One thing people from out of town might find odd is New Orleanians penchant for hanging out under the elevated highways that run through the city. It's really not so strange considering that there is ample shade under the highways. The habit is so entrenched that City Park, that urban oasis that is home to stately old oaks and the New Orleans Art Museum, has picnic areas under the highway that runs through it.
Interstate 610 bisects City Park at ground level most of the way, but it is elevated on each side so that roads can run beneath it. Zachary Taylor Road runs parallel to the interstate and on either end where it intersects with the north-south roads, there is a picnic area under the highway.
There are tables under trees on the north side of the elevated spans but the majority of amenities are under the highway itself. There are numerous cast cement tables and benches suitable for a whole family as well as barbecue hibachis. Not only does the highway offer respite from the sun, it also provides protection from the often unpredictable thunderstorms that can sweep over New Orleans on any given summer day.
While it may look strange at first glance, spending one's leisure hours in the shadow of the interstate makes perfect local sense. City Park is home to many attractions. The protected picnic grounds are just one.