Friday, March 25, 2011

New Orleans

I had a chance to spend a few days in New Orleans. Admittedly, I didn't know much about the Big Easy, other than Mardi Gras and of course the string of disasters starting with Katrina. But I'm glad I was able to get to know the city a bit more, since it has a lot to offer. Here's my pictorial.

St Patrick's Day, when the clothes, drinks, and (later on) gutters ran green!
Of course, New Orleans has been known as a party town for a long time. A lot of the partying is in the French Quarter, in the streets around Bourbon Street, where college kids juggle Hurricanes and Hand Grenades as they struggle to stay upright.

I was in the city during a couple of celebrations: St Patrick's Day and St Joseph's Day.

More after the jump:

St Joseph's Day: Lessez les bons temps roulez!


Music infuses just about everything in New Orleans. It's hard to turn a corner without hearing a live band. After a while, I just started ducking into open doors, letting my ears lead the way!


In some parts of downtown NOLA, you see more tourists than locals. One note there. Tourists are treated really well, without the jaded snobbery you'll see in a lot of cities. A lot of Nawleans locals just seem to be all about enjoying life, and though visitors may only be there for a few days, while they're around, they're certainly welcome to join the ride. Mind you, tourism has got to be a lifeblood of the local businesses, so for sure (and I confirmed this with a local bus driver) the cops don't tolerate any BS when it comes to mistreating or hassling visitors.


Wow, here's something you can spend a long time exploring. New Orleans has, over the centuries, built up a legacy of architectural innovation and variety that few US cities can match.

You've got your 2-3 story buildings with decorated balconies..... classy mid-20th century storefronts that look like something from a Cary Grant flic...

 .....not to mention gorgeous late 19th to mid-20th buildings in the business district.

But then you also have the decay, which was accelerated by Katrina. Much of the downtown area has been restored, but walk a couple of blocks outside of that area, and you'll see scenes like this:


You can take a free ferry across the Mississippi to visit Algiers, an historic neighborhood that still houses some beautiful old houses. It's not at all a touristy area, which is good in a way since it's less built up, but maybe not so good since it doesn't seem as safe to roam as its more famous cousin across the river.

Louis Armstrong

This place is ready for the river to rise.
Along the levee


Then you have the intangibles, the authentic touches that bring character to a city. From the friendly people to the art scene to the one-of-a-kind street scenes, New Orleans has plenty of character.
This is Frenchman Ave, one of my favorite streets.

Well, that's my mini tour of New Orleans - definitely worth checking out!


Anonymous said...

Crazy pics...looks like my trip, I was in N.O. in Oct and stayed at the Rosevelt too..I have a crazy speadsheet I researched before going of all the hot places to eat, shop ect could send it to you..only real great toy/comic shops in N.O. really

andy b said...

Hah hah yeah I guess a lot of folks who go there take a similar set of pics. ;-)

I'm good on city info, but thanks! I'm the opposite of you - did zero research and pretty much learned as I wandered! ^_^

I hear you about a lack of toys/comics in NOLA. Fortunately there are some goodn's in NYC. Picked up something I need at St Marks and another volume at Midtown Comics. Midtown especially is well stocked!!

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