I’ve been making annual pilgrimages to New Orleans (most years multiple times) for almost 30 years now. It could be said it’s the longest love of my life, only because my wife Lisa and have only been married for 17 years.
The list of what I love about New Orleans is endless. Walking the bricks of Royal and Chartres streets, critiquing the local art work hanging on the wrought-iron surrounding Jackson Square, and a tall, cool Hurricane are just a few.
I love Mardi Gras, a blistering hot day at Jazz Fest, and those early morning sunrises at Cafe DuMonde with a plate full of beignets and warm, black coffee.
I love Jackson Square, Emeril Lagasse, breakfast at Stanley’s one day and Johnny’s the next, Bourbon Street, Louis Armstrong, a po boy from Mother’s, the never-ending night-life, the St. Marie, touring the art galleries on Royal, turtle soup, Hotel Monteleone, brunch at a Court of Two Sisters, the Saints, and every variation of jambalaya in every dive.
How do you beat the Bananas Foster at Brennan’s, St. Charles Street, “Who Dat,” Irene’s, Magazine Street, the street cars, crawfish etouffee, walking to everything, Tujaque’s, the World War II museum, the Roosevelt, Frenchmen Street, and the place some call the “center of the universe” – Pat O’Briens.
If you’ve never sung along with Henrietta Alves as she tickles the ivory in Pat O’s while Alvin Babineaux keeps the beat with his thimbles, you haven’t lived.
Dancing down the streets with a Second Line, a late night show at Preservation Hall, the best street performers, eye-popping architecture, a glass of French wine at Gallatoire’s, some Acme oysters, hanging at the carousel bar in the Monteleone, the one-drink minimum at The Spotted Cat, the French Market, and watching a game at Mannings’s would make anybody’s weekend.
Eat some Zapp’s Crawtators, grab a daiquiri to go from Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar, light up a Macanudo at Arnaud’s, stroll up Bourbon street at 2 a.m. and back down at 6 a.m.
And the list goes on…