New Orleans! The past few weeks I’ve been teasing New Orleans in a couple of my photo a day posts so I thought I’d share with you my trip experiences and my love for Nola. I’ve been to New Orleans twice, once around Christmas time with a friend and this past summer with my mom. We stayed in the French Quarter both times at St.Marie, a charming little hotel which is a stone’s throw away from Bourbon Street so it was walking distance to everything yet away from the noise at night. One of the best ways to see New Orleans especially the French Quarter is by walking to all the sights so Free Tours By Foot was perfect for us.
The heart of the French Quarter lies in Jackson Square, a historic park. Surrounding the park, I saw painters and musicians alike doing what they do best and having fun! By night, the square is totally transformed. There are palm readers fringing the park and the night and candles and hushed whispers make the scene a totally cool and eerie one! On two opposite sides of the square are identical red brick buildings called the Pontalba buildings built in the 1840s one of which is still open to view for all tourists. The upper stories are converted into apartments for rent for the rich and famous, well those who can afford it ! Don’t miss the history of the feisty owner of the Pontalba buildings when you visit!
I visited the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral which overlooks Jackson Square and it is a lovely sight at night especially around Christmas time when it is lit up and looking very festive. The highlight for me here was the beautiful statue of Jesus Christ in the garden behind the church. The shadow of Jesus Christ against the church is truly stunning.
Don’t you think so?
For all you art lovers, there are a lot of beautiful galleries in the Quarter. One famous painting is that of the Blue Dog based on a Cajun legend which catapulted the artist George Rodrigue into worldwide fame. And if you can’t afford any of the half a million or more dollar paintings you see in the galleries, snag one of the paintings you see on the street. They depict all the buildings and homes in New Orleans beautifully.
I haven’t forgotten the shopaholics! I personally don’t like shopping for hours on end but Royal Street in the Quarter has an endless supply of trinket, jewelry shops,art galleries and departmental stores where you can buy pralines some even with bacon to take back home.
I can’t describe how delectable the food is in New Orleans. All the Cajun and Creole dishes are so different from anything I’ve ever tasted. Although you see a lot of tourists in the Quarter, in my opinion people seem overall quite happy and very friendly. Of course they would be ! Coz there’s a constant flow of drinks and food and music ! I tried quite a few restaurants there and one was better than the other. I started my morning with shrimp and grits ( I’m almost drooling as I write this) and a mimosa. What? I was on holiday :). One of the best breakfast and brunch places there is the Cafe Fleur De Lis. One of the most famous cafes in the Quarter is Cafe Du Monde known for its beignets. Delicious as they are, you will be in a constant sugar high. Oh and helpful trivia -don’t wear black or anything dark colored if you are super clumsy like me. You will get powdered sugar all over you and when you try to dust it off with a tissue, there is an excellent chance that the tissue will stick to your clothes. Yes, exactly like Mr. Bean! Also random fun fact: in winter the humidity in NOLA will cause you to have a bad hair day err.. like you see below.
Now, on to drinks of a different nature. You gotta try the Pimms Cup at Napolean’s house which is a dilapidated looking building named after Napoleon the Great. On the Quarter’s most famous Bourbon Street you will get a variety of sugary drinks. I would recommend trying the Hand Grenade cocktail they have simply because the drink looks pretty!
On my first trip out, I caught a jazz performance on Frenchmen Street which is the heart of New Orleans’ live music and night life. On my second trip this past summer my mom and I bought tickets to a jazz performance at Preservation Hall in the Quarter. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen.
Have I enticed you yet into planning a trip to NOLA? Stay tuned for Part 2 which is all about the South- plantations and alligators galore!