New Orleans - My Journey Contest Video for Lonely Planet
My name is Tom Downs, I write about New-Orleans for Lonely Planet :
If New-York is all about skyscrapers* and yellow taxis, New-Orleans is all about cast iron balconies*, and trumpets...
New-Orleans is mysterious, sultry*, soulful*, saucy*, musical, rythmic, exotic* and eccentric*.
New-Orleans is on the Mississippi River and The Gulf Coast ; it's at the point of the Mississippi River that's about as far South as* you could put a city. It's often called the least American City* in the United States.
People that really appreciate a good character, it has a kind of a weird streak* and it's not ashamed of it*.
It's a city that knows how to have a great time. New-Orleans is a kind of place that just lives to let it all hang out*.
It's got it's own unique cuisine right from the French but it's got a lot of African-American* influence and Carribean*.
One of New-Orleans' great appeals* is the fact that it's a kind of a spooky* and mysterious place. They had to put their cemeteries above ground because in the early days when they were still digging* graves* all it took was a rain storm and coffins* would start resurfacing and flowing down the street.
The French quarter is the heart of New-Orleans with all the building and historical landmarks* and Jackson square* is the heart of the French quarter, its artists, fortune-tellers*, musicians playing pretty much around the clock.
If I had to choose one specific spot* in New-Orleans where I'd want to sit and just relax it would be Napoleon café on Chartres Street inthe French quarter it hasn't been painted in 150 years. This place just exudes* all New-Orleans atmosphere.
It's a huge party on Bourbon Street with mostly tourists, and conventioneers ; you think of it as being the Red Light District of the city ; it's actually more of a carnaval, all the bars, nightclubs, doors flung wide open and some of them are actually trying to lure you inside ; it's got that kind of crazy atmosphere going. A lot of drinking goes on on Bourbon Street even when there's a conventional of librarians in town ...you've never seen so many drunk librarians in your life !
Hurricane Katrina was a shot across the bows* and the city's still there.
See it now, there could be another hurricane coming along in the next couple of years and you know...blast your chance !
Vocabulary (*) :
Words to remember :
sultry = lourd, étouffant / A weather that is sultry is hot with air that feels wet (= humid)
soulful = (song, performance) émouvant, attendrissant / (look, eyes) expressif
exotic = something that is exotic seems unusual and interesting because it is related to a foreign country (= pays étranger)
eccentric = behaving in a way that is unusual and different from most people
usual/unusual = habituel/inhabituel
the least American city = la ville la moins américaine
weird = very strange and unusual and difficult to understand or explain (= expliquer) = bizarre, étrange
Carribean = des Caraïbes
The Carribean Islands = Les Antilles
African Americans = Black Americans or Afro-Amercians.
Be ashamed of...= avoir honte de
spooky = strange or frightening in a way that makes you think of ghosts = qui donne la chair de poule, fait froid dans le dos
rainstorm = trombe d'eau
a square = une place
a fortune-teller = un diseur/une diseuse de bonne aventure
a spot = un endroit, un coin
To understand :
cast iron = fer forgé
a balcony = un balcon
a streak = une tendance, un côté (a weird streak = un côté étrange)
as far as = aussi loin que
Let it all hang out = se relâcher complètement, se laisser aller / se défouler
an appeal = un attrait
dig/dug/dug = creuser
a grave = une tombe
a coffin = un cercueil
a landmark = un repère (ici les principaux monuments)
exude = déborder de
lure = attirer (sous un faux prétexte)
a shot across the bows = un coup de semonce
blast = briser, anéantir, faire sauter
A skyscraper = un gratte-ciel
saucy (informal) = cheeky = effronté / (action) provocative = provocant
behave = se conduire, se comporter