Although it’s the last day of CHEST 2018, it’s never too early to start planning for next year. CHEST will head to the Big Easy for CHEST 2019, which will take place October 19–23. New Orleans’ distinct Spanish Creole architecture, Cajun food, jazz, eccentric nightlife, and its festive spirit are a reflection of its melting pot of cultures. Here are a few things you can look forward to in a year.
The French Quarter is marked by its vibrant buildings, quaint cast iron balconies, boutiques, and vibrant nightlife on Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street features jazz clubs and Cajun eateries, and it is the street that never sleeps. Jackson Square, a National Historic Landmark, is home to the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral.
You won’t leave New Orleans (NOLA) hungry. Its “stick to your ribs” Cajun cuisine, usually cooked in a cast iron pot and served with rice and beans, is spiced with cayenne pepper and garlic while other flavors come from green bell peppers, paprika, and parsley.
Nearly every restaurant in NOLA serves some version of gumbo. Gumbo is a thick, roux-based stock mixed with meat or shellfish and the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables, typically celery, bell peppers, and onions. Try a muffuletta—an Italian sandwich on Sicilian sesame bread served with olive tapenade and various cheeses—or indulge in a beignet at Café Du Monde paired with chicory coffee. You can’t go to NOLA without having a shrimp po’boy—crispy shrimp in a French roll drizzled in tangy remoulade sauce.
Preservation Hall Jazz
Jazz music is home to NOLA, with its roots founded in Dixieland jazz. Allan Jaffe founded Preservation Hall Jazz Band in the early 1960s, and its name is derived from Preservation Hall in the French Quarter. The hall closed for a time during Hurricane Katrina, but the band still toured.
Mardis Gras in NOLA is one of the most famous celebrations around the world each year. Although the official Mardi Gras celebration won’t be happening during CHEST 2019, remnants of the festival exist year-round. Purple, green, and yellow masquerade masks can be found in gift shops, and vintage costume shops are full of beaded, feathery costumes.