It is not difficult to fall in love with New Orleans, the vibe of this city is incredible. As soon as I found out my husband was attending a conference in NOLA, I began plotting my trip. Not only was New Orleans on my must see list, it provided the perfect opportunity for some quality ‘me-time’, as the mommy world loves to spout. With a husband busy working and me being far away from the typical responsibilities: work, home, pets, and our two year old who loved to test boundaries. New Orleans would be ideal for inspiration and the actual free time necessary to put, said inspiration, down on paper.
Walking out onto Chartres in the French Quarter and heading up towards Jackson Square, I glimpsed a traditional wedding procession in process the next block over. Deciding I must get a closer look, my friend and I jogged two blocks to catch up and join in the merriment. With horns blaring into the windy night, other pedestrians jumped in line following the beat. Following the wedding procession, I enjoyed my first taste of New Orleans at Stanley’s. Their mouthwatering fried oyster po-boy accompanied with a hopped-up pale ale from the local brewery Abita, was perfection.
After our glorious meal, my friend and I, hit up Café Du Monde for their legendary beignets (doughy-balls of heaven with powered sugar towered on top) before heading back to meet the travelers whose plane had just arrived, my hub’s plane included. Gearing up for a night on the town we had drinks in the lobby as the evening crew gathered. Perhaps, more importantly I had my first sazerac, the signature drink of New Orleans before the Hurricane took over. Buyer beware, sazeracs pack quite the punch, especially for this lightweight.
With a belly warmed by whiskey we were off to Bourbon Street, which despite not being Mardi Gras was glittering with beads being thrown from all directions, as classic rock boomed from the bars. In search of great local music we ventured to Frenchman Street. The scene on Frenchman was hip-hop cool meets bohemian artsy. Complete with a poet who typed us two poems on his vintage Royal before we headed into The Spotted Cat. This is where the evening really takes off, so much so, I can’t even tell you what club we closed the night at, only that it was quite a dance party and the reason I spent the majority of Sunday laying in a hangover induced coma. Which I justified by pretending my view of the Hotel Monteleone, preferred hotel of literary giants from early to mid 1900’s, was exuding creativity to me in my slumber.
* Two (maybe three) weeks ago, an episode of Treme aired that induced a flashback, allowing me to recall the club we closed the evening at. The Blue Nile, best hip-hop dance club EVER, highly recommend the next time you’re in NOLA! *