Thomas Beller is the author of two books of fiction, Seduction Theory, and The Sleep-Over Artist, and a collection of personal essays, How To Be a Man. The Sleep-Over Artist was a NY Times Notable Book, and a LA Times Best Book 2000. A former staff writer at the New Yorker Magazine and the Cambodia Daily, he is currently a contributing editor at Travel and Leisure Magazine. He founded and for twenty years co-edited Open City Magazine, and created the literary website about New York, Mrbellersneighborhood.com. He divides his time between New York and New Orleans, where he teaches writing at Tulane University.
Thomas Beller is author of the books two works of fiction, Seduction Theory, The Sleep-Over Artist, and an essay collection called How to Be A Man. He was a founder and editor of Open City Magazine, and of the literary web site devoted to New York City nonfiction, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. He contributes regularly to Travel and Leisure Magazine, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He is currently working on a biography of J.D. Salinger, a novel, and essays. He teaches at Tulane University in New Orleans.
by Elizabeth Beller
New Orleans is a mystery. I’ve gone on ad nauseum about it’s smoke and mirrors deceptions, and it’s sudden reveals. Yes, it is a city that care forgot, and Bourbon Street is reknown for drunken debauchery and lascivious lewdness. Mardi Gras and Jazzfest all scream adult pleasure! Come get your rocks off!
But then the reveal. You leave Bourbon Street, or the Jazzfest fairgrounds (which also house the track that has ostrich and zebra racing in January) and explore. You start to see realize there are families, playgrounds, people who live here. It’s a sweet life. It must be to have diehards who stayed or even relocated here after devastation such as Hurricane Katrina.
Theories abound about the origins of the phrase “The Big Easy.” A sure sign that I’m now a native of Nola is the fact that I’m going to use the one I like the most over what is more likely to be accurate: Betty Guillard, a columnist for the old States-Item paper in the 70’s, made it a household phrase by using it to favorably compare the laid-back, meandering pace of New Orleans to New York. This is a Godsend with kids. And the city caters to them.
As one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States, The Big Easy has so much to offer for families, from museums to parks, and more. Finding the best things to do with kids can feel overwhelming, but I’ve narrowed it down to my favorites as a mom of two little ones. Scroll through the treasure trove of The Best Things to Do With Kids In New Orleans. Then come visit.
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Audubon Zoo, Park and Stables
They don’t just stop at exhilarating exhibits of white tigers, toddler orangutans and elephant shows. The zoo
also has a playground for kids who need to shed some ants who won’t get out of their pants with the ambling pace needed to take in all the sights. Plus a carousel! All right next to Cascade Stables
where they can have a pony ride, or the stunning Audubon Park
with it’s 1.8 mile jogging and bike path through an allee of low hanging live oaks, golf course, tennis courts and 2 more playgrounds.
**Photo courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute**