Don’t Stop the Good Food
For me, New Orleans is the city of good food and colorful trees.
Friday was day the day of the muffaletta. Saturday is marked by gumbo. Sunday has been taken over by the po boy and beignets. And Monday we had McDonald’s fries…but that’s not important.
Shotgun Apartments & Brass Bands
We met up with Denise (the sister-in-law of a friend Anne told you about last time) and her boyfriend, our soon-to-be city guides, on Friday at their shotgun apartment. In case you haven’t even seen one of these before, they’re long, rectangular homes not very conducive to privacy. In a shotgun, if you want to get to the back of the house, you have to walk through every other room, and vice versa (the key here is good roommates who don’t steal).
Denise and her boyfriend drove us around New Orleans, showing us the 9th ward (the area of the city damaged the most when Hurricane Katrina hit seven years ago), the deteriorating bayou and other places around town.
We bought our lunch at Central Grocery, home of the original muffaletta, and ate that tasty sandwich meal on the river walk. Statue Park was our next stop. After scrambling for change, we managed to buy ourselves some trolley passes and rode over to the park.
There were statues lurking in just about every corner of the park. Some were classy, some were huge and some were just plain terrifying.
As we headed back out of the park to the bus station, we found one of the best signs I’ve ever come across.
After saying goodbye to the park, the sign, the bus, and Denise, we headed back to Hope’s place for a nap.
A few hours later, we were hungry again but oh so sick of parking in New Orleans. We ended up traipsing down Magazine Street and found me a taste of some red beans and rice and Anne her first Po Boy. Yum.
(Don’t worry, Sunday is still the day of the Po Boy. I said Anne bought the sandwich, not me.)
Later on, after we got tired of closed shops and creepy looking bars on Magazine Street, we called up Denise again and met them downtown by Frenchman Street and Decatur (this is the part where we see the brass bands).
After a tiresome parking job and a savior parking spot that turned out to be illegal, Anne and I found Denise and her boyfriend listening to a brass band play music on the street corner.
There were people everywhere! Not only does New Orleans permit open containers of alcohol in the street, but they also have no pour limit. The result: rowdiness galore.
In fact, the crowds of people got so excited by the band they blocked traffic. And while some of the streets may close at night, it wasn’t this one. We heard the famous tambourine lady play with the band and twice we saw this older woman slink on over to the cops and persuade them to keep driving and leave the band alone – despite the rowdy crowds.
Although this street corner band would be my favorite of the night, it certainly wasn’t our last. The four of us headed over to Vaso next, where we sat for a while listening to a group of about eight guys rock the bar with their music.
Afterward we squeezed into the Apple Barrel Bar (a bar that might as well have been the size of an apple barrel it was so small) and found another band. We bought ourselves some drinks, poured straight into classy plastic cups for easy, on-the-go drinking and listened to a private show from the tambourine lady.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to prepare for my wild day of $1 sushi and huge granite rocks in Atlanta, Georgia.
Until next time.