A Noo Yawka Doin' New Orleans
Written: Sep 22, 2002 (Updated Jan 19, 2011)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:sights, sounds, smells, southern cookin' and sex on parade.
Cons:to many Hurricanes
The Bottom Line: This is the place to sample food, drink, music, and a slightly naughty atmosphere.
Update September 2005
The hurricane Katrina has left devastation in New Orleans. I hope and pray for all the people who have been affected by all that has happened.
Update, February 2007
After going back to New Orleans and visiting some friends and the town, mostly the French Quarter, I can say that it is doing well by physical standards. The buildings didn't get much damage as compared to other parts of the city and most of what I could see is open for business. We had a great time there. It's important for everyone not to hesitate going to the city. It is open for business and we loved all the people we met there.
Back to the original review of which most is still "up-to-date.
My review of a place I hope to one day return to.
My wife and I were invited to a wedding in Louisiana. Hey, we thought, let's try Nawlins while we are down there and we did.
Wow!! This is some town. I wasn't expecting to much in Happenings, maybe a few late night bars, some live music, and some titillating store front signs. Happily I was wrong. I found out you don't need Mardi Gras to find a wild party on the streets.
We stayed right in the French quarter at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. It was a perfect place to stay. It was half a block from Bourbon St. in one direction and very close to Jackson square in the other. It was very comfortable, we got a good rate, it had a great concierge, and the place had some history behind it.
We were there three nights. It was all an adventure.
During the day we took a few walks to acclimate ourselves. Spending time around the Jackson square and walking along the river was relaxing. Most places we went to had some kind of street performers around. One pair of guys, a younger black fellow probably in his thirties and an old black geezer who was blind gave a fun filled show. The younger guy would call attention to all. He was quite the street hawker. He sang and played guitar while putting a lot of humour into his patter. The ol' guy, who was referred to as grandpa, played a harmonica. He was awesome!. Together they hustled up a good chunk of change or rather I should say a lot of paper money. You see we were told that besides not being able to see grandpa had very sensitive ears and they would hurt if change was put in the cup. He needed to hear quiet money. Poor grandpa blind and sensitive ears.
The next day we were checking out some shops on a street and who did we see walking up and down a narrow ramp, carrying paintings, and loading a truck? It was poor ol' grandpa. Hey, maybe wasn't blind after all. We were!!
There are quite a few of these performers on the street. Some you'll stay and watch because they are great and some you will be grateful to leave.
There was a guy playing a sax on the riverfront early in the morning. Well eleven thirty am. We didn't get up much earlier in this town. He was really good and added to the areas relaxed feeling. In the mornings everything is very quiet.
Before going to the river in the morning be sure to stop by Cafe du Monde. Have some of their chicory coffee and some beignets. The chicory coffee is a holdover from the days of world war two when coffee beans were hard to get. "Let's just add some chicory and now we have a great substitute!" The beignets are a kind of French donut with powered sugar that is sure to get all over your face and shirt. We love both and we continue to mailorder it home from there.
We spent a lot of time investigating the streets and little back courts that abound. We would find small restaurants. One was more charming than the next.
At night we didn't have to search to far to find the action. What I loved about the French quarter was the music. We would walk down a street and hear some jazz coming from an open door. Travel a few steps further and you hear zydeco or it's close relative cajun music. We took some zydeco dancing lessons one night. That was a HOOT! As we continued down the street good ol' rock n roll would fill the air. Movin on it might be a blues band. It was just one kind of music after another. The best part is that you are hearing very talented musicians playing it.
A place that can't be missed if you like music is Preservation Hall. It is amazing. This place is the real deal. it's been around with top class jazz men for well over forty years. Nightly, at about eight oclock, the crowds are let in the doors. A small cover and you are in for a treat. You go in and find no seats, you sit on the floor. No a/c, just a fan blowing hot air, and no drinks or food cept for da coke machine in da hall. This is a no frills concert.
What you do get is the most amazing 1/2 hour of music you ever heard. These guys know Jazz!! They play requests for dollars. If money doesn't come in they keep playin anyway. But they do deserve your hard earned money. Give em something.
Another place that is a stop for most and worth it is Pat O'Briens. This is the home of the Hurricane. A very alcoholic drink that will sneak up on you and kick you in the ribs. I got into a bit of a drinking match with a dude from Texas. Well I got carried out by my wife and buddies. I think they threw him on the back of a horse and he galloped outa town. The next day my wife had to go on a Swamp Tour by herself. I stayed at the hotel making sure the bathroom fixtures wouldn't disappear. I thought they might a few times when they started swirling around in the air. This wasn't a proud moment I assure you.
Meanwhile my wife is on this swamp tour and gets hit on, big time, by mr swampy himself. She didn't like the fact that he had no teeth and besides words kept givin her his manly smile. Needless to say my wife was not happy with me that day.
Back to O'Briens, I strongly recommend the place. Just watch how much you drink. What they have are two pianos. There were two excellent player/singers at them. We would send down requests on napkins with bills inside them. These guys and gals knew them all. Dueling pianos is what it became. It was a whole lot of fun with all the sing-a-longs going on.
As we walked down the streets at night you might see a bit of a crowd gathering under one of the many ornate iron grill works that line the buildings on the street. Guys and gals are yelling up and down to each other.There was a healthy amount of trading of beads for boobs going on. This was every night on different corners, and constant.
Walking down Bourbon street you do get to a more decadent area. You will see signs advertising Gals Topless Guys Bottomless. These places are all over. There are some mighty good looking gals or are they guys or are they gals on the street. It's fun trying to figure who is who or what is what?
New Orleans is noted for it's foods. It is a place where diversity is the main dish. You will find Bar-B-Q, Cajun, Creole, French, Hamburgers, pizza, Sea food, soul food, Spanish, Italian and so much more. There are the very expensive to the very moderate. Not much cheap!
I found the city to be fairly expensive. That is the hotels, restaurants, and some of the entertainment.
New Orleans has it all. Take a trolley ride to the Garden district and check out some of the homes on a walk. Visit a cemetery on a guided ghost walk or on your own. Take a paddle wheel boat ride down the mighty Mississippi. Do some gambling too!
In a recent visit to New Orleans I had the pleasure to see the Jazz National Historic Site Visitors Center. The review of it will explain why a visit there first, before walking the streets of the French Quarter, can enhance your visit.
This place has so much. Enjoy, but keep your head on straight.
More local reviews by popsrocks
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The Garden District pre Katrina
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Post atrina
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve post Katrina
Chalmette Battlefield & Beauregard House
Wyndham Bourbon Orleans Hotel In the French Quarter.
Maison Dupuy Hotel French Quarter Post katrina
Preservation Hall Jazz in the French Quarter
Red Fish Grill Post katrina
Cafe Du Monde Cafe Au Lait and Beignets!!
Brennan's Restaurant There's nothing like Breakfast at Brennan's! Post katrina
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