Our sidewalks and streets are often hazardous for the most able bodied person. There are loose flagstones that can be unexpected. The cracks between can grab high heeled shoes. Please wear appropriate shoes when taking tours and traveling on your own. Also, don’t let anyone tell you they ‘know where you got dem shoes at’. More on that later.
We are prone to sudden thunderstorms that can dump a few inches of rain in an hour. You might also want to get one of those plastic ponchos. They are usually small enough to fit in a purse or back pocket.
Also, in old New Orleans it was not uncommon for locals to be seen carrying umbrellas with them when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. That is because they also provide excellent shade! Umbrellas are also handy in the event you come across one of our famous Second Line processions.
North, South, East and West are not used for direction in New Orleans. Because all of the natural high ground follows the meandering Mississippi River, so do our roads. Generally, you will hear a local giving directions like, “The cemetery is on the lake side of Basin Street” or “the best shopping is up river on Magazine street”. Our directions are Up river, Down River, Toward the River or Toward the lake.
In the French Quarter, if you stand in the middle of the street and locate the tall buildings, you will be facing up river towards Canal street. To your left is the direction of the river and towards your right is the lake.
DRINK WATER! It gets extremely hot and humid during our peak summer months. The heat index frequently exceeds 110 degrees during our hottest months. Keep aware that the people you are with are not exhibiting signs of severe dehydration.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
- Muscle or abdominal cramps
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Pale skin
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
The streets of the Vieux Carre’ are strewn with people looking to rip off unsuspecting tourists. The most famous being the Shoe Shiners. They walk around and will aggressively stop you and try to “shine” your shoes with a hand lotion. While doing this they will try to run a scam where they will “tell you where you got dem shoes at.” After betting the mark ,the shiner will declare that said mark “has one on his left foot another on the right and on whatever street they were “at”. Mama said not to talk with strangers; sometimes in the Quarter it is very true.
This is of course why you came to the Big Easy. New Orleans has everything you need to have good time. Food, libations, music, art and a history like no place else come together in a rich gumbo. Sometimes all you need is to be a little daring. Hop up on the stage at Cat’s Meow and sing karaoke; speed past alligator on an air boat ride, order a plate of Cuisses de Grenouille. Take a Storyville Tour Co Tour…… The point is have fun and be adventurous!