‘I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it’. – Thomas Jefferson
We've all heard about the fascinating history of the Creole and Cajun cultures portrayed in the music and cuisine, the Spanish and French architecture are apparent throughout the city and the soulful influence of the Caribbean and African people provide the pulse and vibe of the crescent city. But what about the other cultures that helped build the city?
The most unique combination of ingredients blended together make the best gumbo and the same can be said about creating a city. Each culture who settles in a region, indelibly leaves their mark and impact on the area.
In New Orleans history, this includes the migration of the Irish. During the 1840’s, a great famine hit Ireland, referred to as the potato famine. The magnitude of this famine along with the politics of the time with the English, encouraged almost one million Irish people to migrate to the U.S. During the influx of the Irish to America, the majority relocated to Boston and New York in greater numbers than in New Orleans, but like each piece of history that I share in my Spirits of New Orleans book dear readers, we can see the significant impact that each culture created in the city. When looking at American history, it can be said that Ireland’s loss was America’s gain, as the country benefited in a myriad of ways from the Irish settling here in the U.S. Many of our cultural, religious and holiday celebrations were brought here by the Irish, including the celebration of Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day.
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Pat O’Brien’s has an illustrious history, first as a speakeasy during prohibition and then operating as an Irish bar. Perhaps what it’s most famous for is the creation of the drink – the ‘Hurricane‘, which is still popular to this day.
Dining and listening to music at Pat’s is an experience not to miss while in New Orleans and I had a ghostly encounter there when visiting, which I share in my Spirits of New Orleans book.
May the luck of the Irish be yours while you enjoy the food, music and festivities!
Kala’s tips on finding the ‘Luck of the Irish‘ while visiting New Orleans: