I Love New Orleans
Hi friends. I’ve been having too much fun which means too many mornings (and afternoons) recovering thus not being productive in any way – and then going out and having too much fun again. I’m not complaining, it’s been great, but also I’m old now (celebrated my annual trip around the sun last week) so I’m ready to slow down, and also, apologies for not keeping y’all up to date.
I love New Orleans. From what I’ve gathered it's a place that people either LOVE (and most seem to fall into this category), or think is dirty and grimy and why would anyone want to go there? Which is exactly why some of us love it. That griminess is testament to the rich but rough history of the city. All the bad has not been able to squash the spirit of New Orleans – a city filled with jazz, booze, good eats and joy. And booze.
We spent about two and a half weeks at Pontchartrain Landing – about a fifteen minute drive from the French Quarter. The park had a sardine can quality as far as space goes, but also had parrots (which apparently flew in with Katrina) and a bar with boozy slushies, so no complaints.
A suggestion list of things to be enjoyed:
French Quarter - duh. Start during the day to feel transported to another time, dream of living in one of the balcony apartments, drinking (spiked) coffee and chain-smoking cigarettes while writing your novel.
Bourbon Street - begin with a hand grenade and just pop in and out of whatever establishments catch your fancy. Embrace the sugar and the impending hangover. If you aren’t a frat bro one night spent here will likely be sufficient, but I’m not judging if it’s your jam.
Central Grocery – the OG muffuletta. So duh, try it. Bread is bonkers delicious, could do less olive salad myself, which you can ask for, but just eat it they way they intended your first time. Buy the muffuletta hat and we can be twins.
Latitude 29 – possibly the greatest Tiki bar currently in existence. One would expect nothing less from Jeff “Beachbum” Barry, aka worlds #1 tiki cocktail whiz (I was pumped – Justin had gifted me Potions of the Caribbean a couple years ago. Also I just found that he made an app! Total Tiki. Win.) Definitely order the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver and Shanghai Lumpia.
Verti Marte – the greatest sandwich of all time, especially at 3am after all the drinks – including the beer you drank from the shop’s fridge while waiting for the sandwich to be made. I suggest the oyster po’boy, though Justin may argue for the roast beef. Take it home with you, or eat it in the street with the crust punks who chill on the corner. Open 24hrs.
Faubourg Marigny – less tourists than the French Quarter/more hipsters, but a good portion of those are probably also tourists. So if you fit into that category, definitely worth checking out.
Frenchman Street – the Bourbon Street of Marigny. Where all the Lyft drivers will tell you “the locals go to party”, which, see above, makes me think its still a lot of tourists and the locals don’t want us to know where they party. I don’t blame them. Still super fun and personally preferable to Bourbon Street.
Port of Call - Maybe my favorite place in New Orleans? It’s like Tropical Dive Bar Burger Heaven (and I don’t even looooove burgers). But order the cheeseburger. And when it shows up you’ll be like, “ew what is this giant pile of cold cheddar cheese on top?” And then you’ll take a bite and be like, “holy crap this cold pile of cheese is amazeballs on top of my juicy hot burger!” And you will use the word “amazeballs” because the drinks are strong and delicious. Steak is also super tasty.
Paladar 511 – solid brunch option. And by solid I mean really really good. Let’s be honest you’ve been sleeping through breakfast everyday. Let go of your most-important-meal-of-the-day-guilt and go here.
Cajun Seafood – if crayfish is out of season (as it generally is in the fall) but you still need your fix, this is for you. Plus crab. Don’t forget the corn. You will take it to go. I recommend eating straight out of the plastic bags with a loved one, cracking and sucking and picking the mudbugs while watching a movie because you are too busy doing the previously mentioned actions to be bothered with conversation.
Nomiya Vs Kin for ramen – locals love Kin and will say it's the best. I get it. It feels much more “home made/rustic” and thus “authentic”. Definitely order the dumplings of the day. I myself preferred Nomiya and their classic tonkotsu. Plus they used pages of Oshinbo as wallpaper, which is just a vibe I appreciate more than “homey”. You do you. Both are BYOB.
This is just a handful of awesome things (and yes I realize most of them are food/booze related, have we met?), there is so much awesomeness to be seen and tasted in New Orleans. Start or end your day with the fluffy clouds from heaven that are beignets at Café Du Monde. Take the trolley through the Garden District and ogle the beautiful houses. Drink 25 cent martinis at Commander’s Palace. Embrace your tourist and go on a gator tour. Tour the St. Louis #1 Cemetery and think about how weird Nicolas Cage is and how badass Marie Laveau was. Window shop on Magazine street, stop at Guy’s Po-Boys for the best not-3am po’ boy in town. Just go ahead and walk the length of Magazine Street to work off your hangover.
Maybe cut out that last one, and replace with “drink your way down the length of Magazine Street”. Other things I recommend not doing: going to the one shopping center with a Mac store because your laptop WiFi has crapped out, return two days later to retrieve “fixed” laptop and then again the next day because it wasn’t really fixed and womp, sorry, not fixable. Do not suggest hitting a parked car in the parking garage of said shopping center (but if you must, I hope it's owned by a person as nice as the one in my situation – thanks again for not being an a-hole dude). Don’t take your dog for a walk after three straight days of rain in a muddy RV park.
Do be grateful that even though Amazon is a monster they have two day shipping so that when your RV toilet breaks… nuff said?
I love New Orleans.