They Got Bookoo People Outside [and other things I say and do because I’m NOLA-bred]

As most of you know I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the single greatest cities in existence…I’m not even exaggerating here.

If you didn’t know I was from NOLA well, now you do. Even though I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t know because I mention it a lot. Like a profuse amount actually…ANYWAYS.

What spurned this post is that I’m currently finishing up an internship in Orlando and each intern is from a different state-California, Nebraska, Michigan, Mississippi,and Illinois-and having to live with others from different places always gives light to distinct differences between different region-dwellers. These differences can be any thing from food tastes to accents to slang. Since I’m from NOLA there are very specific things I do that people from other places don’t do/understand. Some of these things are characteristic of most metro-city dwellers while others are VERY specific to NOLA-hood.

Here are a few:

It wasn’t until I visited a small town outside of Houston, TX that I discovered that some people actually do not like their car/house doors when they leave their car/house. I was beyond befuddled/perplexed when I found this out because there is not a day that goes by in New Orleans where I don’t double-or even triple-check all my doors to make sure they are locked. My mom once left her doors unlocked to her car and it was stolen, never to be seen again…(well she accidentally left the keys in the ignition also so that may have contributed to the problem, but still)
Maybe it’s just the way I was raised but I believe leaving doors unlocked leads to either having your stuff stolen or being murdered in your sleep by bloodthirsty thieves, which mind you is  a very real, hypothetical possibility.
Which leads to my next point, being from NOLA also..
Makes Me Super Paranoid in almost Every Social Situation
Have you ever watched the night news in New Orleans?
There are at least three murder stories in the news…every night. Not even kidding. People get shot ALL THE TIME. Mind you most these people are usually involved in some kind of crime-related activity anyway but they still end up shot and/or dead. There are a few cases where completely innocent by-standers get injured in the cross-fire which completely sucks and is beyond horrifying but MOST times they are people who are about that life.
Well all the years of watching the news has made me very aware of myself and my safety whenever I go anywhere, whether in NOLA, or not. As soon as I get to a new place I find the closest and most accessible exit just in case something pops off. I’ve been to one too many football games at Tad Gormley where fights have almost broken out I guess….

Get super bougie when anything is dubbed New Orleans-style

I think this one speaks for itself. For some reason people like to claim that food is New Orleans-style when it’s not. No one from New Orleans made it, the seasoning isn’t from New Orleans, and the food tastes nothing like any thing in New Orleans.


Sorry I snapped a bit, but I’m back. Anyways, whenever something is supposed to taste like it’s from New Orleans I automatically raise my expectations and get my criticizing cap ready to judge this food as if I were the only female, Japanese Iron Chef in the Ultimate Iron Chef competition.

Think throwing my hands up and doing second line style dancing is appropriate for every song.

I’m not an expert second liner (see video below) but I do know what to do when I hear a brass band playing. I’m pretty sure every New Orleanian knows at least how to wave their handkerchief on beat when they hear Mardi Gras Mambo or Do What You Wanna. Being in that environment all my life has made me prone to surface-level second lining whoever I hear anything that has real instruments in it. SOmetimes it happens without me realizing it. I’ve even seen people second line and buck-jump to gospel music. There is literally a guy in my church who buck jumps whenever the choir sings a song he likes. He sits on the end of the pew intentionally so that he has enough to dance whenever he feels so led.

So yeah, we dance a lot in NOLA.

Jaywalk whenever crossing any street

My mom and I were visiting my school in DC and we were waiting for the blinkie cross0walk signal to let us know we could walk. As I am patiently waiting for the guy to say I could go my mom steps off the curb, looks both ways to see if any cars are coming and heads on cross the street even thought the blinkie definitely said we shouldn’t be walking. I hurried across the street to tell her she wasn’t supposed to cross in middle of the road and that she should wait until the sign says we should go, to which she replied, “but there were no cars coming”. And that was that.

In NoLA people just kinda get it how they live when it comes to crossing the street. If there are no cars coming you just kinda hop out there and get across how you can…which works for us…too bad it’s actually illegal in other cities. There was a conference I was attending in NOLA and people from across the nation came to stay in the city for about four days for the conference. One time me and some of my fellow New Orleanians decided to take some of the non-natives to eat with us and the place was within walking distance of the hotel. So as we natives ran across the street in order to get to the place as quickly as possible, the visitors ran behind us with this looks of shock/utter confusion because we weren’t waiting for the signals and lights to tell us we could go.

Have no idea where people should go eat when they’re visiting  New Orleans

Someone called me yesterday, YESTERDAY, to ask where they should eat and I had no idea where to tell them. I had to google search, hang up, call my mom, ask her, wait for her to come up with something, and then call the person back with an answer.

It was kinda retarded actually.

I’m sure you’re thinking, Bri how could not know where the best place to eat at in YOUR OWN CITY is?

The answer is quite simple. My mom cooks. Very well. So I have no reason to PAY for authentic New Orleans. When I don’t feel like eating at home I’m at some hole-in-the-wall getting my food from Ray ray and ’em.

That’s just how it is. I never know where to send people for authentic New Orleans food because my mom makes all the authentic food I will ever need.

Well that’s all folks!

For all my fellow NOLA-birds anything else that you noticed you do as a result of your New Orleans upbringing? For my non New Orleanians, anything that you do as a result of your specific upbringing? I’d love to hear it!

-@kewl_briize, aka Brini-Weenie, aka Bri

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”- Romans 5:6


9 thoughts on “They Got Bookoo People Outside [and other things I say and do because I’m NOLA-bred]

  1. as a non-new orleanian, things i do because of my ATL upbringing:

    ~ i love, Love, LOVE me some hot wings with blue cheese and celery and don’t get me started on lemon pepper wings. at some point in my youth, i got hooked on hot wings from american deli at THE south dekalb mall (this is where most of my black peoples in dee-kalb county went to the mall). the wings were off every kind of hook. too bad they don’t agree to well with my blood pressure. the struggle is real bri. i’m just saying.

    ~ love bass music. living in the dirty south, bass music is like the backdrop of any good party. being that i’m a christian now, i thoroughly enjoy bass-like music that edifies Jesus and accompanies very tight lyrics by christian brothers and such.

    ~ fall into my southern drawl anything i’m around other southerners for 2 minutes or more, especially those from states that include but are not limited to tennessee, mississippi, alabama, north carolina and south carolina.

    ~ can detect fake sweet tea in an instant.

    ~ lock doors and double check doors, not because of crime, but because my momma worked for the police department for almost 30 years and constantly would tell me, ‘you need to SECURE your pocketbook mel. be aware of your surroundings!’ Lord, have mercy…

  2. I LOVE this post because it’s so different in Mississippi than it is up north. People are always so perplexed when they get here and everyone is speaking to them. We also “jay-walk” because we don’t have very many streets with “blinky” things at them. Idk if it’s cause I’m from Mississippi, but I always lock ALL my doors and I’m extra paranoid in all situations. Maybe that is because my dad was a cop, but I suppose that’s a whole different post. 🙂

    1. I remember in the third grade my teacher, who was from up north, had to actually spend class time explaining the definition of jay walking and how its illegal to our class because we honestly had no idea what it was.

  3. I’m trying really hard to think of something you haven’t covered. But for now, door-locking (unless you’re from New York) and jaywalking are two things that I was SHOCKED to find that the rest of the country doesn’t do. I always thought the crosswalk blinky things were only for blind people. Otherwise, you just cross when it’s clear, regardless of the traffic light! Right? Er…no?

    WAIT- I THOUGHT OF ANOTHER ONE! Eating rice! When I moved to Florida I was appalled at the one measly shelf allotted to rice in the local supermarket. Then I realized, oh waiiiiiit, the rest of America simply does not eat it…crazy, huh? But yeah, I guess without beans and rice, white beans and rice, yellow rice, dirty rice, Spanish rice, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffé…rice would largely be pretty much be delegated to the realm of Asians. But for New Orleanians? At your average Breaux Mart there’s a whole aisle dedicated to rice, especially in those gargantuan burlap sacks which the rest of the U.S. hasn’t seen since the 19th century lol.

  4. I love this. You just captured the essence of NOLA life, people and culture in a hilarious way. “I have to google search where they should eat” when guests come into town……. I LOVE THAT! So true!

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