Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Travels and Tastes - New Orleans

If you are cuckoo, eccentric, oddball and bazar, you might be thinking of making your way to the West coast.  But if you care more about “your music” and just having a good time, then saving dolphins and growing your own chickens, places for oddballs ( like Santa Cruz) will simply not take you.  You would be better off to just head straight for New Orleans, they will take anyone… no special butterfly loving skills needed, just an open mind.

If you are cuckoo, eccentric, oddball and bazar, you might be thinking of making your way to the West coast.  But if you care more about “your music” and just having a good time, then saving
dolphins and growing your own chickens, places for
oddballs ( like Santa Cruz) will simply not
take you.  You would be better off to just head straight for
New Orleans, they will take anyone…
no special butterfly loving skills needed, just an open mind.
Having now been to New Orleans twice, I am now thoroughly
convinced that it is the most insane place on earth.  Where
else can you get a drink at 8 a.m., drink it on the street, while
browsing windows of strip bars and fine antiques all on the
same block.  If you are to thoroughly enjoy New Orleans,
you need to check your idea of common sense and
inhibitions at the airport…you also might want to leave your
wallet, and liver there too.
The first time I was in New Orleans was a little less than a
year before Katrina.  This time around I was wondering if I
would see the effects of the storm…   No you can’t see the
effects with the naked eye (not in most neighborhoods
anyway), no damaged buildings or closed businesses… but
the damage is there.  “The Storms” come up in every single
conversation with anyone, cab drivers, tour guides,
bartenders… there is a “before” and “after” New Orleans. 
“Before” and “After” lives.  Some folks have recovered
financially and some are still struggling, but all, without
exception, are scared in some way.  And even though the
city has bounced back and lost none of its beauty or crazy
charm, even though the “good times” are rolling all over the
place, there will always be “the before and after” New
Orleans.
We have managed to do it all in the short two days, even
becoming a local attraction (you can see how attractive here).  More time would have been
nice, but if we have stayed two more days, I think I would
need a liver transplant.
So here is a little photo journal, on having a good time New
Orleans way:

You start with the breakfast of champions – a Bloody Mary. 
 You will have many more of them throughout the day, but
the first one is most important, it sets the whole’s day mood.
Toast to the new day!


Enjoy the music, dancing on the street is not only allowed,
but encouraged.

You many need a nap by 10 a.m., go ahead take one… you
will need the energy later.

 
Relax in a courtyard under
the beautiful cast iron work…
 Now I remember why I love
all the ornate wrought iron
and have it all over the place
in my house…
Or take in the Garden District.  If you are bold enough, you
may actually get to talk to some of the gardners to rich and
famous.

Stop by at the French Market and sample some local flair …

Have them shuck right in front of you.
I love oysters, they just don’t love me back… didn’t prevent
everyone from consuming dozens and dozens. So fat, so
juicy with the scent of the sea!
There are paintings of oysters all over the galleries of New
Orleans, I don’t know why, when you can just get the real
thing and eat it too.

Mountains of craw fish… if you are a craw fish fan, these are
boiled simply with lemon, bay leaf, red chilly flake, salt, black
 pepper corns and parsley…

Get a pound, or six and go ahead, make a mess…
After being thoroughly fed and watered (not with water… no
way), you may want to pretend to be the Queen of
England… go ahead, in this city no one will mind
Or put your “crazy” on!

Or take a bath to wash off the day!
And just before you settle for the never ending night of jazz
and party… one more snack at cafe Du Monde… chicory
Café O’ulait and Beignets.


We will certainly be back to this wonderfully nuts city!  In the
meantime, we will miss it, or it may miss us more!


And Another! 
Speaking of Bloody Mary’s, I don’t understand why only in
New Orleans they manage to make this cocktail this good.
And it is good almost everywhere, almost all restaurants, and
whole in the wall or not bars… everywhere.  They pretty
much got their mixology all figured out…even their Long
Island Iced teas taste better than in Long Island ( why do
they call it a LIT anyway?)

Have another!


Take in some historical scenery…. Go on a tour, preferably
before noon, you may not care very much about the city’s
history after a few of those excellent drinks.

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