Tennessee Williams said it, I didn’t! However, I will say, after having been to New Orleans several times, Mr. Williams was definitely on to something! No shade to Cleveland. Really, I have family there. Hell, I’ve even partied there; the Flats were swinging! But with that said, New Orleans has a special quality that is very hard to express in words. To me, it is a place that you just have to experience. Once you do, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
As I’ve said, I have been to New Orleans multiple times. My most recent trip was in 2013. As soon as I arrived, I remember experiencing a distinct feeling of contented familiarity that had nothing to do with the fact that I had been there before. I mean, it wasn’t because the food was so freaking good or because the people were so friendly; although both of those things were true. It was something altogether different. I just couldn’t call it.
One night while I was attending, of all things, a haunted tour of the French Quarter, I got the solution! It literally walked right up to me in the form of a guide who asked the group to raise their hand if this was their first visit to New Orleans. Everybody raised his hand -except for me. In response to the raised hands, the guide said, “Welcome to New Orleans!” He then looked squarely at me, knowing that I was the only person who had not already raised his hand, and said, “Is there anybody here who has been to New Orleans before?” Of course, I raised my hand high! He then said, “Welcome home!” Boom! That was it! The feeling that I couldn’t identify was the feeling of being at home!
So, today’s post is a pictorial of some of my favorite places in New Orleans! But, before we start, I must offer a caveat: Some of the restaurants that I am going to highlight will likely be considered pedestrian to the average native New Orleanian. However, let me assure you that even the most pedestrian restaurant in New Orleans is light years better than many dining establishments! Yeah, I said it! Also, I didn’t include many pictures of the French Quarter because it’s a given.
Muriel’s is in Jackson Square. If you like creole cooking, you’ll love this place. By the way, Muriel’s has a resident ghost! That fact alone tickles the shit out of me! Anyway, the food there, like the ghost, is out of this world! Damned Cliches! PS: Ladies and Gentlemen, make sure you got yourself some money before you go!
This is another jewel! There is an older lady there that is world renowned for her bread pudding. I got a picture of her but I can’t locate it.
If you ever get a chance to eat Shrimp Etouffee here… Do it!!!
A must for beignets and coffee! However, Cafe Beignet, which is within the French Quarter, is also an excellent choice, and it’s not quite as busy as Cafe Du Monde.
What the hell else can I say about Brennan’s! It gets no better!
*Warning: Finger alert! Anyway, when we ate crawfish at Deanies my NOLA friends told me not to forget to suck the head! Sorry kids!
OK…Let’s talk about places!
You gotta go to Audubon Park! The trees, the duck pond, the surrounding homes and the zoo are breathtaking! Hell, you can get a cheap tour of beautiful homes simply by taking the trolley car up there!
My Dad and Brother would love golfing there!
I don’t know what I did with my shot of Andrew Jackson reared back on his horse! He’s something to see if you are fan. Me, not so much!
Can’t remember where I took this shot! Maybe because I was probably on cocktail #2 Maybe it was also at Audubon Park.
Another must see! Why? Because at this point, ‘Old Man River’ is getting ready to disappear into the Gulf of Mexico!
Sadly, Katrina was still very ‘present’ in NOLA, even in 2013. I just can’t help wondering what happened to all of those people who survived but were displaced from their lifelong homes.
Since I am not a New Orleans native, I can’t accurately identify this site but I can tell you that it was either near or in the lower ninth ward. NOLA fans help me out!
Much respect to those who lost their lives, family and homes during Katrina.
With that said, I’d like to pay homage to them with this final shot: