Meet the SPSP New Orleans Ambassadors and get an insider's perspective on the best parts of their city.
Feel free to reach out to them with questions as you plan your convention travel!
Harish Sujan - There are three main reasons for coming to New Orleans: Its Culture, Food and Music. Blended with the culture is the city's history. As Mayor, Mitch Landrieu took on the political challenge of removing monuments that were offense to those who deeply resented slavery while being viewed positively, with nostalgia, by others. I believe he was the first Mayor who took on this challenge. Visiting the locations the monuments were at and hearing Mitch's moving speech would be, I feel, inspiring.
A second incredibly important, and now highly relevant, historical occurrence was the 1991 governor election in which David Duke, White Supremacist, ran against Edwin Edwards, then was considered to be a crook. A highly cited campaign slogan was used to convince voters to choose Edwin Edwards: "Vote for the crook, it is important." This history can be read about here. A visit to Old Metairie where David Duke used to live, a look at some of the palatial homes and the country clubs will be a way to rekindle this time in history.
Further back in history is the story of the battle for New Orleans, a steamboat cruise only a few hours long along the Mississippi River allows visitors to see and hear where.
Auriel Jasper-Morris - New Orleans is a city filled with a ton of culture. It has numerous museums and is home to different festivals throughout the year. I like New Orleans because there is never a dull moment. Second Line Sunday's are very popular and are really the heart and soul of New Orleans. Over these past four years it has been a pleasure to live and experience the side of the city that most tourist do not get to see. The best way to experience New Orleans is to see it outside of Bourbon St. and the French Quarter. Visit the museum district, go find mom and pop shops to eat authentic food, and come with an open mind.
Jacob Appleby - I moved to New Orleans in August 2018, and I've found it to be an uncommonly welcoming and charming place to explore with my family. As a relative newcomer myself, I'm constantly finding beautiful new areas to explore and unique new restaurants to try. The city's reputation as a place for partying can certainly be supported if you look for it, but that shortchanges the history and culture that can be found at the wonderful parks, tours, and museums all around town. Pop into any random restaurant you pass, and you're almost sure to find great food and some locals willing to give you recommendations for other great places to check out.
Rosemary Hays-Thomas - New Orleans is unique in the US. It's steeped in history as one of the oldest cities in our country. Its architecture, like everything else here, is eclectic: Spanish in the French Quarter, English/American uptown, mid-century Modern, Victorian mansions and Irish Channel shotguns. Language and pronunciation are ... unusual: "Tchoupitoulas" (ask someone to say it for you); quasi-French ("Charters Street" and Carondelet (with a "t") but also "lagniappe" (a little extra); "pain perdue" (lost bread, i.e., French toast); and "laissez les bon temps roullez" (yes, we do say that). The streets named for Muses include "Mel-poe-mene" (3 syllables). The medians are "neutral grounds." The usual compass points are meaningless because the City curves with the Mississipppi: "lakeside" and "riverside" is one dimension, and "uptown-downtown" is the other. Food is varied and must be experienced: everything from great po-boys (on the right bread, maybe with "debris," which is shreds of roast beef au jus, or a shrimp/oyster combo -- to fine dining at numerous wonderful restaurants. Music is everywhere, including jazz, Cajun or Zydeco, rock, and classical (including fine chamber music). For a city in the conservative South, it's frequently tolerant and full of cultural contrasts and inconsistencies - no cognitive dissonance here! It's never dull. That's part of why I love living in New Orleans again.
Carrie Wyland - New Orleans is a fun, vibrant, exciting city, full of culture and community like no other! You will find some of the best food and music in the country. There is a rich history woven into the city. The downtown area is fun and full of life, where you can be exposed to amazing music, culture, and museums, but it is easy to branch out to other areas of town, including the Garden District, Uptown (home to Tulane and Loyola Universities), and the Marigny. You can take a walk along the Mississippi, drink in hand, listening to amazing street music, enjoy a multitude of amazing food choices, both causal and fine dining, and hear phenomenal music along Frenchman in the evening. There is always something going on. The people of New Orleans are welcoming, happy, and proud and we love to share the love of our city with others!