New Orleans is a great city. I was born there. I went to St. Rita grammar school in Harahan. I went to De La Salle High School in New Orleans. I went to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I have Cajun heritage. I am a New Orleans Saints fan. I guess I am just a Louisiana kind of guy.
My wife recently spent a month in the French Quarter. I blogged about it:
- Some Things We Have Done in New Orleans
- Hey New Orleans: I Can't Believe I Ate All That
- Sadly, My Vacation Time in New Orleans is Up
I kept my family up to date via Facebook. For non-Facebook people, as an extension of that first blog article, here is a list of things we did besides visit bars and restaurants.
Rented a house on Bourbon Street
The house was built in 1824. When we first got there, I thought to myself "My God, what have I done?" It only took a day or two for us to fall in love with the place. As we learned more about Louisiana plantations, we could then tell that our rental house was furnished with authentic antiques and style.
New Orleans Museum of Art
The special exhibit about the Civil War was very informative. Only a small section was "modern art," and in that context I use the term art generously. Luckily most exhibits featured traditional art from various periods of Louisiana.
Old Mint (includes United States and Confederate coins)
Over its long history, the mint produced coins for Louisiana, the Confederacy, and the United States.
Louis Armstrong Park
This is a new park that is helping to revitalize a formerly neglected part of New Orleans.
Andrew Jackson is revered in the city for his participation in The Battle of New Orleans. Oh yeah, he would also later become President of the United States too.
"In 1803 we took a chance, and bought Louisiana from France."
The city has mostly recovered from the terrible toll Hurricane Katrina took on the city almost a decade ago.
City Park Garden Show
Since it borders the Mississippi River, New Orleans has plenty of water for plants and agriculture, and it shows.
World War II Museum
I lament that our country does not seem to have the patriotism that it used to. I know I sound like an old guy.
St. Louis Cemetery Number One
This tombstone is for a person who departed in 1801.
Street Car ride
The Po Boy sandwich got its name when street car drivers went on strike in the 1800's, and a restaurant owner took pity on them "poor boys" and offered them free sandwiches since they were down on their luck.
French Quarter Festival
The French Quarter Festival is perhaps the largest free musical festival in the world. There are 18 stages spread throughout the French Quarter. Thousands of people walk the streets and listen to live performances that please them. Big name restaurants have tents nearby where listeners can sample signature dishes for a small sum, about $7.
Dined among ghosts
Antoine Lepardi Jourdan was a gambler. In the 1800's when he lost the deed to the house in a poker game, he hung himself in the upper room. The house is now a restaurant called Muriel's. To this day, a table with fresh food and wine is set for Antoine and his guest to "keep things friendly."
Mardi Gras World (where they make the parade floats)
Here I am, next to Marilyn Monroe, with a huge Woody at Mardi Gras World.
The park features statues of entertainment legends. Above are statues of Fats Domino, Al Hirt, and Pete Fountain.
Crawfish Boil at sister-in-law's home
When it comes to boiling crawfish, my wife's brother-in-law, Ev, knows what he's doing.
Second Line Parade
New Orleans will use anything as an excuse for a celebration. The celebrations often include parades of musicians and dancers.
Alas some things (above) cannot be unseen.
Chris Owens Easter Parade
Chris Owens is a renowned stripper. Now 86 years old, she still performs a nightly show at her club. Some things probably need to be seen to be believed.
Oak Alley Plantation tour
Oak Alley Plantation has been featured in numerous movies such as Forrest Gump.
Laura Plantation tour
Unlike many plantations that were homes, Laura Plantation was strictly the location of a sugar cane business and reflects Creole sensibilities.
St. Louis Cemetery Number Two
It's not everyday that you see the grave of a Revolutionary War solider: Francois de Verges. Respect.
Reacqauint with family
It was great to see cousins we had not seen in years.
Freddy Omar con su Banda, North Mississippi All Stars, Irma Thomas, Tab Benoit, and Eric Clapton at the New Orleans Jazz Festival
Imagine my surprise when Eric Clapton started playing "How Long?" by Ace, and Paul Carrack started singing lead vocals because Paul happens to be Eric's keyboard player for this tour. "Pretending" and the unplugged version of "Layla" were stand-outs for me. It was very crowded but everyone had a good time. Irma Thomas ruled! "It's Raining" was a highlight and also my sister's favorite Irma Thomas song.
New Orleans Audubon Aquarium
Although I am not an aquarium enthusiast, this place was impressive.
Lunch at my nephew's house to visit my grandniece
She doesn't know it yet, but I am the "fun" great uncle.
Hung out with my brother and sister-in-law with three grandnieces and one grandnephew
As a remote relative, this was their chance to get to know their great uncle.
A good time was had by all. Let the good times roll.
Activity is alive in the lab.