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The city of New Orleans is in Louisiana. It is the biggest and most populated city in Louisiana. It is known as the Big Easy because of its round the clock nightlife, vibrant live music and their spectacular cuisine. Its history reflects as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. New Orleans most famous festive event is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras is a carnival for festive costumed parades and street parties beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany which usually occurs the day before Ash Wednesday.
Jazz which was developed in New Orleans in the twentieth century, is considered as their music idiom in the city while they celebrate the cultural origins with the phenomenally successful Mardi Gras and world-renowned cuisine (Gale, 2009). I chose New Orleans because one of the possible schools I might transfer to is Xavier which is in New Orleans.
New Orleans is mostly surrounded by water and is very peninsular.
The city essentially lies in a geographic bowl that’s lies about 6 feet below sea level to 15 feet above. It is approximately 181 square miles. It spreads around a curve of the Mississippi River. The northern part of New Orleans touches Lake Pontchartrain which connects into Lake Borgne. Lake Borgne then flows into the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans is surrounded in all directions by lakes, marshlands and bayous. A massive levee system protects the city from flooding and tidal waves but in 2005, hurricane Katrina was so powerful that the levees failed and most of the city went underwater (Campanella, 2011).
To date, billions of federal dollars were given to rebuild or restore the levees but most claim that the levees were just patched up and not completely rebuilt. Many historic tourist sites and attractions have been restored and many businesses have been rebuilt.
The weather is another great reason that make New Orleans great. It is considered a humid semi-tropical climate. While snow is possible, rain occurs mostly throughout the year. Its annual average precipitation is 64.16 inches per year. The average temperature in New Orleans in January is 52.6° F, 82.7° F in July and the annual average temperature is 68.8° F.
The transportation system to depart or arrive from New Orleans is standard, by bus, airlines, train or cruise ship. They also have a public transportation system that is used to get around town. The streetcar system has 4 lines that originate from downtown and go through the French quarters and beyond. The streetcars are air conditioned and ride on rails, so they avoid traffic to get you through the scenic route of your destination. The streetcars longest destination is about 6 miles from downtown. Along with the streetcars, New Orleans also has the bus system or Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). The RTA has 40 bus routes that runs through every neighborhood of Crescent City. From Uptown to Downtown, from Lakeview to the Lower Ninth, from Mid-City across the Mississippi River and to the parish lines, the RTA goes there (Gale, 2009). Another popular mode of transportation are the ferries and of course, there are cabs, limousines and ride sharing.
Like many cities, New Orleans system has long been uneven with division lines that often follow class and race. The Regional transit Authority that was established in 1979, was set up to include both New Orleans and the surrounding counties or parishes. The mostly whiter and better off parishes opted out and only the Orleans parish opted in which houses majority of blacks. Today, New Orleans is increasingly an economically divided city with most of the city’s wealthiest people who own cars and live near the city’s four trolley lines. The more spread-out margin of poorer people live further away from the trolley lines and don’t have cars so they rely on the sparse bus network. About 1 in 5 new Orleanians lack access to a reliable vehicle and because of reliable transportation, nearly 90 percent of the region’s jobs are off-limits. Because of the parishes opting out of the RTA, the bus system makes riders coming in or out of the city transfer to another bus with an entirely different bus network, thus paying a second fare which makes commuting so burdensome (Snyder, 2018).
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