The Dirt

Elijah Bradshaw

Tell us a little bit about your life here in New Orleans.
I am the W Insider at the W hotel- French Quarter. My job is to differentiate and elevate each guest's experience at my property in a unique way. I assist with providing guests inside tips and information in the city and linking them in a meaningful way with the latest, newest, and coolest.

I do this by building and maintaining positive relationships with members of the community. I spend quite a bit of time out at events connecting with people to provide exclusive experiences to the people who are visiting our city that are unexpected and surprising.

In my downtime, I usually cook, trying out new recipes and alternating old ones. A dream of mine is to open a bar that serves small plates.

What are some of the ways you stay inspired?

I spend a lot of time riding my bike around the city taking pictures of things that intrigue me.  I watch foreign and horror cinema. I visit museums often. Graphic Novels. Cooking is always something that inspires me. 

What should someone add to their bucket list for experiencing New Orleans and the surrounding parishes?

Eat char-grilled Oysters. Drive through the Southern Boudin trail, eating Boudin from different vendors along the way. A crawfish boil in someone's backyard is completely different than eating it at a bar or restaurant; I hope they would get to experience that. Listen to a brass band. A late night of dancing on Frenchman Street. Watching the sunset at the Fly. If you're lucky, join in on a Second Line.

What does it mean to be a New Orleanian? 

Saying hello to people on the street. Eating lunch with friends while talking about dinner. The knowledge of how to suck the head of a crawfish even if you don't enjoy it. Some people don't but are always happy to show a visitor how to do it. I find that the people who choose to live here, which is no easy feat, usually possess a connection with the undercurrent of this place that I have never found anywhere else. We find a reason to celebrate anything. Our infinite capacity to be eclectic, rebound and appreciate the little things keeps a smile on my face. 

What neighborhood do you live in? What is great about your street and block? 

I live in the Lower Garden District on the corner of St. Mary and Felicity. The Half-Moon is my Cheers. What I love most about my block are my neighbors. We call ourselves the "St. Mary Porch Sitting Society."

We get together, typically once or twice a week for a chat and enjoy a few drinks. There's no pretension and exclusion. We have people that don't even live on the block that come porch with us. It's a beautiful thing. 

Who do you respect as creators of culture and great community members and why? 

Everyone that does anything creative I respect and admire.  Ersy Schwartz is my favorite New Orleans artist because of how she explores allegory, surrealism, and magic realism in her work.

Snowball flavor(s): 

Cream of Blueberry

Who would be your ultimate festival headliner? 

Nina Simone & Miles Davis.

How do you do Mardi Gras Day? 

I typically start off with drinks at a friend's house, walking with the Krewe of St. Anne parade, a few more drinks on Frenchman street then ending the day with a delicious pot of Gumbo.

Your favorite Dirty Coast shirt design? 

Bury me above ground and New Orleans is for Livers.

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