the tradition...

s".

Much later in its musical development, New Orleans was home to a distinctive brand of rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

 that contributed greatly to the growth of rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

. An example of the New Orleans' sound in the 1960s is the #1 US hit "Chapel of Love
Chapel of Love
"Chapel of Love" is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, and made famous by The Dixie Cups in 1964, spending three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. There have also been many other versions of this song...

" by the Dixie Cups
The Dixie Cups
The Dixie Cups are an American pop music girl group of the 1960s. They are best known for their 1964 million selling disc, "Chapel of Love".-Career:...

, a song which knocked The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. New Orleans became a hotbed for funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

 music in the 1960s and 1970s, and by the late 1980s, it had developed its own localized variant of hip hop
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

, called bounce music
Bounce music
Bounce music is an energetic style of New Orleans hip hop music which is said to have originated as early as the late 1980s, but is typically believed to have begun with the 1991 single "Where Dey At" by MC T.Tucker and DJ Irv...

. While never commercially successful outside of the Deep South
Deep South
The Deep South is a descriptive category of the cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states which were most dependent on plantation type agriculture during the pre-Civil War period...

, it remained immensely popular in the poorer neighborhoods of the city throughout the 1990s.

A cousin of bounce, New Orleans hip hop has seen commercial success locally and internationally, producing Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. , better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper. At the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.'z, with B.G.. In 1997, Lil Wayne joined the group Hot Boys, which also included...

, Master P
Master P
Percy Robert Miller , better known by his stage name Master P or his business name P. Miller, is an American rapper, actor, entrepreneur, investor, and producer. He is the founder of the popular label No Limit Records, which went bankrupt and was relaunched as New No Limit Records through Koch...

, Birdman, Juvenile
Juvenile (rapper)
Terius Gray, better known by his stage name Juvenile, is an American rapper, He is also a former member of hip-hop group the Hot Boys . At the age of 19, he began recording raps, releasing his debut album Being Myself in 1995...

, Cash Money Records
Cash Money Records
Cash Money Records is a record label founded by brothers Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams. Today it operates as a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, and is distributed by Universal Republic Records as of 2011...

, and No Limit Records
No Limit Records
No Limit Records was an American hip-hop record label that was founded in 1990 by hip-hop artist, Percy "Master P" Miller. It was distributed by Priority Records.-No Limit Early years:...

. Additionally, the wave of popularity of cowpunk
Cowpunk
Cowpunk or Country punk is a subgenre of punk rock and New Wave that began in the UK and California in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines punk rock or New Wave with country music, folk music, and blues in sound, subject matter, attitude, and style...

, a fast form of southern rock
Southern rock
Southern rock is a subgenre of rock music, and genre of Americana. It developed in the Southern United States from rock and roll, country music, and blues, and is focused generally on electric guitar and vocals...

, originated with the help of several local bands, such as The Radiators
The Radiators (US)
The Radiators, also known as The New Orleans Radiators, are a rock band from New Orleans, Louisiana, who have combined the traditional musical styles of their native city with more mainstream rock and R&B influences to form a bouncy, funky variety of swamp-rock they call fish-head music...

, Better Than Ezra
Better Than Ezra
Better Than Ezra is an American alternative rock trio based in New Orleans, Louisiana.-Formation and early success:Better Than Ezra was formed in 1988 by its four original members - vocalist and guitarist Kevin Griffin; Joel Rundell, the lead guitarist; bassist Tom Drummond; and drummer, Cary...

, Cowboy Mouth
Cowboy Mouth
Cowboy Mouth is a rock band based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Their name usually means "One with a loud and raucous voice". The nucleus of the band formed in the 1990s, and they have become a powerhouse live act whose performances have been likened to "a religious experience."Some of their most...

, and Dash Rip Rock
Dash Rip Rock
Dash Rip Rock is a New Orleans based rock band built around the songs of singer-guitarist Bill Davis.The band is a legendary live powerhouse, often being credited with founding the musical genre known as "Country Punk." The New York Times said Dash Rip Rock is "the kind of band that provides a...

. Throughout the 1990s, many sludge metal
Sludge metal
Sludge metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that melds elements of doom metal and hardcore punk, and sometimes incorporates influences from southern rock, stoner rock and grunge. Sludge metal is typically abrasive; often featuring shouted vocals, heavily distorted instruments and sharply contrasting...

 bands started in the area. New Orleans' heavy metal bands like Eyehategod
Eyehategod
Eyehategod is an American sludge metal band from New Orleans who formed in 1988. They have become one of the most well known bands to emerge from the NOLA metal scene...

, Soilent Green
Soilent Green
Soilent Green is a grindcore and sludge metal band that hails from Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans.-Overview:Soilent Green was founded in 1988. Their début album wasn't released until 1995, when Pussysoul came out on Dwell Records...

, Crowbar, and Down
Down (band)
Down is an American heavy metal supergroup that formed in 1991 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band's current lineup consists of vocalist Phil Anselmo, guitarist Pepper Keenan, guitarist Kirk Windstein, bassist Pat Bruders and drummer Jimmy Bower. Since their formation, Down has gone on hiatus twice...

 have incorporated styles such as hardcore punk
Hardcore punk
Hardcore punk is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A...

, doom metal
Doom metal
Doom metal is an extreme form of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other metal genres...

, and southern rock to create an original and heady brew of swampy and aggravated metal that has largely avoided standardization.

New Orleans is the southern terminus of the famed Highway 61.

Media



The major daily newspaper is The Times-Picayune, publishing since 1837. Weekly publications include The Louisiana Weekly
The Louisiana Weekly
The Louisiana Weekly is a weekly newspaper published in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It covers topics of interest to the African American community, especially in the New Orleans area and south Louisiana. It has a circulation of 5,854....

and Gambit Weekly
Gambit Weekly
Gambit is a New Orleans, Louisiana-based free alternative weekly newspaper that was established in 1981 as Gambit Weekly. Gambit features reporting about local politics, news, food and drink, arts, music, film, events, environmental issues and other topics, as well as listings...

. Also in wide circulation is the Clarion Herald
Clarion Herald
The Clarion Herald is the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.The stated mission of the Clarion Herald is to chronicle the activities and events of local church parishes around the Archdiocese. However, the newspaper also functions as an outlet for editorials by the Archbishop of...

, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, officially in Latin Archidioecesis Novae Aureliae, is an ecclesiastical division of the Roman Catholic Church administered from New Orleans, Louisiana...

.

Greater New Orleans is the 54th largest Designated Market Area
Media market
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area , Television Market Area , or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media including newspapers and Internet content...

 (DMA) in the U.S., serving 566,960 homes. Major television network affiliates serving the area include:
  • 4 WWL
    WWL-TV
    WWL-TV, virtual channel 4, is the CBS-affiliated television station serving New Orleans, Louisiana, southeast Louisiana and parts of southern and coastal Mississippi, and is the primary CBS station for South and Coastal Mississippi. It broadcasts on UHF digital channel 36...

     (CBS
    CBS
    CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

    )
  • 6 WDSU
    WDSU
    WDSU, virtual channel 6, is the NBC-affiliated television station for the New Orleans, Louisiana television market. It is owned by Hearst Television, which in turn is wholly owned by the Hearst Corporation. It broadcasts on UHF digital channel 43...

     (NBC
    NBC
    The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

    )
  • 8 WVUE (Fox
    Fox Broadcasting Company
    Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

    )
  • 12 WYES
    WYES-TV
    WYES-TV is the primary Public Broadcasting Service member public television station in New Orleans, Louisiana, owned by the Greater New Orleans Educational Television Foundation. It broadcasts on virtual channel 12.-History:...

     (PBS
    Public Broadcasting Service
    The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

    )
  • 20 WHNO
    WHNO
    WHNO is a television station in New Orleans, Louisiana, broadcasting locally on virtual channel 20 as a LeSEA owned-and-operated station. As an affiliate of LeSEA, the station airs mostly Christian programming along with a small amount of secular family programming.-Digital television:WHNO-DT...

     (LeSEA
    LeSEA
    LeSEA Broadcasting , also known as World Harvest Television, is an American Christian television network with over 40 affiliate stations in a number of U.S...

    )
  • 26 WGNO
    WGNO
    WGNO, channel 26, is the ABC-affiliated television station for the greater New Orleans, Louisiana metropolitan area, as well parts of southern and coastal Mississippi. It is owned by Tribune Broadcasting, and is the only Big Three network affiliate owned by the company.The station offers ABC...

     (ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

    )
  • 32 WLAE
    WLAE-TV
    WLAE-TV, virtual channel 32, is a public television station located in New Orleans, Louisiana, serving as a member station of the Public Broadcasting Service. The station is broadcast on UHF digital channel 11. The station is one of two PBS stations serving the market; WYES-TV is the other...

     (PBS
    Public Broadcasting Service
    The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

    )
  • 38 WNOL
    WNOL-TV
    WNOL-TV, virtual channel 38, is the CW-affiliated television station in New Orleans, Louisiana. It broadcasts on UHF digital channel 15. It is owned by Tribune Broadcasting, in a duopoly with ABC affiliate WGNO.-Digital television:...

     (The CW
    The CW Television Network
    The CW Television Network is a television network in the United States launched at the beginning of the 2006–2007 television season. It is a joint venture between CBS Corporation, the former owners of United Paramount Network , and Time Warner's Warner Bros., former majority owner of The WB...

    )
  • 42 KGLA
    KGLA-DT
    KGLA-DT is a digital-only television station that began broadcasting on June 5, 2007 under the callsign WHMM-DT. The station broadcasts SD 480i on UHF channel 42 and serves as the Telemundo affiliate for the New Orleans DMA. The city of license is Hammond, Louisiana...

     (Telemundo
    Telemundo
    Telemundo is an American television network that broadcasts in Spanish. The network is the second-largest Spanish-language content producer in the world, and the second-largest Spanish-language network in the United States, behind Univision....

    )
  • 49 WPXL
    WPXL
    WPXL-TV is the local Ion Television affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana, owned by Ion Media Networks. It broadcasts on virtual channel 49....

     (ION)
  • 54 WUPL
    WUPL
    WUPL, virtual channel 54, is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for the Greater New Orleans, Louisiana area. It is licensed to the Northshore community of Slidell. It is currently owned by the Belo Corporation, in a duopoly with CBS affiliate WWL-TV. It broadcasts on UHF digital channel...

     (MyNetworkTV
    MyNetworkTV
    MyNetworkTV is a television broadcast syndication service in the United States, owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a division of News Corporation...

    )

Two radio stations that were influential in promoting New Orleans-based bands and singers were 50,000-watt WNOE-AM (1060) and 10,000-watt WTIX-AM
WIST (AM)
WIST is a combo news/sports talk station based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The locally owned & operated station is an affiliate of Fox Sports Radio and broadcasts at 690 kHz with a power level of 10,000 watts daytime and 5,000 watts nighttime.The facilities of the station, previously called...

 (690). These two stations competed head-to-head from the late 1950s to the late 1970s.

WWOZ, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, broadcasts, 24 hours per day, modern and traditional jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, brass band, gospel, cajun, zydeco, Caribbean, Latin, Brazilian, African, bluegrass, and Irish at 90.7 FM and at www.wwoz.org.

WTUL, a local college radio station (Tulane University), broadcasts a wide array of programming, including 20th century classical, reggae, jazz, showtunes, indie rock, electronic music, soul/funk, goth, punk, hip hop, New Orleans music, opera, folk, hardcore, Americana
Americana (music)
Americana is an amalgam of roots musics formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the American musical ethos; specifically those sounds that are merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and other external influential styles...

, country, blues, Latin, cheese, techno, local, world, ska, swing and big band, kids shows, and even news programming from DemocracyNow. WTUL is listener supported and non-commercial. The disc jockeys are volunteers, many of them college students.

Louisiana's film and television tax credits have spurred some growth in the television industry, although to a lesser degree than in the film industry. Many films and advertisements have in part or whole been filmed in the city, as have television programs such as The Real World: New Orleans
The Real World: New Orleans
The Real World: New Orleans is the ninth season of MTV's reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months in a different city each season, as cameras follow their lives and interpersonal relationships. The series was filmed...

in 2000, and The Real World: Back to New Orleans
The Real World: Back to New Orleans
The Real World: New Orleans is the twenty-fourth season of MTV's reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months in a different city each season, as cameras document their lives and interpersonal relationships...

in 2009 and 2010.

Food


New Orleans is world-famous for its food. The indigenous cuisine is distinctive and influential. From centuries of amalgamation of the local Creole, haute Creole, and New Orleans French cuisines, New Orleans food has developed. Local ingredients, French, Spanish, Italian, African, Native American, Cajun, Chinese, and a hint of Cuban traditions combine to produce a truly unique and easily recognizable Louisiana flavor.

Unique specialties include beignet
Beignet
A beignet in the U.S. is a pastry made from deep-fried dough, much like a doughnut, and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, or frostings. Savory versions of beignets are also popular as an appetizer, with fillings such as maple or fruit preserves....

s (locally pronounced like "ben-yays"), square-shaped fried pastries that could be called "French doughnuts" (served with café au lait
Café au lait
Café au lait is a French coffee drink. The meaning of the term differs between Europe and the United States; in both cases it means some kind of coffee with hot milk added, in contrast to white coffee, which is coffee with room temperature milk or other whitener added.- Europe :In Europe, "café au...

made with a blend of coffee and chicory rather than only coffee); Po' boy
Po' boy
A po' boy is a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat, usually roast, or seafood, usually fried, served on baguette-like New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust yet fluffy center.-Preparation:A key ingredient that differentiates po' boys from...

 and Italian Muffuletta
Muffuletta
The muffuletta is a type of round Sicilian sesame bread, as well as a submarine sandwich made with that bread that originated from New Orleans, Louisiana.-Bread:...

 sandwiches; Chinese inspired beef Yaka mein
Yaka mein
Yaka mein is a type of beef noodle soup commonly found in many Creole and Chinese restaurants in New Orleans. Yaka mein is sometimes referred to as "Old Sober," as it is commonly prescribed by locals as a cure for hangovers...

; Gulf oysters on the half-shell, fried oysters, boiled crawfish
Crayfish
Crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads – members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea – are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related...

, and other seafood
Seafood
Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...

; étouffée
Étouffée
Étouffée or etouffee is a dish found in both Cajun and creole cusine typically served with shellfish over rice. It is most popular in New Orleans and in the bayou country of the southernmost half of Louisiana.-Etymology:...

, jambalaya
Jambalaya
Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence. -Jambalaya varieties:Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It is also a close cousin to the saffron colored paella found in Spanish culture...

, gumbo
Gumbo
Gumbo is a stew or soup that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions...

, and other Creole dishes; and the Monday favorite of red beans and rice. (Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong , nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana....

 often signed his letters, "Red beans and ricely yours".) Another New Orleans specialty is the Praline
Praline
Praline is a family of confections made from nuts and sugar syrup.-Europe:As originally inspired in France at the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte by the cook of the 17th-century sugar industrialist Marshal du Plessis-Praslin , early pralines were whole almonds individually coated in caramelized sugar,...

 (local), a candy made with brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, butter, and pecans.

Dialect


New Orleans has developed a distinctive local dialect of American English
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

 over the years that is neither Cajun
Cajun
Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

 nor the stereotypical Southern
Southern American English
Southern American English is a group of dialects of the English language spoken throughout the Southern region of the United States, from Southern and Eastern Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky to the Gulf Coast, and from the Atlantic coast to most of Texas and Oklahoma.The Southern dialects make...

 accent, so often misportrayed by film and television actors. It does, like earlier Southern Englishes, feature frequent deletion of the post-vocalic "r"
Rhotic and non-rhotic accents
English pronunciation can be divided into two main accent groups: a rhotic speaker pronounces a rhotic consonant in words like hard; a non-rhotic speaker does not...

. This dialect is quite similar to New York City area accents such as "Brooklynese", to people unfamiliar with either. There are many theories regarding how it came to be, but it likely resulted from New Orleans' geographic isolation by water and the fact that the city was a major immigration port throughout the 19th century. As a result, many of the ethnic groups who reside in Brooklyn also reside in New Orleans, such as the Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

, Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

s (especially Sicilians), and German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

s, among others, as well as a very sizable Jewish community.

One of the strongest varieties of the New Orleans accent is sometimes identified as the Yat dialect, from the greeting "Where y'at?" This distinctive accent is dying out generation by generation in the city itself, but remains very strong in the surrounding parishes.

Less visibly, various ethnic groups throughout the area have retained their distinctive language traditions to this day. Although rare, Kreyol Lwiziyen
Louisiana Creole French
Louisiana Creole is a French Creole language spoken by the Louisiana Creole people of the state of Louisiana. The language consists of elements of French, Spanish, African, and Native American roots.-Geography:...

 is still spoken by the Creoles
Louisiana Creole people
Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. The term was first used during colonial times by the settlers to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to those born in the Old World...

. Also rare, an archaic Louisiana-Canarian Spanish dialect is spoken by the Isleño people, but it can usually only be heard by older members of the population.

Sports


New Orleans' professional sports teams include the 2009 Super Bowl
Super Bowl XLIV
Super Bowl XLIV was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference champion New Orleans Saints to decide the National Football League champion for the 2009 season. The Saints defeated the Colts by a score of...

 champion New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are members of the South Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League ....

 (NFL
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

), the New Orleans Hornets (NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

), the New Orleans Zephyrs
New Orleans Zephyrs
The New Orleans Zephyrs are a minor league baseball team based in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The Zephyrs play in the Pacific Coast League and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. The Zephyrs play their home games at Zephyr Field....

 (PCL
Pacific Coast League
The Pacific Coast League is a minor-league baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball.The...

), and returning for the 2011 season, the New Orleans VooDoo
New Orleans VooDoo
The New Orleans VooDoo are an Arena Football League team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They play their home games in New Orleans Arena....

 (AFL
Arena Football League
The Arena Football League is the highest level of professional indoor American football in the United States. It is currently the second longest running professional football league in the United States, after the National Football League. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster...

). It is also home to the Big Easy Rollergirls
Big Easy Rollergirls
Big Easy Rollergirls or BERG is an all-female, flat-track roller derby league in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. In 2011, BERG converted from an LLC to a non-profit corporation, but does not have 501 status...

, an all-female flat track roller derby
Women's Flat Track Derby Association
The Women's Flat Track Derby Association is an association of women's flat track roller derby leagues in the United States. The organization was founded in April 2004 as the United Leagues Coalition but was renamed in November 2005. It is registered in Raleigh, North Carolina as a 501 business...

 team, and the New Orleans Blaze
New Orleans Blaze
The New Orleans Blaze is a women's American football team in the Women's Football Alliance. Formerly a member of the National Women's Football Association, they play at City Park, splitting their time between Pan American Stadium and Tad Gormley Stadium....

, a women's football
National Women's Football Association
The National Women's Football Association was a full-contact American football league for women headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The league was founded by Catherine Masters in 2000, as the two benchmark teams, the Alabama Renegades and the Nashville Dream played each other six times in...

 team. A local group of investors began conducting a study in 2007 to see if the city could support a Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

 team.

The Louisiana Superdome
Louisiana Superdome
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, previously known as the Louisiana Superdome and colloquially known as the Superdome, is a sports and exhibition arena located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA...

 is the home of the Saints, the Sugar Bowl, and other prominent events. It has hosted the Super Bowl
Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League , the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather...

 a record six times (1978
Super Bowl XII
Super Bowl XII was an American football game played on January 15, 1978 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1977 regular season...

, 1981
Super Bowl XV
Super Bowl XV was an American football game played on January 25, 1981 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1980 regular season...

, 1986
Super Bowl XX
Super Bowl XX was an American football championship game played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1985 regular season...

, 1990
Super Bowl XXIV
Super Bowl XXIV was an American football game played on January 28, 1990 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1989 regular season...

, 1997
Super Bowl XXXI
Super Bowl XXXI was an American football game played on January 26, 1997, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1996 regular season. The National Football Conference champion Green Bay Packers defeated the American...

, 2002
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game played on February 3, 2002 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 2001 regular season. The American Football Conference champion New England Patriots won their first Super...

) and will host again in 2013
Super Bowl XLVII
Super Bowl XLVII, the 47th edition of the Super Bowl and the 43rd modern era National Football League championship game, is scheduled to be played in 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana...

. The New Orleans Arena
New Orleans Arena
New Orleans Arena is an indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is located in the city's Central Business District, adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome....

 is the home of the Hornets, VooDoo, and many events that are not large enough to need the Superdome. New Orleans is also home to the Fair Grounds Race Course
Fair Grounds Race Course
Fair Grounds Race Course, often known as New Orleans Fair Grounds, is a thoroughbred racetrack and racino in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is operated by Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing Company, LLC....

, the nation's third-oldest thoroughbred track. The city's Lakefront Arena
Lakefront Arena
The Senator Nat G. Kiefer University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena, in New Orleans, Louisiana and was built in 1983. It is named in honor of Nat G. Kiefer, the late state senator who aided UNO’s efforts to obtain state funding for the building...

 has also been home to sporting events.

Each year New Orleans plays host to the Sugar Bowl
Sugar Bowl
The Sugar Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sugar Bowl has been played annually since January 1, 1935, and celebrated its 75th anniversary on January 2, 2009...

, the New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans Bowl
The New Orleans Bowl is a post-season college football bowl game certified by the NCAA that has been played annually at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana since 2001. The game was sponsored by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts from 2002 to 2004 and was officially called the Wyndham New...

 and the Zurich Classic
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is a regular golf tournament on the PGA Tour. It is played annually in New Orleans, Louisiana; its historic date has been in April, but was moved to March in 2008. Zurich Financial Services is the main sponsor of the tournament.From the event's inception through...

, a golf tournament on the PGA Tour
PGA Tour
The PGA Tour is the organizer of the main men's professional golf tours in the United States and North America...

. In addition, it has often hosted major sporting events that have no permanent home, such as the Super Bowl
Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League , the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather...

, ArenaBowl
ArenaBowl
The ArenaBowl is the Arena Football League's championship game. From 1987 to 2004, the ArenaBowl was hosted by either the team with the better regular-season record or the higher seeding in the playoffs. From ArenaBowl XIX in 2005 until ArenaBowl XXII in 2008, the game was played at a neutral site...

, NBA All-Star Game, BCS National Championship Game
BCS National Championship Game
The BCS National Championship Game, or BCS National Championship, is the final bowl game of the annual Bowl Championship Series and is intended by the organizers of the BCS to determine the U.S. national champion of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision...

, and the NCAA Final Four
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon
Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon is an annual international marathon race which takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States...

 and the Crescent City Classic
Crescent City Classic
The Crescent City Classic is an annual 10-kilometer race held on Easter weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States....

 are two road running
Road running
Road running is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road . These events would be classified as long distance according to athletics terminology, with distances typically ranging from 5 kilometers to 42.2 kilometers in the marathon. They may involve large numbers of runners...

 events held annually in the city.

Economy




New Orleans is home to one of the largest and busiest ports in the world
Port of New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans is a port located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 1st in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana, and 13th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo...

, and metropolitan New Orleans
New Orleans metropolitan area
New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner, or the Greater New Orleans Region is a metropolitan area designated by the United States Census encompassing seven parishes in the state of Louisiana, centering on the city of New Orleans...

 is a center of maritime industry. The New Orleans region also accounts for a significant portion of the nation's oil refining
Oil refinery
An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas...

 and petrochemical production
Petrochemical
Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, or renewable sources such as corn or sugar cane....

, and serves as a white collar corporate base for onshore and offshore petroleum
Extraction of petroleum
The extraction of petroleum is the process by which usable petroleum is extracted and removed from the earth.-Locating the oil field:Geologists use seismic surveys to search for geological structures that may form oil reservoirs...

 and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 production. New Orleans is a center for higher learning, with over 50,000 students enrolled in the region's eleven two- and four-year degree granting institutions. A top 50 research university, Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

, is located in New Orleans' Uptown
Uptown New Orleans
Uptown is a section of New Orleans, Louisiana on the East Bank of the Mississippi River encompassing a number of neighborhoods between the French Quarter and the Jefferson Parish line. It remains an area of mixed residential and small commercial properties, with a wealth of 19th century architecture...

 neighborhood. Metropolitan New Orleans is a major regional hub for the health care industry and boasts a small, globally competitive manufacturing sector. The center city
New Orleans Central Business District
The Central Business District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the French Quarter/CBD Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial...

 possesses a rapidly growing, entrepreneurial creative industries
Creative industries
The creative industries refers to a range of economic activities which are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information...

 sector, and is, of course, renowned for its cultural tourism
Cultural tourism
Cultural tourism is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region's culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of those peoples, their art, architecture, religion, and other elements that helped shape their way of life...

. Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.)http://www.gnoinc.org/ acts as the first point-of-contact for regional economic development and is slotted between Louisiana's Department of Economic Development and the various parochial business development agencies.

New Orleans came into being to act as a strategically located trading entrepot, and it remains, above all, a crucial transportation hub and distribution center for waterborne commerce. The Port of New Orleans
Port of New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans is a port located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 1st in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana, and 13th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo...

 is the 5th-largest port in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana
Port of South Louisiana
The Port of South Louisiana is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 9th largest in the world. It is the largest bulk cargo port in the world....

, and 12th-largest in the U.S., based on value of cargo. The Port of South Louisiana, also based in the New Orleans area, is the world's busiest in terms of bulk tonnage and, when combined with the Port of New Orleans, it forms the 4th-largest port system in volume handled. Many shipbuilding, shipping, logistics, freight forwarding and commodity brokerage firms either call metropolitan New Orleans home or maintain a large local presence. Examples include Intermarine, Bisso Towboat, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems was a former sector or division of Northrop Grumman Corporation which was responsible for building small and medium shipping products...

, Trinity Yachts, Expeditors International
Expeditors International
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. is a global logistics and freight forwarding company headquartered in Seattle, Washington.The company employs over 12,900 trained professionals in 251 locations across six continents. Expeditors works in international trade through a seamless,...

, Bollinger Shipyards, IMTT, International Coffee Corp, Boasso America, Transoceanic Shipping, Transportation Consultants Inc., Dupuy Storage & Forwarding and Silocaf. The largest coffee-roasting plant in the world, operated by Folgers
Folgers
Folgers Coffee is a major brand of coffee in the United States, part of the food and beverage division of The J.M. Smucker Co.-Company history:...

, is located in New Orleans East
Eastern New Orleans
Eastern New Orleans is a large section of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Developed extensively from the 1960s onwards, it was originally marketed as "suburban-style living within the city limits", and has much in common with the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans...

.

Like Houston, New Orleans is located in proximity to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and the many oil rigs that lie just offshore. Louisiana ranks fifth in oil production and eighth in reserves
Oil reserves
The total estimated amount of oil in an oil reservoir, including both producible and non-producible oil, is called oil in place. However, because of reservoir characteristics and limitations in petroleum extraction technologies, only a fraction of this oil can be brought to the surface, and it is...

 in the United States. It is also home to two of the four Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an emergency fuel storage of oil maintained by the United States Department of Energy.- United States :The US SPR is the largest emergency supply in the world with the current capacity to hold up to ....

 (SPR) storage facilities: West Hackberry in Cameron Parish
Cameron Parish, Louisiana
Cameron Parish is the parish with the most land area in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Cameron and as of 2010, the population was 6,839...

 and Bayou Choctaw in Iberville Parish
Iberville Parish, Louisiana
Iberville Parish is a parish located south of Baton Rouge in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Its seat is Plaquemine. The 2010 population of the parish was 33,387....

. Other infrastructure includes 17 petroleum refineries with a combined crude oil distillation capacity of nearly 2.8 Moilbbl/d, the second highest in the nation after Texas. Louisiana's numerous ports include the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port
Louisiana Offshore Oil Port
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is a deepwater port in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana near the town of Port Fourchon. LOOP provides tanker offloading and temporary storage services for crude oil transported on some of the largest tankers in the world. Most tankers offloading at LOOP...

 (LOOP), which is capable of receiving ultra large oil tankers. Given the quantity of oil importing, Louisiana is home to many major pipelines supplying the nation: Crude Oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 (Exxon
Exxon
Exxon is a chain of gas stations as well as a brand of motor fuel and related products by ExxonMobil. From 1972 to 1999, Exxon was the corporate name of the company previously known as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey or Jersey Standard....

, Chevron
Chevron Corporation
Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation headquartered in San Ramon, California, United States and active in more than 180 countries. It is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production; refining,...

, BP
BP
BP p.l.c. is a global oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors"...

, Texaco
Texaco
Texaco is the name of an American oil retail brand. Its flagship product is its fuel "Texaco with Techron". It also owns the Havoline motor oil brand....

, Shell
Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is the United States-based subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational oil company of Anglo Dutch origins, which is amongst the largest oil companies in the world. Approximately 22,000 Shell employees are based in the U.S. The head office in the U.S. is in Houston, Texas...

, Scurloch-Permian, Mid-Valley, Calumet, Conoco
Conoco Inc.
Conoco Inc. was an American oil company founded in 1875 as the Continental Oil and Transportation Company. It is now a brand of gasoline and service station in the United States which belongs to the ConocoPhillips Company...

, Koch Industries
Koch Industries
Koch Industries, Inc. , is an American private energy conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company...

, Unocal
Unocal Corporation
Union Oil Company of California, dba Unocal is a defunct company that was a major petroleum explorer and marketer in the late 19th century, through the 20th century, and into the early 21st century. It was headquartered in El Segundo, California, United States.On August 10, 2005, Unocal merged...

, U.S. Dept. of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

, Locap); Product (TEPPCO Partners
TEPPCO Partners
TEPPCO Partners LP was Fortune 300 company based in Houston, Texas. The company operated petroleum pipelines.-History:During the second quarter of 2007, it was acquired by another Fortune 500 company, Houston-based Enterprise GP Holdings along with 35 percent of Dallas-based Energy Transfer...

, Colonial, Plantation, Explorer, Texaco, Collins); and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Dixie, TEPPCO, Black Lake, Koch, Chevron, Dynegy
Dynegy
Dynegy Inc. , based in Houston, Texas, United States, is a large owner and operator of power plants and a player in the natural gas liquids and coal business...

, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company
The Dow Chemical Company is a multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. As of 2007, it is the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization .Dow...

, Bridgeline, FMP, Tejas, Texaco, UTP). Several major energy companies have regional headquarters in the city or its suburbs, including Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

, Eni
Eni
Eni S.p.A. is an Italian multinational oil and gas company, present in 70 countries, and currently Italy's largest industrial company with a market capitalization of 87.7 billion euros , as of July 24, 2008...

 and Chevron
Chevron Corporation
Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation headquartered in San Ramon, California, United States and active in more than 180 countries. It is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production; refining,...

. Numerous other energy producers and oilfield services companies are also headquartered in the city or region, and the sector supports a large professional services base of specialized engineering and design firms, as well as an office for the federal government's Minerals Management Service
Minerals Management Service
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement , formerly known as the Minerals Management Service , was an agency of the United States Department of the Interior that managed the nation's natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf...

.

The city is the home to a single Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 company: Entergy
Entergy
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. It is headquartered in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana.-History:...

, a power generation utility and nuclear powerplant operations specialist. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the city lost its other Fortune 500 company, Freeport-McMoRan
Freeport-McMoRan
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., often called simply Freeport, is the world's lowest-cost copper producer and one of the world's largest producers of gold...

, when it merged its copper and gold exploration unit with an Arizona company and relocated that division to Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

. Its McMoRan Exploration affiliate remains headquartered in New Orleans. Other companies either headquartered or with significant operations in New Orleans include: Pan American Life Insurance, Pool Corp, Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

, Newpark Resources, AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

, TurboSquid, iSeatz, IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

, Navtech, Superior Energy Services, Textron Marine & Land Systems, McDermott International, Pellerin Milnor, Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

, Imperial Trading, Laitram, Harrah's Entertainment
Harrah's Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is a private gaming corporation that owns and operates over 50 casinos, hotels, and seven golf courses under several brands. The company, based in Paradise, Nevada, is the largest gaming company in the world, with yearly revenues $8.9 billion...

, Stewart Enterprises, Edison Chouest Offshore, Zatarain's
Zatarain's
Zatarain's is a food and spice company. It was started in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna by Emile A. Zatarain, Sr., who took out a trademark and began to market root beer in 1889. He expanded his product range to include mustard, pickled vegetables, and extracts.Then he moved into the spice...

, Waldemar S. Nelson & Co., Whitney National Bank
Whitney National Bank
Whitney National Bank is a regional community banking institution headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1883, it is the oldest continuously operating bank in Louisiana and a major player in the Gulf South banking industry. Whitney branches are distinguished by a characteristic clock,...

, Capital One
Capital One
Capital One Financial Corp. is a U.S.-based bank holding company specializing in credit cards, home loans, auto loans, banking and savings products...

, Tidewater Marine
Tidewater (marine services)
Tidewater, Inc. is a publicly traded international petroleum service company headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.. It operates a fleet of boats providing vessels and marine services to the offshore petroleum industry....

, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits
Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits
Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits is a chain of fried chicken fast food restaurants, owned since 1993 by the Sandy Springs, Georgia-based AFC Enterprises, which was originally America's Favorite Chicken Company...

, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Parsons Brinckerhoff is a professional services firm with 14,000 employees in 150 offices providing construction and operation management, planning, design, engineering, program management, strategic consulting, environmental and sustainability services for clients and communities in the Americas,...

, MWH Global
MWH Global
MWH Global is a global Wet Infrastructure firm, providing technical engineering, construction services and consulting solutions to protect, enhance, store and distribute water. The firm has provided planning, design and construction management services for a wide range of water resources projects...

, CH2M HILL
CH2M Hill
CH2M Hill is an American-based global provider of engineering, construction, and operations services for corporations, nonprofits, and federal, state, and local governments. The firm is headquartered in Meridian, an unincorporated area of Douglas County, Colorado in the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan...

, Energy Partners Ltd. and The Receivables Exchange
The Receivables Exchange
The Receivables Exchange is an online marketplace where businesses sell their accounts receivable to accredited investors in realtime auctions, accessing capital in as little as 2 business days, on flexible terms...

.

Tourism is another staple of the city's economy. Perhaps more visible than any other sector, New Orleans' tourist and convention industry is a $5.5 billion juggernaut that accounts for 40 percent of New Orleans' tax revenues. In 2004, the hospitality industry employed 85,000 people, making it New Orleans' top economic sector as measured by employment totals. The city also hosts the World Cultural Economic Forum (WCEF). The forum, held annually at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, is directed toward promoting cultural and economic development opportunities through the strategic convening of cultural ambassadors and leaders from around the world. The first WCEF took place in October 2008.

The federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 has a significant presence in the area. NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

's Michoud Assembly Facility
Michoud Assembly Facility
The Michoud Assembly Facility is an 832-acre site owned by NASA and located in New Orleans East, a large district within the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Organizationally, it is part of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center...

 is located in New Orleans East
Eastern New Orleans
Eastern New Orleans is a large section of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Developed extensively from the 1960s onwards, it was originally marketed as "suburban-style living within the city limits", and has much in common with the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans...

 and is operated by Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

. It is a large manufacturing facility where the external fuel tanks for the space shuttles are produced. The Michoud facility lies within the enormous New Orleans Regional Business Park, also home to the National Finance Center
National Finance Center
The National Finance Center is a federal government agency that provides human resources, financial and administrative services for agencies of the United States federal government...

, operated by the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 (USDA), and the Crescent Crown distribution center. Other large governmental installations include the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Command, located within the University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park in Gentilly
Gentilly, New Orleans
Gentilly is a broad, predominantly middle-class and racially diverse section of New Orleans, Louisiana. The first part of Gentilly to be developed was along the Gentilly Ridge, a long stretch of high ground along the former banks of Bayou Gentilly...

, NAS New Orleans
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is a base of the United States military located in Belle Chasse, unincorporated Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, United States. NAS JRB New Orleans is home to the 159th Fighter Wing as well as other naval activities...

, the future headquarters for the Marine Force Reserves, slated for Federal City in Algiers and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* Eastern District of Louisiana* Middle District of Louisiana...

.

Top employers


According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# Employer # of employees
1 Ochsner Health System
Ochsner Health System
Ochsner Health System is a not-for-profit health care provider based in south-East Louisiana. Its flagship hospital is Ochsner Medical Center, located in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana a short distance from the New Orleans city limits...

10,000
2 Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

3,700
3 Acme Truck Line 2,100
4 Al Copeland Investments
Copeland's
Copeland's is a restaurant chain started by New Orleans native Al Copeland in 1983. It offers New Orleans-style cuisine and a casual sit-down family friendly atmosphere. Significantly expanding in 1990s, it claimed more than 40 locations in 12 states and offered a "steakhouse"-style expanded menu...

2,071
5 Vinson Guard Services 1,700
6 Touro Infirmary
Touro Infirmary
Touro Infirmary is a non-profit hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.- Organization. :Touro Infirmary is affiliated with the Louisiana State University Health Science Center and Tulane University School of Medicine....

1,514
7 American Nursing Services 1,500
7 Boh Bros. Construction 1,500
9 Laitram 1,166
10 United States Services Group 1,004

Demographics



According to the 2010 Census, 343,829 people and 189,896 households were in New Orleans. The racial and ethnic makeup of the city was 60.2% African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, 33.0% White, 2.9% Asian
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

 (1.7% Vietnamese, 0.3% Indian, 0.3% Chinese, 0.1% Filipino, 0.1% Korean), 0.0% Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander American
Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

, and 1.7% were people of two or more races. People of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.3% of the population; 1.3% of New Orleans is Mexican, 1.3% Honduran, 0.4% Cuban, 0.3% Puerto Rican, and 0.3% Nicaraguan.

The last population estimate before Hurricane Katrina was 454,865, as of July 1, 2005. A population analysis released in August 2007 estimated the population to be 273,000, 60% of the pre-Katrina population and an increase of about 50,000 since July 2006. A September 2007 report by The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, which tracks population based on U.S. Postal Service figures, found that in August 2007, just over 137,000 households received mail. That compares with about 198,000 households in July 2005, representing about 70% of pre-Katrina population. More recently, the Census Bureau revised upward its 2008 population estimate for the city, to 336,644 inhabitants. In 2010, estimates showed that neighborhoods that did not flood were near 100% of their pre-Katrina populations, and in some cases, exceeded 100% of their pre-Katrina populations.

A 2006 study by researchers at Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 and the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 determined that there are as many as 10,000 to 14,000 illegal immigrants
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

, many from Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, currently residing in New Orleans. Janet Murguía
Janet Murguía
Janet Murguia is a prominent civil rights leader in the United States. She grew up in Kansas City, Kansas but now lives in Washington, D.C. and works as a renowned advocate for the Latino community...

, president and chief executive officer of the National Council of La Raza
National Council of La Raza
The National Council of La Raza is a non-profit and non-partisan advocacy group in the United States, focused on improving opportunities for Hispanics. It is sometimes confused with La Raza Unida...

, stated that there could be up to 120,000 Hispanic workers in New Orleans. In June 2007, one study stated that the Hispanic population had risen from 15,000, pre-Katrina, to over 50,000.

A recent article released by The Times-Picayune indicated that the metropolitan area had undergone a recent influx of 5,300 households in the later half of 2008, bringing the population to around 469,605 households or 88.1% of its pre-Katrina levels. While the area's population has been on an upward trajectory since the storm, much of that growth was attributed to residents returning after Katrina. Many observers predicted that growth would taper off, but the data center's analysis suggests that New Orleans and the surrounding parishes are benefiting from an economic migration resulting from the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.

Religion



New Orleans is notably absent from the Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

 that dominates religion in the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. In New Orleans and the surrounding Louisiana Gulf Coast area, the predominant religion is Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

. Within the Archdiocese of New Orleans
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, officially in Latin Archidioecesis Novae Aureliae, is an ecclesiastical division of the Roman Catholic Church administered from New Orleans, Louisiana...

 (which includes not only the city but the surrounding Parishes as well), 35.9% percent of the population is Roman Catholic. The influence of Catholicism is reflected in many of the city's French and Spanish cultural traditions, including its many parochial schools, street names, architecture, and festivals, including Mardi Gras
New Orleans Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a Carnival celebration well-known throughout the world.The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany . It is a season of parades, balls , and king cake parties...

.

New Orleans also famously has a presence of its distinctive variety of Louisiana Voodoo
Louisiana Voodoo
Louisiana Voodoo, also known as New Orleans Voodoo, describes a set of underground religious practices which originated from the traditions of the African diaspora. It is a cultural form of the Afro-American religions which developed within the French, Spanish, and Creole speaking African American...

, due in part to syncretism
Syncretism
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means "combining", but see below for the origin of the word...

 with Roman Catholic beliefs, the fame of voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau
Marie Laveau
Marie Laveau was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo renown in New Orleans. She was born free in New Orleans....

, and New Orleans' distinctly Caribbean cultural influences. Although the exotic image of Voodoo within the city has been highly promoted by the tourism industry, there are only a small number of serious adherents to the religion.

New Orleans' pre-Katrina population of 10,000 Jews has now dropped to 7,000. In the wake of Katrina, all New Orleans synagogues lost members, but were able to re-open in their original locations, except for Congregation Beth Israel
Congregation Beth Israel (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Congregation Beth Israel is a Modern Orthodox synagogue located in Louisiana. Founded in 1903 or 1904, though tracing its roots back to 1857, it is the oldest Orthodox congregation in the New Orleans region...

, the oldest and most prominent Orthodox
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 synagogue in the New Orleans region. Beth Israel's building in Lakeview was destroyed by flooding, and it is currently in temporary quarters in Metairie
Metairie, Louisiana
Metairie is a census-designated place in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States and is a major part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. Metairie is the largest community in Jefferson Parish. It is an unincorporated area that would be larger than most of the state's cities if it were...

.

Government



New Orleans has a mayor-council government
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

. The city council consists of seven council members, who are elected by district and two at-large councilmembers. The current mayor, Mitch Landrieu
Mitch Landrieu
Mitchell Joseph "Mitch" Landrieu is the Mayor of New Orleans, former Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, and a member of the Landrieu family. Landrieu is a member of the Democratic Party and a Roman Catholic. He is the son of former New Orleans mayor and Secretary of the United States Department of...

, was elected on February 6, 2010
New Orleans mayoral election, 2010
The New Orleans mayoral election of 2010 is an election for Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana. The first round of voting took place on December 9 through December 11, 2009, and the election occurred on February 6, 2010...

 and assumed office on May 3, 2010.
The Orleans Parish Civil Sheriff's Office serves
Service of process
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal...

 papers involving lawsuits and provides security for the Civil District Court and Juvenile Courts. The Criminal Sheriff, Marlin Gusman, maintains the parish prison system, provides security for the Criminal District Court, and provides backup for the New Orleans Police Department
New Orleans Police Department
The New Orleans Police Department has primary responsibility for law enforcement in New Orleans, Louisiana. The department's jurisdiction covers all of Orleans Parish, while the city is divided into eight police districts....

 on an as-needed basis.

The city of New Orleans and the parish of Orleans operate as a merged city-parish government. Before the city of New Orleans became co-extensive with Orleans Parish, Orleans Parish was home to numerous smaller communities. The original city of New Orleans was composed of what are now the 1st through 9th wards. The city of Lafayette (including the Garden District) was added in 1852 as the 10th and 11th wards. In 1870, Jefferson City, including Faubourg Bouligny and much of the Audubon and University areas, was annexed as the 12th, 13th, and 14th wards. Algiers, on the west bank of the Mississippi, was also annexed in 1870, becoming the 15th ward.

New Orleans' government is now largely centralized in the city council and mayor's office, but it maintains a number of relics from earlier systems when various sections of the city ran much of their affairs separately. For example, New Orleans has seven elected tax assessors, each with their own staff, representing various districts of the city, rather than one centralized office. A constitutional amendment passed on November 7, 2006, will consolidate the seven assessors into one by 2010. On February 18, 2010, Errol Williams was elected as the first city-wide assessor. The New Orleans government operates both a fire department
New Orleans Fire Department
The New Orleans Fire Department provides fire protection services for New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The department serves approximately 340,000 people in a area, of that is on land while the rest is water...

 and the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services
New Orleans Emergency Medical Services
New Orleans Emergency Medical Services provides basic life support and advanced life support ambulance units throughout the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA....

.

Federal representation


The United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 operates post offices in New Orleans. The New Orleans Main Post Office is at 701 Loyola Avenue in the Central Business District
New Orleans Central Business District
The Central Business District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the French Quarter/CBD Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial...

.

Crime and safety



Crime has been recognized as an ongoing problem for New Orleans, although the issue is outside the view of most visitors to the city: as in other cities in the United States of comparable size, the incidence of homicide and other violent crimes is highly concentrated in certain impoverished neighborhoods, such as housing projects.

Across New Orleans, homicides peaked in 1994 at 86 murders per 100,000 residents. By 2009, despite a 17% decrease in violent crime in the city, the homicide rate remained among the highest in the United States, at between 55 and 64 per 100,000 residents. In 2010, New Orleans was 49 per 100,000.

The violent crime rate was also a key issue in the city's 2010 mayoral race. In January 2007, several thousand New Orleans residents marched through city streets and gathered at City Hall for a rally demanding police and city leaders tackle the crime problem. Mayor Ray Nagin
Ray Nagin
Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr. is a former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Nagin gained international note in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area....

 said he was "totally and solely focused" on addressing the problem. Later, the city implemented checkpoints during late night hours in problem areas.

Schools


New Orleans Public Schools
New Orleans Public Schools
New Orleans Public Schools is a public school system that serves all of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Schools within the system are governed by a multitude of entities, including the Orleans Parish School Board , which directly administers 4 schools and has granted charters to another 12,...

 (NOPS) is the name given to the city's public school system. Pre-Katrina, NOPS was one of the area's largest systems (along with the Jefferson Parish public school system
Jefferson Parish Public Schools
Jefferson Parish Public Schools is a school district based in Harvey in unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. The district operates all public schools in Jefferson Parish...

). In the years leading up to Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans public school system was widely recognized as the lowest performing school district in Louisiana. According to researchers Carl L. Bankston
Carl L. Bankston
Carl L. Bankston III is an American sociologist and author. He is best known for his work on immigration to the United States, particularly on the adaptation of Vietnamese American immigrants, and for his work on ethnicity, social capital, sociology of religion and the sociology of...

 and Stephen J. Caldas, only 12 of the 103 public schools within the city limits of New Orleans showed reasonably good performance at the beginning of the 21st century.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana took over most of the schools within the system (all schools that fell into a nominal "worst-performing" metric); many of these schools, in addition to others that were not subject to state takeover, were subsequently granted operating charters giving them administrative independence from the Orleans Parish School Board, the Recovery School District
Recovery School District
The is a special statewide school district administered by the Louisiana Department of Education. Created by legislation passed in 2003, the RSD is designed to take underperforming schools and transform them into successful places for children to learn...

 and/or the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education was created during the 1973 Louisiana Constitutional Convention, called by then Governor Edwin W. Edwards...

 (BESE). Presently, the majority of public school students in the NOPS system attend these independent public charter schools
Charter school
Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter...

, the highest percentage in the nation.

The last few years have witnessed significant and sustained gains in student achievement, as outside operators like KIPP, the Algiers Charter School Network, and the Capital One - University of New Orleans Charter School Network have assumed control of dozens of schools. The most recent release of annual school performance scores (October 2009) demonstrated continued growth in the academic performance of New Orleans' public schools. If the scores of all public schools in New Orleans (Orleans Parish School Board-chartered, Recovery School District-chartered, Recovery School District-operated, etc.) are considered, an overall school district performance score of 70.6 results. This score represents a 6% increase over an equivalent 2008 metric, and a 24% improvement when measured against an equivalent pre-Katrina (2004) metric, when a district score of 56.9 was posted. Notably, this score of 70.6 approaches the score (78.4) posted in 2009 by the adjacent, suburban Jefferson Parish public school system
Jefferson Parish Public Schools
Jefferson Parish Public Schools is a school district based in Harvey in unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. The district operates all public schools in Jefferson Parish...

, though that system's performance score is itself below the state average of 91.

This longstanding pattern is changing, however, as the NOPS system is engaged in the most promising and far-reaching public school reforms in the nation, reforms aimed at decentralizing power away from the pre-Katrina school board central bureaucracy to individual school principals and independent public charter school boards, monitoring charter school performance by granting renewable, five-year operating contracts permitting the closure of those not succeeding, and vesting choice in parents of public schools students, allowing them to enroll their children in almost any school in the district.

Colleges and universities



A large number of institutions of higher education exist within the city, including Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 and Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola University New Orleans is a private, co-educational and Jesuit university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Originally established as Loyola College in 1904, the institution was chartered as a university in 1912. It bears the name of the Jesuit patron, Saint Ignatius of Loyola...

, the city's major private universities. These universities also administer the city's three professional schools, Tulane University School of Medicine
Tulane University School of Medicine
The Tulane University School of Medicine is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and is a part of Tulane University. The school is located in the Medical District of the New Orleans Central Business District.-History:...

, Tulane University Law School
Tulane University Law School
Tulane University Law School is the law school of Tulane University. It is located on Tulane's Uptown campus in New Orleans, Louisiana. Established in 1847, it is the 12th oldest law school in the United States....

 and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law is a private law school in New Orleans, Louisiana affiliated with Loyola University New Orleans. Loyola's law school opened in 1914 and is now located on the Broadway Campus of the University in the historic Audubon Park District of the city. The College...

. The University of New Orleans
University of New Orleans
The University of New Orleans, often referred to locally as UNO, is a medium-sized public urban university located on the New Orleans Lakefront within New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It is a member of the LSU System and the Urban 13 association. Currently UNO is without a proper chancellor...

 is a large public research university in the city. Dillard University
Dillard University
Dillard University is a private, historically black liberal arts college in New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1930 incorporating earlier institutions that went back to 1869, it is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church....

, Southern University at New Orleans
Southern University at New Orleans
Southern University at New Orleans is a historically black university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 and Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana , located in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States, is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college with the distinction of being the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education...

 are among some of the leading historically black colleges and universities in the United States (Xavier being the only predominantly black Catholic university in the U.S.) Louisiana State University School of Medicine
Louisiana State University School of Medicine
Louisiana State University School of Medicine refers to two separate medical schools in Louisiana: LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport.-See also:* LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans...

 is the state's flagship public university medical school, which also conducts research. Our Lady of Holy Cross College
Our Lady of Holy Cross College
Our Lady of Holy Cross College is a liberal arts college in New Orleans, Louisiana.-History:OLHCC was founded in 1916 as a two year normal school by the Marianites of Holy Cross. Its original location was in the Bywater area of New Orleans. It became a 4 year institution in 1938. In 1947, a ...

, Notre Dame Seminary
Notre Dame Seminary
Notre Dame Seminary is a resident, accredited graduate theological school in New Orleans, Louisiana, founded in 1923 for the education of men to be priests of the Roman Catholic Church. The building, located at 2901 South Carrollton Avenue, was constructed between 1922-1923, and was designed by...

 and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a private, non-profit institution of higher learning affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, located in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the first institution created as a direct act of the Southern Baptist Convention. Missions...

 are several smaller religiously affiliated universities. Other notable schools include Delgado Community College
Delgado Community College
Delgado Community College ' is a Louisiana public community college with campuses throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area, the East and West Banks of New Orleans, the East Bank of Jefferson Parish and on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Covington and Slidell in St. Tammany Parish...

, the William Carey College School of Nursing, the Culinary Institute of New Orleans, Herzing College
Herzing College
Herzing University is a for-profit, career-focused institution of higher education that awards diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor's degrees and master's degrees in a variety of disciplines...

, and Commonwealth University.

Libraries


There are numerous academic and public libraries
Public library
A public library is a library that is accessible by the public and is generally funded from public sources and operated by civil servants. There are five fundamental characteristics shared by public libraries...

 and archives in New Orleans, including Monroe Library at Loyola University, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

, the Law Library of Louisiana, and the Earl K. Long
Earl Long
Earl Kemp Long was an American politician and the 45th Governor of Louisiana for three non-consecutive terms. Long termed himself the "last of the red hot poppas" of politics, referring to his stump-speaking skills...

 Library at the University of New Orleans.

The New Orleans Public Library
New Orleans Public Library
The New Orleans Public Library is the public library service of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.-History:The system began in 1896 as the Fisk Free and Public Library in a building on Lafayette Square...

 includes 13 locations, most of which were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. However, only four libraries remained closed in 2007. The main library includes a Louisiana Division housing city archives and special collections.

Other research archives are located at the Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region of the United States. It is located in New Orleans' French Quarter. The institution was established in 1966...

 and the Old U.S. Mint
New Orleans Mint
The New Orleans Mint operated in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a branch mint of the United States Mint from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. During its years of operation, it produced over 427 million gold and silver coins of nearly every American denomination, with a total face value of over...

.

An independently operated lending library called Iron Rail Book Collective
Iron Rail Book Collective
Iron Rail Book Collective is an volunteer-run radical library and bookstore in New Orleans, Louisiana.The Iron Rail's main focus is as a lending library featuring a wide selection of books ranging from Anarchism and Socialism to Fiction to Gardening to Philosophy to name a few. The Iron Rail also...

 specializes in radical and hard-to-find books. The library contains over 8,000 titles and is open to the public. It was the first library in the city to re-open after Hurricane Katrina.

The Louisiana Historical Association
Louisiana Historical Association
The Louisiana Historical Association is an organization of professional historians and interested laypersons dedicated to the preservation, publication, and dissemination of the history of the U.S. state of Louisiana, with particular emphasis at the inception on territorial, statehood, and the...

 was founded in New Orleans in 1889. It operated first at Howard Memorial Library. Then its own Memorial Hall was added to Howard Library. The design for the new building was undertaken by the New Orleans architect Thomas Sully
Thomas Sully (architect)
Thomas Sully was a largely self-trained architect based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He designed many large residences on Upper St. Charles Avenue, such as the Picard House, and public buildings in New Orleans and in other cities as well.Sully was born in Mississippi City, Mississippi, to George...

.

Streetcars


New Orleans has three active streetcar lines
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

. The St. Charles line
Streetcars in New Orleans
Streetcars in New Orleans have been an integral part of the city's public transportation network since the first half of the 19th century. The longest of New Orleans' streetcar lines, the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar, is the oldest continuously operating street railway system in the world,...

 is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in America and each car is a historic landmark. The Riverfront line runs parallel to the river from Esplanade Street through the French Quarter to Canal Street to the Convention Center above Julia Street in the Arts District. The Canal Street line uses the Riverfront line tracks from the intersection of Canal Street and Poydras Street, down Canal Street, then branches off and ends at the cemeteries at City Park Avenue, with a spur running from the intersection of Canal and Carrollton Avenue to the entrance of City Park at Esplanade, near the entrance to the New Orleans Museum of Art.

The city's streetcars were also featured in the Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

 play, A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire (play)
A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 play written by American playwright Tennessee Williams for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948. The play opened on Broadway on December 3, 1947, and closed on December 17, 1949, in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The Broadway production was...

. The streetcar line to Desire Street became a bus line in 1948. There are proposals to revive a Desire streetcar line, running along the neutral grounds of North Rampart and St. Claude, as far downriver as Poland Avenue, near the Industrial Canal.

Hurricane Katrina destroyed the power lines supplying the St. Charles Avenue line. The associated levee failures flooded the Mid-City facility storing the red streetcars which normally run on the Riverfront and Canal Street lines. Restoration of service has been gradual, with vintage St. Charles line cars running on the Riverfront and Canal lines until the more modern Czech-built red cars are back in service; they are being individually restored at the RTA's facility in the Carrollton neighborhood. On December 23, 2007, streetcars were restored to running on the St. Charles line up to Carrolton Avenue. The much-anticipated re-opening of the second portion of the historic route, which continues until the intersection of Carrolton Avenue and Claiborne Avenue, was commemorated on June 28, 2008.

Bicycling


The city's flat landscape, simple street grid, and mild winters, facilitate bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

 ridership, helping to make New Orleans 8th among U.S. cities in its rate of bicycle and pedestrian
Pedestrian
A pedestrian is a person traveling on foot, whether walking or running. In some communities, those traveling using roller skates or skateboards are also considered to be pedestrians. In modern times, the term mostly refers to someone walking on a road or footpath, but this was not the case...

 transportation, and 6th in terms of the percentage of bicycling commuters. Also, the City's bicyclists benefit from being located at the start of the Mississippi River Trail, a 3000 miles (4,828 km) bicycle path that stretches from the City's Audubon Park to Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. The first 25 miles (40.2 km) of the path, through Destrehan, Louisiana
Destrehan, Louisiana
Destrehan is a census-designated place in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2000 census. It was named after Jean N...

, is paved with a smooth macadam
Macadam
Macadam is a type of road construction pioneered by the Scotsman John Loudon McAdam in around 1820. The method simplified what had been considered state-of-the-art at that point...

 surface. Bicyclists looking to cross the River have free access to the City's ferries
Canal Street Ferry
The Canal Street Ferry, also known as the Algiers Ferry, is a ferry across the Mississippi River in the U.S. state of Louisiana, connecting the foot of Canal Street in the Central Business District of New Orleans with Algiers on the West Bank...

. Since the 2005 levee-breach, the City has actively sought to promote bicycling by constructing a $1.5 million bike trail from Mid-City
Mid-City New Orleans
Mid-City is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: City Park Avenue, Toulouse Street, North Carrollton and Orleans Avenues, Bayou St. John and St. Louis Street to the north, North Broad...

 to Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish estuary located in southeastern Louisiana. It is the second-largest inland saltwater body of water in the United States, after the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and the largest lake in Louisiana. As an estuary, Pontchartrain is not a true lake.It covers an area of with...

, and by adding over 37 miles (59.5 km) of bicycle lanes to various streets, including St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue is a thoroughfare in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. and the home of the St. Charles Streetcar Line. It is also famous for the hundreds of mansions that adorn the tree-lined boulevard for much of the Uptown section of the route. The southern live oak trees, particularly found in...

. In 2009, Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 contributed to these efforts by converting the main street through its Uptown
Uptown New Orleans
Uptown is a section of New Orleans, Louisiana on the East Bank of the Mississippi River encompassing a number of neighborhoods between the French Quarter and the Jefferson Parish line. It remains an area of mixed residential and small commercial properties, with a wealth of 19th century architecture...

 campus, McAlister Place
McAlister Place, New Orleans
McAlister Place is a pedestrian mall that runs through a section of Tulane University's Uptown New Orleans campus. Construction of the mall began on May 18, 2009, and was completed in January 2010. The mall replaced McAlister Drive, which was an asphalt-paved private road with one-way vehicular...

, into a pedestrian mall
Pedestrian mall
Pedestrian malls in the United States are also known as pedestrian streets and are the most common form of pedestrian zone in large cities in the United States. It is a street lined with storefronts and closed off to most automobile traffic...

 opened to bicycle traffic. In 2010, work began to add a 3.1-mile (5 km) bicycle corridor from the French Quarter to Lakeview, and 14 miles (23 km) of additional bike lanes on existing streets. New Orleans has also been recognized as a place with an abundance of uniquely decorated and uniquely designed bicycles.

Buses


Public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

ation in the city is operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority is a body established by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1979; since 1983 it has controlled bus and streetcar service in the City of New Orleans....

 ("RTA"). There are many bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 routes connecting the city and suburban areas. The RTA lost 200+ buses due to Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, this would mean that there would be a 30-60 minute waiting period for the next bus to come to the bus stop, and the streetcar
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

s took until 2008 to return, so the RTA placed an order for 38 Orion VII Next Generation clean diesel buses, which arrived in July 2008. The RTA has these new buses running on biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

. The Jefferson Parish
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
Jefferson Parish is a parish in Louisiana, United States that includes most of the suburbs of New Orleans. The seat of parish government is Gretna....

 Department of Transit Administration operates Jefferson Transit, which provides service between the city and its suburbs.

Roads



New Orleans proper is served by Interstate 10
Interstate 10
Interstate 10 is the fourth-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90, I-80, and I-40. It is the southernmost east–west, coast-to-coast Interstate Highway, although I-4 and I-8 are further south. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean at State Route 1 in Santa Monica,...

, Interstate 610
Interstate 610 (Louisiana)
Interstate 610 is a long auxiliary route of Interstate 10 that lies entirely within the boundaries of New Orleans, Louisiana.-Route description:...

 and Interstate 510
Interstate 510
Interstate 510 is a short spur route of Interstate 10 within in eastern New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It runs south from Interstate 10, intersects with U.S. Highway 90, and ends at the Almonaster Boulevard interchange, near the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility...

. I-10 travels east-west through the city as the Pontchartrain Expressway
Pontchartrain Expressway
The Pontchartrain Expressway is a parallel 6-lane section of Interstate 10 and U.S. Route 90 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The designation begins on I-10 near the Orleans Parish/Jefferson Parish line at the I-610 Split. The expressway follows I-10 into the Central Business District of New Orleans ...

. In the far eastern part of the city, New Orleans East
Eastern New Orleans
Eastern New Orleans is a large section of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Developed extensively from the 1960s onwards, it was originally marketed as "suburban-style living within the city limits", and has much in common with the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans...

, it is known as the Eastern Expressway. I-610 provides a direct shortcut for traffic passing through New Orleans via I-10, allowing that traffic to bypass I-10's southward curve. In the future, New Orleans will have another interstate highway, Interstate 49
Interstate 49
Interstate 49 is currently an intrastate Interstate Highway located entirely within the state of Louisiana in the southern United States. Its southern terminus is in Lafayette, Louisiana, at Interstate 10 while its northern terminus is in Shreveport, Louisiana, at Interstate 20.-Route...

, which will be extended from its current terminus in Lafayette
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...

 to the city.

In addition to the interstate highways, U.S. 90
U.S. Route 90
U.S. Route 90 is an east–west United States highway. Despite the "0" in its route number, U.S. 90 never was a full coast-to-coast route; it has always ended at Van Horn, Texas. A short-lived northward extension to U.S...

 travels through the city, while U.S. 61
U.S. Route 61
U.S. Route 61 is the official designation for a United States highway that runs from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the city of Wyoming, Minnesota. The highway generally follows the course of the Mississippi River, and is designated the Great River Road for much of its route. As of 2004, the highway's...

 terminates in the city's downtown center. In addition, U.S. 11
U.S. Route 11
U.S. Route 11 is a north–south United States highway extending 1,645 miles across the eastern United States. The southern terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 90 in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in eastern New Orleans, Louisiana. The northern terminus is at the United...

 terminates in the eastern portion of the city.

New Orleans is home to many bridges, the tolled Crescent City Connection
Crescent City Connection
The Crescent City Connection, abbreviated as CCC, refers to twin cantilever bridges that carry U.S. Route 90 Business over the Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. They are tied as the fifth-longest cantilever bridges in the world...

 is perhaps the most notable. It serves as New Orleans' major bridge across the Mississippi River, providing a connection between the city's downtown on the eastbank and its westbank suburbs. Other bridges that cross the Mississippi River in the New Orleans area are the Huey P. Long Bridge
Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
The Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, is a cantilevered steel through truss bridge that carries a two-track railroad line over the Mississippi River at mile 106.1 with two lanes of US 90 on each side of the central tracks....

, over which U.S. 90 travels, and the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge
Luling Bridge
The Luling Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. It is named for the late United States Congressman Hale Boggs. The bridge was dedicated by Governor David C...

, which carries Interstate 310
Interstate 310
Interstate 310 is a short spur route of Interstate 10 near New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It runs south from Interstate 10 near the New Orleans International Airport, intersects with U.S. Highway 61 and ends at the junction with U.S...

.

The Twin Span Bridge, a five-mile (8 km) causeway
Causeway
In modern usage, a causeway is a road or railway elevated, usually across a broad body of water or wetland.- Etymology :When first used, the word appeared in a form such as “causey way” making clear its derivation from the earlier form “causey”. This word seems to have come from the same source by...

 in eastern New Orleans, carries I-10 across Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish estuary located in southeastern Louisiana. It is the second-largest inland saltwater body of water in the United States, after the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and the largest lake in Louisiana. As an estuary, Pontchartrain is not a true lake.It covers an area of with...

. Also in eastern New Orleans, Interstate 510
Interstate 510
Interstate 510 is a short spur route of Interstate 10 within in eastern New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It runs south from Interstate 10, intersects with U.S. Highway 90, and ends at the Almonaster Boulevard interchange, near the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility...

/LA 47
Louisiana Highway 47
Louisiana Highway 47 is a state highway in Louisiana that serves Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes. It spans 16.19 in a southeast to northwest direction, although it is designated as a south/north route. It is known locally as Paris Road and Hayne Boulevard.-Route description:From the south, LA 47...

 travels across the Intracoastal Waterway
Intracoastal Waterway
The Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are artificial canals...

/Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal
Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal
The Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet Canal is a channel constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in the mid-20th century that provided a shorter route between the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans' inner harbor Industrial Canal via the Intracoastal Waterway...

 via the Paris Road Bridge, connecting New Orleans East
Eastern New Orleans
Eastern New Orleans is a large section of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Developed extensively from the 1960s onwards, it was originally marketed as "suburban-style living within the city limits", and has much in common with the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans...

 and suburban Chalmette
Chalmette, Louisiana
Chalmette is a census-designated place in and the parish seat of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 32,069 at the 2000 census. It is part of the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area...

.

The tolled Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, or the Causeway, consists of two parallel bridges crossing Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana, United States. The longer of the two bridges is long...

, consisting of two parallel bridges are, at 24 miles (39 km) long, the longest bridges in the world. Built in the 1950s (southbound span) and 1960s (northbound span), the bridges connect New Orleans with its suburbs on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain via Metairie
Metairie, Louisiana
Metairie is a census-designated place in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States and is a major part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. Metairie is the largest community in Jefferson Parish. It is an unincorporated area that would be larger than most of the state's cities if it were...

.

Airports


The metropolitan area is served by the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is a Class B public use international airport in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is owned by the City of New Orleans and is located 10 nautical miles west of its central business district. The airport's address is 900 Airline Drive...

, located in the suburb of Kenner
Kenner, Louisiana
Kenner is a city in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States, and a suburb of New Orleans. The population was 66,702 at the 2010 census....

. New Orleans also has several regional airports located throughout the metropolitan area. These include the Lakefront Airport
New Orleans Lakefront Airport
Lakefront Airport is a public use airport located four nautical miles northeast of the central business district of New Orleans, in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States...

, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is a base of the United States military located in Belle Chasse, unincorporated Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, United States. NAS JRB New Orleans is home to the 159th Fighter Wing as well as other naval activities...

 (locally known as Callendar Field) in the suburb of Belle Chasse and "Southern Seaplane", also located in Belle Chasse. Southern Seaplane has a 3200 feet (975.4 m) runway for wheeled planes and a 5000 feet (1,524 m) water runway for seaplanes. New Orleans International suffered some damage as a result of Hurricane Katrina, but as of April 2007, it contained the most traffic and is the busiest airport in the state of Louisiana and the sixth busiest in the Southeast.

Rail


The city is served by rail via Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

. The New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal
New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal
New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal is the main train station in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is served by Amtrak passenger trains, and played a role in the recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.- History :...

 is the central rail depot, and is served by three trains: the Crescent
Crescent (Amtrak)
The Crescent is a passenger train operated by Amtrak in the eastern part of the United States. It runs daily from Pennsylvania Station in New York City to New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans, Louisiana as train 19 and returns, on the same route, as train 20. Most of the route of...

, operating between New Orleans and New York City; the City of New Orleans
City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans is a nightly passenger train operated by Amtrak which travels between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. Before Amtrak's formation in 1971, the train was operated by the Illinois Central Railroad along the same route . The train currently operates on a 19½ hour...

, operating between New Orleans and Chicago; and the Sunset Limited
Sunset Limited
The Sunset Limited is a passenger train that for most of its history has run between New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California, and that from early 1993 through late August 2005 also ran east of New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida, making it during that time the only true transcontinental...

, operating through New Orleans between Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

 and Los Angeles. From late August 2005 to the present, the Sunset Limited has remained officially a Orlando-to-Los Angeles train, being considered temporarily truncated due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina. At first (until late October 2005) it was truncated to a San Antonio-to-Los Angeles service; since then (from late October 2005 on) it has been truncated to a New Orleans-to-Los Angeles service. As time has passed, particularly since the January 2006 completion of the rebuilding of damaged tracks east of New Orleans by their owner, CSX Transportation, the obstacles to restoration of the Sunset Limited's full route have been more managerial and political than physical.
With the strategic benefits of both a major international port and one of the few double-track Mississippi River crossings, the city is served by six of the seven Class I railroad
Class I railroad
A Class I railroad in the United States and Mexico, or a Class I rail carrier in Canada, is a large freight railroad company, as classified based on operating revenue.Smaller railroads are classified as Class II and Class III...

s in North America: Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

, BNSF Railway
BNSF Railway
The BNSF Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is one of seven North American Class I railroads and the second largest freight railroad network in North America, second only to the Union Pacific Railroad, its primary...

, Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

, Kansas City Southern Railway
Kansas City Southern Railway
The Kansas City Southern Railway , owned by Kansas City Southern Industries, is the smallest and second-oldest Class I railroad company still in operation. KCS was founded in 1887 and is currently operating in a region consisting of ten central U.S. states...

, CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 and Canadian National Railway
Canadian National Railway
The Canadian National Railway Company is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad"....

. The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad is a non-profit terminal switching railroad, owned by the City of New Orleans. It connects with six Class I railroads serving the city, and provides switching and haulage service....

 provides interchange services between the railroads.

Recently, many have proposed extending New Orleans' public transit system by adding light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 routes from downtown, along Airline Highway through the airport to Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

 and from downtown to Slidell
Slidell, Louisiana
Slidell is a city situated on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 25,695 at the 2000 census. The Greater Slidell Community has a population of about 90,000...

 and the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Mississippi Gulf Coast
The Mississippi Gulf Coast refers to the three Mississippi counties which lie on the Gulf of Mexico: Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.The region was severely damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and again by Hurricane Katrina in 2005....

. Proponents of this idea claim that these new routes would boost the region's economy, which has been badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, and serve as an evacuation option for hospital patients out of the city.

Algiers Ferry


The Canal Street Ferry
Canal Street Ferry
The Canal Street Ferry, also known as the Algiers Ferry, is a ferry across the Mississippi River in the U.S. state of Louisiana, connecting the foot of Canal Street in the Central Business District of New Orleans with Algiers on the West Bank...

 connects the heart of New Orleans with the neighborhood of Algiers Point on the other side of the Mississippi River, and also services Gretna, Louisiana
Gretna, Louisiana
The city of Gretna is the parish seat of Jefferson Parish, in the US state of Louisiana. Gretna is on the west bank of the Mississippi River, just east and across the river from uptown New Orleans. It is part of the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 through a separate route. This service has been in continuous operation since 1827. Bicyclists and pedestrians ride for free, while automobiles are charged a fee. Service is from 6 am until midnight.

Sister cities


New Orleans has ten sister cities:
Caracas
Caracas
Caracas , officially Santiago de León de Caracas, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela; natives or residents are known as Caraquenians in English . It is located in the northern part of the country, following the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range...

, Venezuela Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, South Africa Innsbruck
Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

, Austria Juan-les-Pins
Juan-les-Pins
Juan-les-PinsCountry:Region:Department: Alpes-MaritimesArrondissement: GrasseCanton: Vallauris-Antibes-OuestMunicipality: AntibesPopulation:?Coordinates:Time zone:CET, UTC+1Elevation:10 amslPostal code:06600...

, France Maracaibo
Maracaibo
Maracaibo is a city and municipality located in northwestern Venezuela off the western coast of the Lake Maracaibo. It is the second-largest city in the country after the national capital Caracas and the capital of Zulia state...

, Venezuela Matsue, Shimane
Matsue, Shimane
is the capital city of Shimane Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.As of August, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 207,000, following its most recent merging with Higashi-Izumo...

, Japan Mérida, Yucatán
Mérida, Yucatán
Mérida is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán and the Yucatán Peninsula. It is located in the northwest part of the state, about from the Gulf of Mexico coast...

, Mexico Pointe-Noire
Pointe-Noire
Pointe-Noire is the second largest city in the Republic of the Congo, following the capital of Brazzaville, and an autonomous department since 2004. Before this date it was the capital of the Kouilou region . It is situated on a headland between Pointe-Noire Bay and the Atlantic Ocean...

, Republic of the Congo San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa , and commonly referred as Tegus , is the capital of Honduras and seat of government of the Republic, along with its twin sister Comayagüela. Founded on September 29, 1578 by the Spanish, it became the country's capital on October 30, 1880 under President Marco Aurelio Soto...

, Honduras

Nicknames


The city's several nicknames are illustrative:
  • Crescent City alludes to the course of the Lower Mississippi River
    Lower Mississippi River
    The Lower Mississippi River is the portion of the Mississippi River downstream of Cairo, Illinois. From the confluence of the Ohio River and Upper Mississippi River at Cairo, the Lower flows just under 1600 kilometers to the Gulf of Mexico...

     around and through the city.
  • The Big Easy was possibly a reference by musicians in the early 20th century to the relative ease of finding work there. It also may have originated in the Prohibition era, when the city was considered one big speak-easy due to the inability of the federal government to control alcohol
    Alcohol
    In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

     sales in open violation of the 18th Amendment
    Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
    The Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution established Prohibition in the United States. The separate Volstead Act set down methods of enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, and defined which "intoxicating liquors" were prohibited, and which were excluded from prohibition...

    . The term was used by local columnist Betty Gillaud in the 1970s to contrast life in the city to that of New York City. The name also refers to New Orleans' status as a major city, at one time "one of the cheapest places in America to live."
  • The City that Care Forgot has been used since at least 1938, and refers to the outwardly easy-going, carefree nature of many of the residents.
  • America's Most Interesting City appears on welcome signs at the city limits.
  • Hollywood South is a reference to the large number of films, big and small, shot in the city since 2002. Since 2005 the nickname has also frequently been applied to Shreveport, in northwestern Louisiana, which became an important location for movie and television production after Hurricane Katrina displaced shooting in New Orleans.
  • The Northernmost Caribbean City is a reference from The Boston Globe
    The Boston Globe
    The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

    , as well as other travel guides due in part to the similarities of culture with the Caribbean islands.

See also


  • Hurricane on the Bayou
    Hurricane on the Bayou
    Hurricane on the Bayou is a 2008 documentary film that focuses on the wetlands of Louisiana before and after Hurricane Katrina.Hurricane on the Bayou is both a documentary of Hurricane Katrina's effects and a call to restore Louisiana's wetlands, rebuild New Orleans, and honor the culture of the city...

    (film)
  • Île d'Orléans, Louisiana
    Île d'Orléans, Louisiana
    Île d'Orléans was the historic French name for the New Orleans area, in current Louisiana, United States.At the end of the French and Indian Wars in 1763, the French turned over nearly all their territory east of the Mississippi River to the British. The exception was New Orleans or more...

  • List of National Historic Landmarks in Louisiana
  • List of people from New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Mississippi Suite
    Mississippi Suite
    The Mississippi Suite is an orchestral suite in four movements by Ferde Grofé, depicting scenes along a journey down the Mississippi River from its headwaters of Minnesota down to New Orleans.-History:...

    , the fourth movement is an orchestral portrayal of Mardi Gras
    Mardi Gras
    The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

     of the streets of the French Quarter
    French Quarter
    The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré as it was known then...

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Orleans Parish, Louisiana
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Orleans Parish, Louisiana
    This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Orleans Parish, Louisiana.This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States...

  • New Orleans in fiction
    New Orleans in Fiction
    New Orleans is featured in a number of works of fiction. This article in an ongoing effort to list the books, movies, television shows, and comics that are set or filmed, in whole or part, in New Orleans.-Books and plays:...

  • Orléans
    Orléans
    -Prehistory and Roman:Cenabum was a Gallic stronghold, one of the principal towns of the Carnutes tribe where the Druids held their annual assembly. It was conquered and destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, then rebuilt under the Roman Empire...

    , France

External links