Tuesday, October 25, 2011

♫...dancing in the streets of New Orleans...♫

10 Random Things I Loved About New Orleans

1. The buildings. I would have fallen in love with this city based on the buildings in The French Quarter alone. I'm going to dedicate a whole blog to it later this week.

2. All the dogs! There were so many people out with their dogs. I loved it! From people walking their labs, to a great dane sticking his head out of a car window, to a lady carrying around a chihuahua...it struck me as a very dog friendly place. 

3. The St. Charles Streetcar Line. My awesome friend, Joy, recommended this to me...and I am SO glad that we did it! The St. Charles Streetcar is the oldest, continually operating streetcar in the world!
The route traditionally forms a 13.2-mile crescent from Carondelet at Canal Street in the Central Business District through the oldest and most majestic section of uptown New Orleans, around the Riverbend to Carrollton at Claiborne Avenue. Swaying along St. Charles Avenue through a tunnel Live Oaks, the streetcar passes dozens of antebellum mansions, historic monuments, Loyola and Tulane universities, the sweeping grounds of the Audubon Zoological Gardens, shopping centers, fine restaurants and hotels. (via)
We boarded at Canal Street late in the afternoon on Sunday. We rode all the way to the end of the line and back As the streetcar made it's way around the city, a cool breeze blew through the open windows, making it feet utterly delightful. It was easily the highlight of my trip. Unfortunately, I couldn't take pictures of the houses/sights...I tired, but they were all too blurry from the movement.

Coming down the line


4. This town gets really into Halloween...which doesn't surprise me.

Razzle Dazzle Storefront
A vibrating Mummy

5. Second Line Parades...for weddings.
A second line parade at a wedding signifies the beginning of the life between the bride and groom. The second line band leads the wedding party and guest from the church to their reception venue or it may take place at the reception venue itself. The second line stems from the African American jazz funerals and has evolved to become part of all New Orleans celebrations.  (via)
We saw two. One was dancing down Royal Street and one down Bourbon. The wedding party making their way down Bourbon were turning up another street when we ran into them...they threw us two strands of fleur de lys beads. If I get married...I want to do this!

Wedding 1: I was getting a better shot and then someone walked in front of me.

Wedding #2
6. The Saints were playing in New Orleans that Sunday, and the entire city seemed to be bathed in Black and Gold. There were signs saying 'Go Saints' hanging from even the most exquisite antebellum homes! There were people walking all over the city in Saints jerseys and T-shirts...and the staff in most of the shops and restaurants we went into were also wearing Saints t-shirts.

7. I heard SO many different languages while I was there....and saw so many different kinds of people. It was like a melting pot of all different flavors of people and nationalities. There was also this ridiculous, Pepto-PINK stretch hummer...

8. The street performers. I loved them. I was especially impressed by the individual dressed up like the swamp...and the petite, female living statue in Jackson Square Sunday.

9. The state doughnut of Louisiana: Beignets. There's a funny story of how I had my first beignet. I actually ate it an hour ago. We had planned to sit at Cafe du Monde and do our official tourist duty of having beignets andcafé au lait there...but it didn't happen.  We were actually walking down Decatur Street from the French Market, and we saw a fire engine make its way down the road...and when we arrived at Cafe du Monde, most of the staff was standing out on the sidewalk, and 2 fire engines were parked outside. They had a fire in the kitchen...and were unable to serve anyone for a while...under orders from the fire department. I was pretty bummed. Well, my dad was working in Louisiana today, and before he drove home, he went there and picked up SIX orders of beignets and brought them home. There was a mountain of powdered sugar in that bag...and the beignets tasted like deep fried crack. I love them...I also have the world's most awesome dad.

Established in 1862

10. The French Market...mainly the food part. The shopping bit was nice, but it was mainly touristy stuff and many of the booths sold the same products at different prices. There were some booths that had some pretty awesome stuff though. I loved the food part, of course. It is America's oldest public market, and has been operating for over 200 years.

Bonus: New Orleans is pure magic... and it has such a rich, multicultural history! I could feel its magic pop and sizzle in my veins...and I have never been more in love than I am with this city. If I'm willing to subject myself to the heat and humidity...well, you know it must be true love.


Joy Marie said...

Thanks for the shout-out, sweets! :) I'm glad I could make that suggestion to you. The St. Charles Streetcar ride was one of my favorite parts too!! I'm so thankful you had a good time down there in The Big Easy!! I adore that city and the state of Louisiana! Like you, I could easily move there too, but not only is the heat and humidity almost UNBEARABLE in the Summer months (I last went in May)...her dark underside is scary (and I ain't talking about the voodoo)! I witnessed a late night crack deal go down in Domino's, saw a fight in broad daylight off Bourbon Street, and got harassed by several beggers. Despite all of that, I'd pack my bags and leave for NOLA again tomorrow if I could. Savannah might have my heart, but NOLA is like my favorite guilty pleasure!!

Happy Birthday, again!

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