New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans Business Signs
Prior to European colonization, Mississippian and Chitmacha peoples had inhabited the New Orleans area for about 1300 years. The French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, founded La Nouvelle-Orleans (New Orleans) on May 7th, 1718. It was named after Philippe d’Orleans, Duke of Orleans, who was Regent of the Kingdom of France. His title derived from the French city of Orleans, which is itself named after the Roman emperor Aurelian, who rebuilt the city in ancient times.
In a 2014 US Census estimate, the population of New Orleans was calculated to be 384,320 people strong. This makes it the 51st largest city in the country and the largest city in the state of Louisiana. New Orleans’ metropolitan area was estimated to be 1,240,977, which makes it the 45th largest metropolitan area in the United States.
The Port of New Orleans is one of the largest and busiest in the world. In fact, is it the fifth largest port in the country, based on volume of cargo handles, and second largest in the state (after the Port of South Louisiana.) The Port of New Orleans is the 12th-largest in the US, based on value of cargo. When combined with its sister port in South Louisiana, the duo form the 4th-largest port system in volume handled in the world.
Due to the port’s location in New Orleans, the city serves as the home for many shipbuilding and port-oriented companies such as Intermarine, Bisso Towboat, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Trinity Yachts, Expeditors International, Bollinger Shipyards, IMTT, International Coffee Corp., Boasso America, Transoceanic Shipping, Transportation Consultants Inc., Dupuy Storage & Forwarding and Silocaf. New Orleans is also the site for the largest coffee-roasting plant in the world, operated by Folgers. Entergy, a power generation utility and nuclear power plant operations specialist is the only Fortune 500 Company headquartered in the area. NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility, operated by Lockheed Martin, is also located in New Orleans East.
New Orleans is known for its culture, however. Its tourism industry is worth $5.5 billion, accounting for 40% of the city’s tax revenues. Two of its biggest attractions are the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. The French Quarter, otherwise known as Vieux Carre (‘Old Square’), is the oldest neighborhood in the city. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and includes numerous buildings within with their own, individual significance. One of these areas is Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street sits in the heart of the French Quarter and is known for its raucous nightlife. Annual Mardi Gras, or Carnival, celebrations along this street are world-renowned.
New Orleans is best known as one of the birthplaces of jazz. Jazz derives from the “blending of European instruments with African rhythms.” Back in the bleak days of slavery, New Orleans was the only city in North America, which allowed “slaves to gather in public and play their native music”. This was largely done in Congo Square, which is now located inside Louis Armstrong Park (Louis Armstrong was perhaps the most famous New Orleans jazz musician). Jazz grew out of this tradition during the first half of the twentieth century.
As for professional sports, New Orleans is home to the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the Hornets), who play their home games in the Smoothie King Center. This arena also hosts AFL’s New Orleans VooDoo. The NFL’s New Orleans Saints play in Mercedes-Benz Superdome and have one Super Bowl title to their name. The Superdome serves as the home for the annual Sugar Bowl and has hosted the Super Bowl a record seven times.
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