'The Most Captivating Place On Planet Earth': Meet The People Of New Orleans

Jenna Amatulli
'The Most Captivating Place On Planet Earth': Meet The People Of New Orleans

New Orleans was the 25th and final stop on our Listen to America road trip (we can hardly believe it’s over!). We spoke to residents in Louis Armstrong Park and at Tulane University about why they’re there and what they love (or don’t!) about NOLA. Here’s what they had to say: 

“It’s the most captivating place on planet Earth ... I was just so blessed to be born in this melting pot of culture.”

― Adam Dawson, 30, graphic designer/founder of Cajun Fire Brewing

“There’s no place like New Orleans ... You wake up every day and it’s just a good day to be in New Orleans.” 

― Jon Renthrope, 29, brewmaster/founder of Cajun Fire Brewing

“I fell in love with the [Tulane] campus the second I walked onto it ... The French Quarter is amazing. The food is amazing. The outfits around Halloween, which it is right now, are amazing. I’m really looking forward to Mardi Gras.”

― Marlene Rees, 18, student

“New Orleans, hmm. It’s kind of in between love and hate. I love that we have such a variety of music and culture and we try and strive to preserve it  ... But the politics, sometimes, take over that portion of it ... We have too many people that get left behind.”

― Tracey Taylor, 38, health self-advocate

“I came here from Alaska because I wanted to experience something very different ... I love it for what it is. The city can be difficult to live in because we don’t have really good public transportation ... but I think it’s worth it for the experience of being able to live here.”

― Tziporah Lax, 19, student

“What I love about New Orleans is the culture. The culture is big, broad and vast, on many different levels. The culture opened its arms to me, embraced me and loved me.”

― Big Pearl, 43, singer

“I love the city and the culture and the people here. New Orleans has a really unique historical struggle and I think that contributes to a lot of the culture and everything that’s going on here.”

― Jessica Galloway, 19, student

“I came here 35 years ago and discovered a culture that was unique to any place in this country. A culture ... where African culture was celebrated and allowed to join with others. There was a confluence of cultures here and I loved it then, and now, I’ve seen a lot of changes, but it’s the only place in America where African culture has been celebrated.” 

― Pat Bryant, 71, community coalition builder

“Because it’s actually the best place in the whole wide world to live.” 

― Saundra Reed, 67, community organizer

“I chose to come here for school ... I loved the idea and everything I’ve heard about the surrounding city of New Orleans ... This amazing city, vibrant culture and that just charmed me. Made everything about coming here perfect.”

― Jonathan Gan, 19, student

“When we talk about the United States as being a melting pot, I think New Orleans, specifically, is a great example. There’s so many cultures here.”

― C.J. Briggs, 20, student

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.