About a month ago my wife and I traveled to Florida to visit her brother for a week. After we had done so, we were able to spend a night and part of a day in New Orleans where we were to fly back to Portland from.
While we were in New Orleans we had our rental car towed and capped off the night in a way that I let dampen and overshadow the wonderful time I really did have. I let it color my blog negatively. I am afraid that my posting did not focus on the positive experiences I had and instead focused mainly on the negative. Sometimes I get worked up and although I vent so that I can move forward/past a negative experience, I am sharing my experiences with others and should portray ALL aspects with equal measure and remove the vitriol I may have personally felt and focus on the positive. Maybe that should have my best course of action. Let me start again if I may.
I really enjoyed New Orleans, all of it, the people, the place, the food, the old buildings, the uniqueness of it all.
We stayed at an out-of-the-way hotel that was built on a former military base (naval I think). The kind that has metal barriers that lay flat but can be raised vertically to stop vehicles from coming through and giant cement block lining the street on either side.
Our Friday night on Bourbon Street was eye-opening; there was lots of shops that catered to all sorts of activities and shopping. Drinking, karaoke, skimpily clad leather wearing party boys (men), religious zealots that were preaching in the middle of the street – complete with 6 ft cross – about the sins they were committing, were all much in evidence along with clubs that pumped out rythmic dance jams. Many people dressed in costume (I think) walking down the street. People waiting at a curio shop for the next haunted French Quarter tour. Getting served alcohol in large plastic cups while we waiting in line to see an actual jazz band play some real jazz.
I was brought back to the novel Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice where the character in her novel , Louis (played by Brad Pitt in the movie) was born and raised in New Orleans in the 1800’s (I believe). I tried to imagine a time back to then as we walked through the French Quarter at night, in the dark and could see the old houses, town-houses, hotels, everything packed right up against its neighbor, what it mush have actually been like. The streets were paved with cobble-stone often enough which also added to the feeling of timelessness.
Growing up in Portland Oregon, a MUCH younger everything, (town, city, state) we aren’t left with that sort of rich history that is unique to New Orleans. Not many places are – probably none on the west coast with the possible exception of San Fransisco.
The following day, Saturday, we wanted to eat at least once in New Orleans and as it had to be breakfast because we were flying out in just a couple of hours, looked up what places were recommended to eat at on my smart phone. Soon we had one picked out and after packing our car and driving downtown near the French Quarter, we parked and walked to our breakfast spot. Unfortunately our spot was the destination of about 85 other people. With a massive wait in what was starting to be a really warm and muggy day, we decided to move on. We came across several other placed I had read good reviews on, but all were similarly packed to the gills with people. Finally we came across a place called Huck Finns that greeted us by way of a 5 ft tall plastic alligator wearing an old golfers cap standing on its hind legs out front.
We ordered and although there were no crawfish (dads) in anything we ate, we enjoyed the meal all the same. On the way out we ordered some beignets to go. They were delicious.
Our Florida/New Orleans was coming to a close with the return of our rental car and the waiting to board our plain.
I am sure we will visit New Orleans (however you choose to pronounce it – I know of three distinct ways) again so that we might enjoy more of what this great city has to offer it visitors.
More to come…