New Orleans Day 1 – Not What I Expected
Because of the work I’ve done for the past eight years or so, I (sadly) associate New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. I’ve read three books about New Orleans this year; one was a guidebook (which is being very helpful I must say) and two were about the hurricane (Five Days at Memorial and Zeitoun). I know there is so much more history here, but in my mind when I saw that dome as we drove in from the airport I didn’t think about the Saints, I thought about people needing to be evacuated.
But I’m getting past that. We arrived and made it to our rental quickly, and it is lovely. It’s a small self-contained apartment with a kitchen and sitting area downstairs and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. It’s got just enough furnishing to feel comfortable but not so much that it feels like someone else’s house. We were 50/50 on the Air BnB thing before this trip; now we’re 2 out of 3 in the plus column, so that’s good. We’re set far back from the street just a block from Bourbon Street, and that’s fantastic, as we have this great courtyard along with two sweet cats who look like they’ve been beat up on the streets. Seriously, ugliest cats I’ve ever seen in person. But still SO SWEET.
Bourbon Street is narrower than I imagined, but just as raunchy as I expected. Even more so, actually. There’s the Hustler Club, the Penthouse Club, and something featuring ‘barely legal’ dancers which, I have to say, should not be appealing. What is their tag line – feel like a pedo without that nasty lingering fear of arrest? Yikes. It also seems that every other storefront is a daquiry/pizza joint. That exact combination is repeated throughout the street. Odd.
The rest of the French Quarter so far seems pretty awesome. We found a bar (21st Amendment) that had this little room we managed to commandeer. It felt like where the head mobster would meet and grant favors to his men. The drinks were delicious, and the bartender recommended a restaurant nearby to try out. St. Lawrence had very tasty food and a good drink selection. I couldn’t finish mine, but that’s okay, because you just ask for a to-go cup and they pour it into one for you to take away. Wow.
We wandered the streets a bit then found Fritzel’s, which was featuring a really great brass band. Fantastic jazz – the kind I really like, that sounds almost like a big band but not quite. They also had a bumper sticker that I must find:
“New Orleans: We Put the Fun in Funeral”