Carriage in front of the Royal Cafe. Photo courtesy New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Published 11/1/2009
Michele M. Zembo, MD, MBA

New Orleans lagniappe

Local chair shares the many ways the “Big Easy” offers you a little more

“Lagniappe” (pronounced lan-yap) is an old French word that’s quite well understood in New Orleans. It means something extra, a little more than you asked for, and that’s just what you’ll find when you come to the AAOS2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Take food, for example. Nowhere will you find as many interesting, fabulous restaurants as in New Orleans. You could have breakfast, lunch, and dinner—each meal, every day for a full year—in a different restaurant and you still would not have exhausted the opportunities for eating. The city is proud to boast many more than 1,000 restaurants, from the down-home and funky to the posh and pretty. And the food is delicious—innovative, unforgettable cuisine with absolutely no calories!

Or music—you do like music, don’t you? In a recent poll of American travel writers, New Orleans ranked first for live music. As one of the writers said, “New Orleans bleeds music—it’s in the air, in the water, in the people. You can’t go to New Orleans without the music swallowing you whole.” Whether you listen to jazz, blues, rock, gospel, or the classics, you’ll find a place—or a street musician—who shares your taste.

Maybe your passion is art. The art community in New Orleans is thriving. The challenge of rebuilding after Katrina has attracted lots of young, entrepreneurial spirits. As a result, you’ll find wonderful contemporary art that’s still very affordable. And if you like glass art, you’ve come to the right place when you come to New Orleans. It’s fabulous!

The antiques are still on Royal Street; lots of interesting boutiques can be found in the French Quarter, and it’s fun shopping. If you like museums, you’ve got to find time to visit the Ogden Museum of Southern Arts and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

Carriage in front of the Royal Cafe. Photo courtesy New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, site of the AAOS 2010 Annual Meeting, has recently been enlarged and refurbished. Photo
courtesy of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Let’s not forget why we’re here: Education
As for the Annual Meeting itself, the AAOS has built in some lagniappe for attendees. You will be able to choose from a variety of informational programming; Saturday—Specialty Day—meets your need for an all-day program with a specific focus.

If it’s been a while since you attended an Annual Meeting, you’ll find that it’s not only bigger, it’s better. The AAOS has developed a number of educational venues within the meeting, so you can roam the posters, listen to research papers, participate in interactive symposia, view videos, sharpen your surgical skills, explore the latest in technology, and browse the myriad products and services your Academy has developed for you.

The Annual Meeting Committees—Program, Exhibits, and Instructional Courses—have recruited the top names in the field to address controversies and explain procedures. It’s an unsurpassed opportunity to network.

The Morial Convention Center, site of the meeting, has been enlarged and refurbished. With 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, it’s the sixth largest convention facility in the nation. More than $7 million in improvements have been made, including extensive landscaping, new digital large-screen audio/video information systems, and furniture pods throughout the building.

Let the good times roll
As your local chair, I can’t wait to welcome you to New Orleans. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite spots and stories through AAOS Now. I hope you’ll enjoy them, and come to see for yourself the marvelous city that I call home—New Orleans.

Michele M. Zembo, MD, MBA, is the AAOS Local Chair for the 2010 Annual Meeting. She can be reached at