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Excerpted from The Unauthorized Guide to Louisiana’s Raised Cities

New Orleans New, Louisiana, Earth date: 2061

A short history

The original, dirt side city of La Nouvelle-Orléans (now known as New Orleans Old or NOO) was settled by the French in 1718. An early chronicler called it “a place of a hundred wretched hovels in a malarious wet thicket of willows and dwarf palmettos, infested by serpents and alligators.” He forgot to mention the mosquitoes but did hit most of the basics.

In 1721, a hurricane knocked most of those structures down. In fact, the history of New Orleans is one of fire and water. Fires twice ravaged the Quarter in the late eighteenth century, and in the twenty-first century, the city was ravaged first by Katrina and then, fifty years later, by Category 5 Hurricane Chen.

In an effort to save what was left of New Orleans, the city was raised using alien technology acquired from the Garradians (see They Really Are Here or Yes, Roswell was Real). In an ironic twist, the raising of the city returned New Orleans Old to the wet thicket, once more infested by serpents, alligators, and bugs.

While the raised city retains much of the character of the original, instead of pothole-riddled streets, transit through the city is smoother, well, except for some streets in the Quarter, where the legend says the ghosts of potholes rose with the city—legends vigorously denied by city leaders who can offer no explanation for the strange and persistent bumpiness of some transit lanes. For this reason, it is recommended that visitors to the city use skimmer restraints when riding in any craft with open windows.

Foot traffic is possible in many parts of the city, but pedestrians are warned to stay inside the safety rails as gravity does remain in effect if one steps or falls off the anti-grav platforms. If one wishes to visit the old city, we recommend signing up for a tour (as long as immunizations and wills are up-to-date).

Most popular attractions

The French Quarter remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Orleans New (or NON). It can be enjoyed on foot or in one of the holographic horse-drawn carriages, where visitors can still listen to New Orleans jazz and sample traditional New Orleans fare. (Note: The stone tile and cobblestone roads are holographic, so the old habit of trying to remove them as souvenirs is no longer possible.)

The Garden District is, for the most part, still privately owned, but tourists can either take the air-trolley or hire a pedi-skimmer and look at the past over holographic stones walls. There are some mansions opened for touring, but yeah, mostly all you can do is look. Magazine Street is still famous for its antique stores and always the food.

Lake Pontchartrain was not raised, of course, but to preserve the special character of the lakefront, there are special transit zones for crossing this airspace and designated airspace is preserved for air board sports, just as if the lake were still there. If you wish to experience the real lake, local guides are advised, as are current immunizations, current health insurance policy, and an up-to-date will. Local tour guides also require next-of-kin information and payment in full prior to departure.

Mississippi River Boat Tours still “paddle” the place where the river would be if the city were dirt-side. They pass under holographic representations of the bridges that used to span the river, including the famous (or infamous) Huey Long Bridge, which no one really misses, but old-timers pretend they do.

The Mayor and City Council would like to thank you for visiting New Orleans New. 

(Even though we don’t endorse this guide, we support all citizens right to free speech  [if they donate to our campaigns “voluntarily”])

We hope you enjoyed your visit to our city, [assuming you survived and your next-of-kin didn’t find this among your belongings and are reading it in an attempt to understand what happened.]

We like to feel that we’ve managed to blend the best of the old, with enough of the new so we don’t fall out of the sky. The city is maintained in place by the use of [“new-to-us” refurbished,] anti-grav platforms fitted with anti-collision boosters, paid for with local tax dollars and Federal grants, and maintained by the Anti-Grav Board and the Anti-Collision Board, [who receive ridiculously inflated salaries] while doing their job to make sure that all of us stay safe into the foreseeable future (usual disclaimers apply).

You’ll find the names and faces of your city council and current mayor [plastered every place we could find]. Don’t forget we’re there for all NON citizens, [except when we aren’t because someone with more money needs our attention.]

What hasn’t changed, what will never change, is the food, the music, and a people who are easy in a Big Easy that can often be Uneasy even in the Future.

Le bon temps roule!

** Items between [  ] are the opinions of the author and not those of the Mayor and City Council.

To read more about New Orleans New, pick up One Two Punch now.

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