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What to Do Off the Beaten Path in New Orleans

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The Big Easy is a heady swirl of horns, parades, chicory coffee, creole cuisine, and rich, deep history. Most visitors wander the French Quarter and pay homage to the mighty Mississippi, but there is much more to this Gulf Coast city once you venture beyond the usual tourist stops. Follow along as Lolis Eric Elie, a documentarian, food historian, and television writer, reveals what to do off the beaten path in New Orleans.
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701 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
In the early days, Africans, both slave and free, danced and made music here on Sundays, helping to maintain a cultural continuity between Africa, the Caribbean, and New Orleans. Today, important festivals and rallies take place in and around...
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2306 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Few people know of artist Edgar Degas’s Afro-Creole roots in the Treme: His mother’s family lived in this mansion, which is now a bed and breakfast. Degas’s bedroom-studio is still intact, as are rooms featured in paintings from his New Orleans...
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1501 St Philip St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
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A cafe decorated with local artwork that celebrates the culture of the Treme, it’s a great place to sit down, sip locally roasted coffee, snack on a panino or a pastry, read the newspaper, and watch the city go by. This appeared in the...
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2301 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
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From gumbo z’herbes to fried chicken, Leah Chase took soul and Creole dishes and created one of the first African American fine-dining spots in the country. My father always told me that on special occasions, it was the place to go. This appeared...
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1116 Henriette Delille St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
The Mardi Gras American Indian culture is one of the lesser-known elements of New Orleans life, but it’s been part of the African American experience in the city for well over a century. How it began remains the subject of debate. ("Masking"...
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2401 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
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“Well, we’ll see about that!” loudly harrumphs an endless of stream of out-of-town customers, eager to challenge the claim that Willie Mae’s makes “the world’s best fried chicken.” They’re usually...
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925 N Robertson St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
The intimate nightclub has the spirit of an old New Orleans juke joint, even though the person next to you may be more hipster than local. It’s home to the Treme Brass Band’s Wednesday concerts, which regularly pack the house. This appeared in the...
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1210 Governor Nicholls St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Constructed by free people of color in 1841, this is an important community church. The Tomb of the Unknown Slave pays tribute to those people who built the city, whose names we will never know. This appeared in the August/September 2015 issue. As...