i'm back from my trip to new orleans and let me tell you guys - it was amazing. ah. mah. zing. i definitely recommend you go, or become good friends with someone from new orleans who will host an event there. both will do. and while friday and saturday i was a little busy with the wedding, i still managed to see the city on thursday and sunday. so what did i do, you ask? well...
first, of course, is bourbon street. at night it's one big party, and during the day it's people nursing their hangovers with another drink. while not for the faint of heart, it's fun to people watch and should be taken with a grain of salt. stroll along it day or night with a drink in hand and understand why the city is called the big easy.
next up is the garden district, which contains the benjamin button house and layfayette cemetery. it literally smells of flowers and everywhere you turn is another big, historic, beautiful southern mansion. if you want scenic, this is it. the cemetery is beautiful, but if you're not there while it's open there's always the st. louis cemetery no. 1, which is closer to downtown. if you happen to go near mardi gras you'll see tons of beads hanging from the trees while you wait to take your streetcar back to the city center. it's the first place where you start to really appreciate the city's uniqueness and charm.
after a full day (and night), you'll want to start your morning with cafe du monde. while touristy, the line moves fast, the coffee is strong and the beignets are delicious.
for something random, and girly, check out the mardi gras museum in arnaud's restaurant right on bourbon street. it's tiny but contains tons of costumes from old parades - the detail and jewels will make you wish you grew up to be a new orleans princess, too.
of course you can't miss the most famous new orleans site, the new orleans cathedral, which is called the st. louis cathedral. it's beautiful and can teach you about how strong religion is part of the city's amazing culture.
the music in new orleans is also something you can't miss - particularly the street musicians you'll see in the french quarter. from 50's standards to jazz to country, you'll hear it all. some will impress. some will disappoint. but at least once you'll have to stop and listen to the music.
finally, the people. have you seen midnight in the garden of good and evil? well, welcome to a similar city. the characters in this city will never cease to amaze you with their stories, wit, and joie de vivre. i got to interact with them more since i met so many through the wedding, but i implore you - talk to the locals. they are full of humor, stories, and good cheer. my favorite quote from the whole weekend would be the florist, who at one point stated in her honey-filled southern accent "and i said, miss dixie, i don't why you have your liver in quiver!"
i rarely say this about any other place than nyc, but it's true. new orleans. it's a hell of a town.
and tomorrow i'll share with you my food recommendations!