New Orleans Louisiana
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Please disregard the original text of the site below, and please pray for the unfortunate victims of this tragedy.
Previous text of site: There is so much to see and do in New Orleans, it is easy to get excited about the tourist activities and forget about the actual city where people live, work, and raise families, go to school, worship, and otherwise live.
So, to experience this fun-filled city, you must go beyond the usual tourist haunts and linger here and there among the residents, many of whose families go back generations and others who were once merely visitors who became "never lefts" as they are called. Orleanians love where they would and would not live anywhere else. They are a laid-back bunch and not a lot shakes them up. After all, they live in a city noted for having a population of the "living dead" where the biggest party in the world takes place every year.
The heart of New Orleans is the French Quarter, or Vieux Carre. This is technically a 6-by-12-block rectangle along the Mississippi River where the city was originally settled by the French in 1718. This is where the Creoles, served by African slaves, developed one of the most sophisticated styles of living in North America. Then, in 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was signed. At that time, Americans pretty much took over and by the 1860s and the Civil War, they had put an end to antebellum New Orleans.
TThe French Quarter went through decades of neglect and it is only since the mid-20th century that the buildings have been restored. Today, the Quarter is divided into upper and lower sections, with Jackson Square at the center. The Upper French Quarter includes Jackson Square, the riverfront, and the blocks leading to Canal Street. This is where you will find the most visited and photographed spots in New Orleans. However, if you would like to visit some of those lesser-known areas of the Quarter where Orleanians live and work and shop, then head down to the Lower French Quarter. You will find the French Market as well as some little known and unnamed sections that are well worth the effort and will leaving you feeling you have really gotten to know New Orleans.