Welcome to New Orleans!

By Michele M. Zembo, MD, MBA
Local Committee Chair

On behalf of the city of New Orleans and the Louisiana orthopaedic community, welcome back! As Local Committee Chair, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see the Academy making a successful return to our city!

Courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

This week, thousands of our colleagues from across the United States and around the world will have the opportunity to review [27] symposia, 196 instructional courses, 720 podium presentations, 567 poster presentations, 89 scientific exhibits, and more than 575 technical exhibits. On Saturday, 13 orthopaedic specialty societies will take part in Specialty Day.

Although the AAOS Annual Meeting is more than enough reason to spend a week in New Orleans, there are plenty of things to do around town once you step outside the convention center.

Music, food, and more
Of course, New Orleans is known for its music. Although visitors often think of Bourbon St. as a destination spot for live music, I recommend heading over to Frenchmen St. in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, just outside the French Quarter. Some of the best live music clubs in the city are there, and that’s where the locals usually go.

If art galleries are more your style, you can find many wonderful opportunities to shop or browse in both the French Quarter and the Arts District, located near the river in the Warehouse District. New Orleans is home to a thriving art community and you’ll find plenty of reasonably priced pieces by local artists. Many of our glass artists in particular are highly regarded all over the world.

Another good place to seek out arts and antiques is in the shops on Magazine St., which runs through the heart of New Orleans and is filled with galleries, boutiques, and great restaurants.

Speaking of food, we have plenty of great choices. There are more than 1,000 restaurants in town—many of them owned and operated by world famous chefs. I recommend checking out the New Orleans Menu Web site at The site is run by a local restaurant critic and is filled with reviews, recommendations, current events, and even interesting trivia!

Rebuilding a city
Of course, the last time the Academy was scheduled to come to New Orleans, the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Although the downtown area has come back and even been improved in the wake of the disaster, several rebuilding projects are ongoing in the Ninth Ward that may be worth seeing if you have the time.

Make It Right is a project to bring green, sustainable architecture to the city. Spearheaded by Brad Pitt, the project brought together 21 architects from around the world who donated their designs and is one of the largest projects of its kind in the world.

Musicians’ Village was conceived by musicians Harry Connick Jr., and Branford Marsalis. The project was designed to help preserve the city’s musical heritage by providing a community of homes for many of the musicians who have contributed so much. Musicians’ Village is a Habitat for Humanity project and features houses built in a more traditional style.

Finally, don’t forget about our fine collection of museums. The more than 40 in town cover topics from art to history and even food. A few great choices are the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the National World War II Museum, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, which is the only place in the United States you can see the “Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio” exhibition.

Thank you all very much for choosing to spend some time in our town! Here’s to a great week and a great Academy meeting!