+
True
New Orleans Tourism

On the southern shores of America, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf, New Orleans was already a bustling port settlement by 1718.

That was more than 50 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed.

And yet, New Orleans not only existed, but it was open for business, playing host to one of the largest and busiest ports in the New World — as well as all the goods and culture that came flooding in along with it. Salt, lumber, fur, fish, produce, and more — including, of course, coffee.


[rebelmouse-image 19530716 dam="1" original_size="800x595" caption="Image by A. Mondelli and William J. Bennett/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Image by A. Mondelli and William J. Bennett/Wikimedia Commons.

While coffee didn’t become really popular in America as a whole until the Boston Tea Party sent colonists in search of a new breakfast beverage, in New Orleans it basically came with the territory. And over time, coffee grew from just a warm cup of caffeine into a cultural staple. As the swamps and bayous evolved, coffee remained, fueling the colonists, traders, builders, soldiers, pirates, criminals, and gentry of The City that Care Forgot.

Much of coffee’s history in the South has been forgotten by anyone but those who remain there participating in it still. But the path that coffee has carved through New Orleans is as fascinating as the city itself.

[rebelmouse-image 19530717 dam="1" original_size="640x426" caption="Image by jen/Flickr." expand=1]Image by jen/Flickr.

From the very earliest moments in New Orleans history, coffee was as much a part of the city as anything else.

New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, the governor of French Louisiana, who settled it as a trading outpost on the crescent of high ground resting above the mouth of the Mississippi. And when Le Moyne and his French explorers reached the river, they brought coffee with them.

Coffee had arrived in Europe in the 16th century, brought there by Turkish slaves, so Europeans had developed a taste for it. Colonizers took it along with them anywhere they went to aid in staying awake on long nights of watch and exploration that the New World might bring.

Image via iStock.

After they settled "Nouvelle Orleans" and opened it for trade, goods started flowing in and out not just among Europeans, but also from the Caribbean and Latin America. It wasn't long before coffee beans were among the products coming from Cuba, Brazil, and beyond.

Coffee remained in New Orleans throughout 300 years of transformation, and in the process, it did some transforming of its own.

It quickly became a staple beverage to the colony, powering the long hours and tireless trading that kept the port city open for business. As cultures and tastes shifted with time, so did the coffee recipe — which is how New Orleans ended up with the distinctive chicory recipe it is famous for today.

[rebelmouse-image 19530719 dam="1" original_size="2048x1367" caption="Image by Steven Guzzardi/Flickr." expand=1]Image by Steven Guzzardi/Flickr.

This recipe dates back to 1808, when Napoleon instituted the Continental Blockade, preventing France from getting most of its coffee. Their supply dwindling, the French started adding a locally grown plant called chicory to their drink in order to add to its flavor. Ultimately, many developed a taste for it even after the blockade was lifted and coffee trade resumed.

When French colonists continued to arrive in Louisiana, many still favored the chicory recipe, and the tradition became widespread at coffee stands and cafés in New Orleans.

[rebelmouse-image 19530720 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption="Photo by Alex Jones/Unsplash." expand=1]Photo by Alex Jones/Unsplash.

Now, Café du Monde is world-renowned for its chicory coffee, which is served at the restaurant alongside pastries called beignets — fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar. People flock from all over the world to try the combo at Café du Monde — so many, in fact, that the restaurant serves little else.

[rebelmouse-image 19530721 dam="1" original_size="1024x680" caption="Image by vxla/Flickr." expand=1]Image by vxla/Flickr.

But coffee culture in New Orleans reaches beyond the chicory recipe. Some even claim the "coffee break" was invented there.

In Lyle Saxon's 1928 book "Fabulous New Orleans," he describes the way businessmen in the city had developed a habit of getting coffee together at the beginning or end of a meeting.

"It is no unusual thing for a businessman to say casually: 'Well, let's go and get a cup of coffee,' as a visitor in his office is making ready to depart," he says. "It is a little thing perhaps, this drinking of coffee at odd times, but it is very characteristic of the city itself. Men in New Orleans give more thought to the business of living than men in other American cities."

[rebelmouse-image 19530722 dam="1" original_size="750x422" caption="Photo by Tim Wright/Unsplash." expand=1]Photo by Tim Wright/Unsplash.

Though no one knows for sure whether it was invented there, the coffee break was certainly strongly characteristic of commerce in New Orleans and helped contribute to coffee's prominence at the front of the city's culture.

Another unique thing that New Orleans-ers do is the "café brûlot," a difficult and theatrical take on an after-dinner coffee.

Image via Paul Broussard and NewOrleansOnline.com, used with permission.

It involves a long, spiraled orange peel, a lemon peel cut into strips, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, cognac or brandy, and black coffee.

Oh, and it's also set on fire.

Antoine's Restaurant, the oldest in New Orleans, claims that Antoine's son Jules invented the drink sometime in the 1890s, and it still serves it today.

[rebelmouse-image 19530724 dam="1" original_size="1024x742" caption="Image via Salix/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Image via Salix/Wikimedia Commons.

In every form, New Orleans' coffee embodies the spirit of the city itself, reflecting 300 years of history in each sip.

Whether it's true chicory coffee, a warm French café au lait, or a flaming café brûlot, these takes on the classic drink are set apart from the rest in their definitively, decidedly New Orleans nature.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

Keep ReadingShow less