Out of the kindness of my black, soulless heart I am bestowing upon you a wealth of knowledge that literally every permanent resident of New Orleans would like for you to know.

Drive like a normal person. This means going the speed limit, paying attention to road signs and street lights and not slamming on your brakes at every intersection. We get it. Those one-way streets can be confusing – here’s a tip…if you fail to encounter a single stop sign, ALL of the cars are parked facing the opposite direction in which you are traveling and at least one car traveling in the direction opposite of you honks and flips you off – you’re doing it wrong.

Also, if you find yourself sight-seeing from the comfort of your vehicle whilst traveling at a leisurely pace, REST ASSURED THE LOCALS DRIVING BEHIND YOU WANT TO STAB YOU IN THE FACE. NOLA is a walkable city – get out of your car and find that out for yourselves.

Don’t jaywalk like an asshole. New Orleans is a pretty laissez-faire place. We don’t hand out tickets for jaywalking. Mostly because our police officers have more important shit to deal with. But here’s the thing you should remember – DON’T BE A DICK. If there are cars sitting at an intersection and you clearly don’t have the right of way (based upon your mindfulness of the pedestrian traffic signal) DO NOT WALK OUT IN FRONT OF TRAFFIC. The only time locals jaywalk is when the coast is clear to do so. If you see someone else dash across the street against the light – DO NOT WADDLE OUT AFTER THEM THINKING IT’S OK, then get pissy when the driver you’ve just held up honks at you.

And here’s a tip regarding those pedestrian traffic signs. I don’t care if the light is green for vehicle traffic headed in your direction – if that hand is RED – YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.

Being a tourist doesn’t immunize you from danger. This is New Orleans – a real, live city. NOT DISNEY WORLD. That means you need to use sidewalks and pay attention to shit. Not every street is Bourbon or Royal and blocked off for your pedestrian pleasure. And even those, by the way, don’t work how you think they work. Bourbon is OPEN TO CARS during the day – so if you stumble drunkenly into an intersection at noon on a Tuesday – don’t be surprised when you get hit by a car.

Don’t go to Bubba Gump and claim to have had a true New Orleans meal. For the love. We have some of the finest food establishments in the WORLD. Ask locals where to dine – you will never be disappointed. And in that same vein – PLEASE DO NOT WANDER INTO GALATOIRE’S WEARING JEANS AND A BASEBALL CAP. I know they’ll let you in nowadays after making you don a borrowed jacket, but for the love! Galatoire’s is anΒ unparalleled dining experience and when you come off the streets in your Levi’s and solid white tennis shoes you are thumbing your nose at over a century of history. In short, SHOW SOME GOD DAMN RESPECT.

Look, we like having you here. We NEED you here…what with that whole Katrina thing, shortly followed by that whole BP thing. It’s just, we’d also appreciate it if you remembered that people actually live and work in this city and have places to go. Not being a dick is a small price to pay for enjoying our music, food and culture.