411 NOLA is your passport to the “real” New Orleans, but there are other publications that can clue you in to local happenings. Most are free of charge and have an online presence. You can go loco for things local even before you step foot inside the Orleans Parish line.
The Times-Picayune is the city’s daily, mainstream newspaper. Every Friday, it publishes The Lagniappe, which covers entertainment and lifestyle news. It is sold with the newspaper at no extra cost. It is a must-have.
The Gambit Weekly, a weekly alternative paper, has been around for almost three decades. It focuses on arts, dining, special events, and entertainment, but it also covers local news and politics. Any big event happening in the city will most likely be advertised or announced in the paper, but you can also find listings for poetry readings, film, theater and more. Ask anyone where to find the paper—it’s free and available city-wide.
Stay Local! has listings for almost 2,100 local businesses such as restaurants, art purveyors, and hair stylists. The good news for you is that you can access these listings free of charge! Need to find a local bookstore? Go find it on Stay Local! Want to know where you can find a good snoball? Find out on Stay Local! Don’t know where to board Fido or to get him a bone? Go digging on Stay Local! to find the answer. You can also go to Stay Local! to download “directories and maps of local businesses in New Orleans’ neighborhoods” for free. You’ll find directories for places off of the tourist map.
Humid Beings describes itself as “a publishing platform of the people, for the people, and by the people who make New Orleans one of the most fascinating and culturally rich cities in the world. It’s a cyber-gumbo.” While the target audience for Humid Beings is the people of New Orleans, it does offer features of interest to travelers, especially the sections devoted to places and events. There you will find listings of clubs, performances, attractions, art exhibitions, galleries, fundraisers, free events, and much more. Because this site is geared for locals, many of the listings that can be found here are not easily found by visitors anywhere else.
Mondo Times, the world’s news media directory, has links to all local papers, including those focusing on news and those published by college groups, universities, churches, and more.
Music and Entertainment
OffBeat Magazine is “a monthly print magazine focusing on the music, cuisine and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana.” It has been around over twenty years but is as much a part of our culture as red beans and rice. It is available around the city free of charge, but you can also subscribe to get it delivered to your door. If you need New Orleans culture like you need water, then you will definitely want to subscribe.
Where Y’at Magazine provides local art and entertainment coverage. It too is free and available city-wide. You can always catch the best of the Y’at on Friday afternoons starting at 2:00 p. m. on AM 690 WIST Radio.
La Fête News is a daily, electronic newsletter announcing the hottest entertainment offerings in the city. Act like a local and subscribe to the newsletter to get up-to-date info delivered to your inbox daily. (Note, if you are weary about getting junk mail long after you are gone, simply unsubscribe once you leave NOLA, but you won’t too.)
Art New Orleans is the official publication of the New Orleans Arts District. It covers art (naturally), as well as culture, and entertainment. The magazine is (as one would expect) visually rich. With a map and gallery guide, this magazine is a must-have for art-loving travelers of New Orleans. Be sure to visit the magazine’s website for subscription information, online content, an events calendar, and links to past issues.
ArtsNewOrleans.org is the premier resource for discovering New Orleans creative culture online. A project of the Arts Council of New Orleans, the website includes a local directory of arts venues, groups, and artists in addition to a comprehensive, daily updated cultural events calendar. Search keywords, browse photos and watch videos all in one central location to find the perfect match for your arts and cultural interests.
Louisiana Cookin’ magazine is all about local flavor. It offers much more than recipes. Its articles offer insight into the state’s heritage, customs, traditions, and ways of life. Stuff a copy of the magazine into your suitcase and take Louisiana home with you.
Edible New Orleans offers an in-depth look into current (and past) culinary cultures of the Crescent City (say that six times quickly). Like Art New Orleans, it is visually rich and well written. In its pages you will find articles about restaurants, farmers markets, grassroots farming initiatives, specialty grocery stores, breweries, food artisans, local chefs, as well as interviews with experts of the epicurean variety. Honoring both tradition and innovation, Edible New Orleans focuses on fresh food, local producers, and fine taste. Savor the flavor at http://www.ediblecommunities.com/neworleans/.
Ambush Mag is the most popular gay paper in New Orleans. Grab it to find out what’s going on at the bars and in the community. For more info about gay and lesbian resources in New Orleans, visit the website of the local LGBT community center or check out its Facebook page. You can also join The Cathouse, a Yahoo Group dedicated to lesbian life in New Orleans.
Antigravity Magazine bills itself as “your New Orleans music and culture alternative.” Think hipster, underground, and indie with NOLA flavor.
The New Orleans Levee newspaper is a free, satirical publication created in New Orleans and distributed monthly in and around the city. It is also available online. The Levee is perhaps one of the most important publications in the city.
Natural Awakenings is your source for info about holistic, spiritual, and “green” activities in New Orleans. You’ll find it where other free papers are distributed.
Urban Dog is all things canine all the time. Check it out to find the dog-friendly events and spots around the Crescent City.
The Trumpet is a bi-monthly newspaper published by the Neighborhoods Partnership Network of New Orleans (NPN). NPN describes itself as “a nonprofit, 501c3 organization consisting of a citywide network of neighborhoods…to facilitate neighborhood collaboration, increase access to government and information, and to strengthen the voices of individuals and communities across New Orleans.” What does this have to do with travelers? The answer is “everything” if you are one of the thousands of “voluntourtravelers” who come each year to help rebuild the most interesting city in America. The Trumpet and its parent organization’s website can fill you in on local initiatives, on the progress of rebuilding, on the challenges that this post-Katrina world continues to face, and on the good news of New Orleans. The Trumpet, available both offline and online, offers in-depth articles written by community members and activists. NPN’s website has listings of events, of neighborhood groups, of community organizations, and more. If your idea of local travel means working with locals to make New Orleans a better place, then you should definitely tune in to NPN and its paper The Trumpet.