Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Big Easy

A few weeks ago, I helped a friend celebrate her birthday in New Orleans. I was excited because it would be my first trip to New Orleans, but was nervous, because I can't hang like I could in the 'old days.' I know, it's pitiful. As they say in athletics, I had to "dig deep." My friends stayed here:

They enjoyed it very much; it's on a very beautiful part of Esplanade. I stayed just down the street at the Five Continents B&B. Unfortunately, my crap phone pictures don't do the B & B justice. It was so wonderful. Jess, who runs the place, was very welcoming. He offered a map with his top suggestions, a Five Continents card (so that I could just hand it to the taxi driver, if I couldn't remember the address by the end of the night), and the card of his preferred taxi company. Oh and the breakfast! So freakin' delicious. I'm completely sold on Five Continents. When I go back to NOLA, I definitely intend to stay there again.

This place, the Dufour - Baldwin House - was a few houses from where I stayed. From the front, it was quite impressive. I can only imagine what the interior museum and gardens look like.

Once, I checked in to the B & B, we took off towards Bourbon Street. I was parched, so I opted for a "hand grenade" drink. I asked the man behind the counter what was in the concoction and he replied, "I can't give out that information." That sounds perfectly legal and safe, so of course, I had one. After meeting up with other friends on Bourbon St. we set out for a night of fun. We walked by Jackson Square and took a look at the waterfront at night. Then made our way to Frenchman's St., as recommended by Jess.

Along the way, we saw this:

Really, NOLA? You'll only allow one? The next day, when we walked past the same place, they'd changed the sign to read, "one drink minimum." That's better.

Then, Frenchman's Street welcomed us with this:

A band of strangely clad musicians, playing the most eclectic instruments I've ever seen. One guy (wearing the saggiest pair of "tighty-whiteys" I've laid eyes upon) was playing what looked like a metal trunk. Another was playing something that resembled a beer bong/funnel. Um, at least, so I've heard. Of course, I absolutely loved it. I seriously heart anything odd or weird. What a wonderful way to start the New Orleans experience.

By the time we got there, we were pretty hungry. We stopped into a place called, "Praline Connection." It had really good reviews on yelp.

We started out with Alligator Sausage. It was so good, but really just tasted like any other amazingly seasoned sausage.

I don't recall what everyone had...I had rice, beans and okra. It was wonderfully spicy!

After a belly full of Cajun food, we found the Spotted Cat. It was such fun! I felt like I was in the movie, "Irma La Douce." Well, except for the whole, being a prostitute, thing. I was waiting for a strapping, young Jack Lemmon to come strolling through the door! :-)

Afterward, we went to a place called, "DBA," which was right across the street from the Spotted Cat. They had a zydeco band playing and a huge dance floor. Two local guys heard me saying how much I wanted to learn to dance to this type of music, and humored me for a bit. They ended up being a ton of fun. One of the guys was a cyclist, too. What. A. Blast! With another night to go. Watch out NOLA! be continued...either sooner or later...

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