No amount of guidebook research can replace local knowledge so FNND has asked locals about their city and how they interact with it. They live and work in the city and kindly provided their favourite spots.
This is the second in a series, with part two focused on New Orleans. The largest city in the state of Louisiana, New Orleans is named after the Duke of Orleans and is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine and music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz) and its annual festivals, most notably Mardi Gras, dating to French colonial times. The city is often referred to as the “most unique” in the United States and clearly has plenty to explore. So meet New Orleans local – Turgay, a talented musician who loves his food, his music, and his city.
Hi Turgay, what do you do for a living?
I have a website called specialtyturkishcoffee. I also work as a consultant, helping coffee companies to develop their Turkish Coffee programs.
How long have you been living in the city?
Two and a half years
How did you end up in New Orleans?
I was born in Paris, lived for a long time in Istanbul then moved to New Orleans. I’d visited New Orleans several times before we decided to move here. One of the reasons we moved here is my wife is a native New Orleanian, the others are great music, delicious Southern cuisine, unique architecture, warm-hearted friendly people, what else do you need?
What is your favourite thing about New Orleans?
Every kind of person can find something for themselves here. This city fuels you and your creativity as much as you fuel it, there is always something new around every corner.
How would you sum up New Orleans?
New Orleans can celebrate anything, anytime for any reason or even without any reason!
What’s your favourite place in the city?
A music venue called ‘The Spotted Cat’ on Frenchman Street. Fabulous live music including traditional New Orleans Jazz, Swing, Funk, Klezmer and Blues from talented local artists. A favorite place of both locals and tourists. Despite being a small venue there is plenty of room to dance if you want to, even when there is a full house.
“You can’t go home before you’ve…?”
Listen to live music at a local club, a festival or a street musician.
Describe a perfect day in New Orleans
1. A walk on Magazine Street after brunch. This six-mile-long stretch from the Garden District to Uptown features some of the best antique stores, art galleries, craft shops and boutiques to be found anywhere in the city.
2. A cemetery visit.
3. Maybe catch a Second Line Parade.
1. Join a Crawfish boil party
2. Enjoy a snowball or ‘Sno-ball’ which are a seasonal treat, generally sold only from roughly March to October. They are sold from “sno-ball stands”
3. Visit the art galleries on Royal Street.
1. A Cocktail and diner experience around The French Quarter
2. Visit Frenchman Street for music
One piece of advice for a visitor?
Don’t start your day by eating a beignet, instead take a bicycle ride to City Park via Esplanade Avenue – a historic street in New Orleans that runs from the Mississippi. Enjoy the architecture, changing neighbourhoods, nature in the bayou (if you’re lucky you can see an alligator), The New Orleans Museum of Art in the Park and then you can eat the beignets that you now deserve.
It’s a long flight to New Orleans from Dubai (around 18 hours) United, Qatar Airways, Delta and Emirates, all operate regular, flights from Dubai.
The Frenchmen Hotel $$
417 Frenchmen Street, +1 504 945 5453, frenchmenhotel.com. Doubles from $79, continental breakfast included
The Lookout Hotel $$
833 Poland Avenue, +1 504 947 8188, lookoutneworleans.com. Suites from $95 room only
The Balcony Guest House $$$
2483 Royal Street, +1 504 945 4425, balconyguesthouse.com> Double rooms from $118 a night, B&B