“There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There’s a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside.” – Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol. 1
Hello, New Orleans! I’m excited to kick off our Louisiana series and if you haven’t already, check out my Jazz Fest post + playlist from a couple weeks ago. I have one experience outside of New Orleans for this trip but most of the fun really happens in the city. NOLA is my birthplace and even though I now consider myself a New England girl, certain things about this city never leave you no matter where you end up.
Anyone who is familiar with both the southern and northeast parts of the US knows that there truly is a special warmth that comes from those in New Orleans. You can feel it in everything they do, what they say and how they say it. When I felt homesick in Germany, I would find myself cooking red beans & rice for dinner while listening to jazz. I even got Lukas to help me as we made our own King Cake during Mardi Gras. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a little baby figure to hide in it! Even if I’m away and as the city changes, the New Orleans girl in me never completely fades. It’s new and nostalgic and I always feel like I’m dancing the line between tourist, visitor, and local. I’m very happy to begin this series with the famous French Quarter, though! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you’ve never been before I hope this gives you a little slice of what that could be like!
Red Beans & Rice from Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar.
Hurricane cocktail also from Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar.
Cafe Du Monde on Decatur Street. A classic I’m sure you have heard of! Although the lines may be long it is worth it, an experience you should have once. It’s the only place for me to get a true beignet & cafe au lait fix. When I was a child the man playing his trumpet outside would be Hack. A very kind man and one of the many “French Quarter Characters” my mother would call them. Don’t wear black! Unless you’re into accessorizing with white powder.
I absolutely love finding the best bookstores in an area and I think Faulkner House Books on Pirate Alley takes the cake. It’s a bit hidden within the streets of the French Quarter and it’s a small space but a really beautiful curation of new and old! It is considered a literary landmark so a must visit for all bookworms.
New Orlean’s St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest in the USA, founded in 1720 and is an impressive site in Jackson Square.
Jackson Square Artist at work.
Places Mentioned: Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar / Cafe Du Monde / Faulkner House Books / Jackson Square / Jackson Square Artists / St. Louis Cathedral
I’m always looking for good New Orleans recommendations so please drop any if you have them! Especially for art galleries and hotels. I do have my own long list (mostly food) which I’ll compile soon into our next Little Black Book installment but I always feel like I’m missing out on more hidden gems everytime I’m back. New things appear and I want to experience it all!