NOLA Vibes When You’ve Got Nowhere To Go
If you can’t visit because of the pandemic, bring the vibe of New Orleans to your living room via media – pictures, movies, music, and books!
Movie: Girls’ Trip
This movie is a fun, light comedy about a group of friends who head to NOLA for the Essence Festival, but the film also shares powerful messages about strength and friendship. Once you watch this, you’ll be calling your own friends to book a life-altering trip to the Bayou.
Movie: A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams’ play is a classic, and NOLA provides the perfect backdrop to the dramatic romance taking place. Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando light up the screen and keep you riveted for 2 hours while you clutch your pearls and wish for a glass of cold, sweet tea.
This thriller follows a man as he attempts to keep his newborn infant alive in a hospital that is in the process of being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. While the particular tale is fiction, the movie does an excellent job of communicating the fear and stress from one of the city’s biggest disasters, as well as displaying the resilience of the Creole spirit.
TV: Queen Sugar
This female-run series by Ava DuVernay is working on season 5. The story follows the lives of three Louisiana siblings, each facing different challenges in their life, and brought together by the death of their father and the inheritance of the family sugar plantation. It’s moving to see how the history of slavery affects the family in the modern-day, as well as how to navigate family hardship in the Big Easy.
TV: NCIS: New Orleans
If you’re a fan of police procedurals and legal dramas, the New Orleans edition of NCIS is amazing. Follow Navy investigators as they solve crimes in the city while navigating the excitement that goes along with the locale. The cast has to chase criminals through a funeral, complete with masks, catch criminals in disguise – on Mardi Gras, and solve the murder of the bodies left to the alligators in the swamp.
TV: The Originals
If you like a little supernatural fun, this series (a spinoff of The Vampire Diaries) follows the oldest vampire family as they struggle to solve a touch of family drama and calm tensions brewing among the supernatural community. NOLA is the perfect backdrop, as the city already has mystical connections and undertones, and certainly feels like a place where anything is possible.
Music: Queen of New Orleans – Bon Jovi
Music: Where The Blues Were Born In New Orleans – Louis Armstrong
Music: Dark Lady – Cher
Music: Down At The Twist And Shout – Mary Chapin Carpenter
Music: Lady Marmalade – Patti Labelle
Book: All This Could Be Yours – Jami Attenberg
This book follows the main character as they navigate life in hot, muggy, sultry New Orleans while at the same time dealing with a parent’s fatal diagnosis and other family drama. It’s a fascinating read, evoking clear and encompassing images of the city, while weaving a complicated and emotionally intense tale.
Book: The World That Made New Orleans – Ned Sublette
This non-fiction book delves into the history of the city, including cultural influences, the impact of slavery, and the sordid underbelly of a bustling Southern port, and how that history become the force behind a powerful music movement that ultimately has contributed a large part to the culture of New Orleans. The book is absolutely fascinating and a must-read before you visit.
Book: A Kind Of Freedom – Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
A family changes along with the city as time passes, leaving the Jim Crow laws in the past, although plenty of racism still continues. Setting the book in New Orleans, a diverse and particularly black-friendly city, demonstrates how deep racial issues can go, but also provides the hope that things have and will improve. The book is powerful and not a light read, but well worth the time.
Book: Liquor – Poppy Z. Brite
Enjoy this murder-mystery series set in the restaurant scene of the Big Easy. Two chefs, best friends, and lovers work together to open their own cafe and solve the scandals that have begun to dog them. Perfect for when you want a fun and riveting read, this book will definitely catch your attention.
Book: Voodoo Season – Jewell Parker Rhodes
Enjoy the reincarnation of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau in this spooky and thrilling novel. You won’t be able to put it down once you start, and might need the lights on to sleep afterward, but it’s all worth it for a tale so expertly woven in one of the most fascinating cities in existence about someone who’s been drawing attention for over a century.