Friday, April 13, 2018

NOLA Odds and Ends

Walking the streets of New Orleans, I’m often reminded of other places— Portland, Oregon/ Washington DC,/New Smyrna Beach, Florida/ Belize City, Belize/ Savannah, Georgia/ Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. But mostly New Orleans is indisputably itself. Some of its unique characteristics:

• The Seven Food Groups—Po-boys, Muffaletta, Jambalaya, Gumbo, Crawfish, Red Beans and Rice, Beignets.

• Open carry. Liquor, that is, not guns. People walking around the streets and in and out of stores with their cup of beer, daiquiri, hand grenade drink, what have you.

• Back-to-back clubs with bands playing everywhere, all styles of jazz, blues and other music (Cajun/ zydeco and fusions of all of the above.)

 • Where Martin Luther King meets Jefferson Davis. Side-by-side history of oppression and resistance and confusion over which to honor (though progress with recent removal of some statues of white supremacists). 

• A tradition of Mardi Gras Indians that exists exactly nowhere else in the world. 

• Steamboats on the Mississippi.

• Breathtaking architecture.

• Beautiful streetcars with windows that open wide, wooden seats and 40 cent (!) rides for seniors! ($1.25 normal) 

And so much more.

P.S. Yesterday I spent at French Quarter Fest in the…well, French Quarter… and after some cool San Francisco-like weather for several days, the sun came out in all its blazing heat. I decided to try to treat myself to an afternoon ice cream and after walking through just about the entire district, I couldn’t find a single place that sold ice cream! Come on, New Orleans! It’s a hot place here! Likewise, hardly any bakery or coffee shop. How strange! And haven’t passed a single movie theater in all the neighborhoods I’ve explored. A place can be defined by what it doesn’t have as much as by what it does.

1 comment:

  1. I can help steer you to a good gelato or sno-ball joint to curb your icy cravings, and you should be able to smell the chickory wafting through the FQ air (unless the mules are nearby that is), but there are cafés on just about every other block in the Quarter not called coffee bars or starbucks heaven forbid). : ) ~Kaya


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