Posted by: Clare | February 22, 2010

New Orleans #4

I call this post New Orleans #4, because it was my fourth visit to the city. I was there in May 2006 and May 2008 for a couple of days each time with my mom, for JazzFest. I was also there in March 2008 for a long weekend with four of my friends.

The trips with my mom were very low key, we went for dinner at Antoines, breakfast at Brennans (I highly recommend both if you have some time and some cash to spare) and spent an afternoon/evening at the festival wandering around a bit and then watching Jimmy Buffett headline (one thing we share is our love for Buffett).

The trip with my friends mostly centered around Bourbon Street. While it’s definitely not for everyone and that amount of craziness is not my idea of fun for an every-weekend thing, I loved it. If nothing else, the people watching is amazing. My friends and I had fun bar hopping, people watching, and enjoying the novelty of being able to wander the streets carrying our drinks. Of course we did also get beignets from Cafe du Monde (tip: if it’s windy, it is not a good idea to take your beignet’s to-go and then try and eat them on the raised platform thing opposite the cathedral. Yes, you do get a lovely view of both the cathedral and the Mississippi River from that spot, but wind + icing/confectioners sugar + hair in face + any possibility of looking even half-way decent when finished do not go together. Just trust me on this). We also took a Haunted History Tour which I really recommend if you have any interest in what I call “people” history. So interesting.

Which brings me to New Orleans #4. I was there from Friday mid-morning until Sunday at 5.45am (that time actually exists, it turns out). One of my best friends from England was there for some academic conference thing and since it is so very rare that one of my English friends even makes it to the same continent as me, let alone just a few hours away, I jumped at the chance to go see her.

Friday day: We went to lunch at Maspero’s on Dacateur (pronounced Deh-cater for anyone not familiar with it. The french student in me so badly wants to say “deh-cat-ur”, but nope). It is cheap, and delicious. I ate there last time I was in New Orleans with friends and the red beans & rice was so good that time that I couldn’t bring myself to order something different this time. After lunch we wandered the length of Decateur, in and out of tourist shops and the French Market. On our way back we stopped at Cafe du Monde for the obligatory beignet and cafe au lait (although I actually got hot chocolate instead, and it was wonderful). We did a stalking mission to find Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie’s house (found it!) because we are major nerds, then wandered up and down Royal Street (definitely worth seeing) looking in the windows of all the galleries before heading back to the hotel for a short rest.

Friday night: We went to dinner at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. Kate got a pizza and ate it in about 5 seconds flat, which I assume meant it was good. I got Goat Cheese Chicken, which isn’t on the online menu but was delicious. The portions were huge, I wish I had been able to take my leftovers with me but I’m lazy and didn’t want to carry them around all night. We then wandered over to Frenchman Street and found a jazz bar to hang out in for a while. I don’t remember which one, we picked the first one that sounded fun from the outside, but there are so many that anyone is likely to find something they like. Frenchman is very different than Bourbon Street. Yes, it is also a street full of bars, but it seems much more “real”. Plus the bars mostly have live bands, primarily playing jazz, so it is more “New Orleans” than the popular music bars on Bourbon. It’s also much more low-key. We headed back to our hotel via Bourbon just so my friend and one of her conference friends that was with us could check it out and say they had seen it. Neither of them liked it, although they did enjoy Pat O’Brien’s courtyard. I had hoped to take them to the piano bar there, but the line was ridiculous. I would recommend checking it out though, even if Bourbon Street isn’t your idea of fun, the courtyard and piano bar there have a different feel to the rest of it.

Saturday day: We went to breakfast that ended up being brunch because the line was so long at Cafe Fleur de Lis. The food was well worth the wait. Don’t be put off by the cheap-diner appearance. The food is reasonably priced and delicious. We didn’t need another meal until dinner after eating there. Kate and I then took the St. Charles Streetcar to Tulane University and wandered around the campus for a little while. My dad went there for both undergrad and law school so it’s sentimental for me, but I’d recommend checking it out anyway, it’s a really pretty campus! Loyola, right next door is also very pretty. We took the streetcar back a little (to avoid walking even more – the number one thing to do if you are going to New Orleans – pack the most confortable shoes you own, then pack a backup for when those start hurting. You will be walking a lot) and walked over to Magazine Street, which I hadn’t been to before. I loved it! It’s full of cute little boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops. There were some tourists there, but a lot of locals too which I liked. Definitely worth going to.

Saturday night: We went on a Haunted History Tour and I was pleasently surprised to find that it was a slightly different route, with different sights and stories than the one I had taken before. Not that I would have minded had it been the same, it was that interesting. We then went back to our hotel and collapsed into our beds. Too. Much. Walking!

This post is very long, so if you made it through, congratulations! If you have any questions about my experiences in New Orleans or want to know about anything I mentioned in more detail, let me know in the comments. I’ll post some pictures soon.

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Responses

  1. […] Friday February 19th I talked about my (now not so) recent 1.5 day trip to New Orleans here. So now I am finally getting around to the […]

  2. […] Orleans Pictures – Saturday, February 20 You can read about the trip here, and see the pictures from Friday […]


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