There are different answers to the question, "What is New Orleans?" I've got my answer and it may be similar to other people's. This song by Kermit Ruffins and the Rebirth Brass Band always makes me smile and pay extra attention.
Some of the references may not make sense, but, in true New Orleans fashion, they are evocative enough that it doesn't matter if they don't make sense. New Orleans is turkey necks and mashed potatoes on Thursday. New Orleans is baby dolls. New Orleans is Rick's Cabaret, yeah, that's New Orleans, alright.
Whether you get it or you don't, you'll get New Orleans from this long song. People drive past my house and the music coming out their car windows is in this genre. That's New Orleans.