Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Wonder Friend. Wonder Friend Wonders, “What is the Big Easy?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Wonder Friend!

Ready for a ride on the river? How about a stroll through the French Quarter? A cup of chicory coffee and a beignet sure sound good about now. Maybe we could listen to some jazz, too. Where can we do all of these things? The Big Easy, of course!

“The Big Easy” is a nickname for the city of New Orleans. It’s located along the southern bayous of Louisiana where the mighty Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans is an American city like no other.

New Orleans is known for many things. People flock there for French Creole architecture, Cajun food, jazz music, and the annual Mardi gras festival. In New Orleans, many cultures and languages collide. Each one helps shape The Big Easy as one of the most unique cities in America.

So where did “The Big Easy” nickname come from? There are many theories. It may be linked to the rich musical heritage of New Orleans. It’s long been a popular center for jazz and blues music. This meant good musicians had an easier time making a living there than in other cities.

Musicians weren’t the only ones who could easily find work in New Orleans, though. It’s a large city with many spots for trade and entertainment. This leads to many jobs for people who live in or move to The Big Easy. The city’s cost of living is also often low compared to other major U.S. cities.

The nickname may also be related to the usually relaxed and carefree attitude of many people in New Orleans. For such a unique city, though, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that it has several other popular nicknames.

You may have heard New Orleans called the Crescent City. This is due to the shape of the Mississippi River as it winds its way through and around the city. “America’s Most Interesting City” can be found on the welcome signs at the city limits. Many movies and television shows are filmed there, so many people call it Hollywood South. It also shares many cultural similarities with the Caribbean islands. This leads some to call New Orleans “The Northernmost Caribbean City.”

Have you ever visited The Big Easy? Maybe you’re lucky enough to live there yourself! As one of the most unique cities in America, New Orleans draws many tourists and new residents each year.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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