Back from NOLA

January 29, 2008 § Leave a comment

There are whirlwind trips that actually happen in slow deilcious motion. Such was our trip to New Orleans. It wasn’t my first time there but it had been 8 years since I last sauntered into the Cafe du Monde for a beignet and coffee. It came flooding back to me, every walk, street, store, shop and sippery.

 I love that city. Apparently, thousands do. It’s healing. People are there. Some of the cleanup used a mere whitewash but the bandaids are holding and the atmosphere is “up.” That being said, we were there a week before Mardi Gras. Believe it – the parades and festivities had already begun. In full force.

Things you might like to know, whether you’re going there or not.

People are friendly. Not MIssouri friendly where they smile and fuss for a minute and turn away and are done with you. They are southern friendly, open smiles, they listen, they hold doors and hands and don’t feel at all servile as they strive for everyone to be comfortable.

The Cajun accent  remains sometimes indeciperhable. I don’t care how many years of French you took. It will not help. Just roll with it. Watch the very expressive body language.

If you’re going to “flash” during your participation in Mardi Gras festivities, wear a mask. Why get caught on someone’s camera in flagrante?

Even if it’s raining, you can walk. You can walk and walk and walk and slip into shops, or plunk down for some gumbo in any one of a 100 specialty gumbo shops or do the historical thing (to my personal extreme of visiting places that writers wrote/write/worked/work.)

The St Louis Cathedral, there at the river’s edge at the French Market is gorgeous, not too echo-y, not too ornate nor too little. It’s vibe is something that Saint Louis himself would be happy with.

Street artists have some special extra something. Ya’ gotta give ’em something, like a dollar, and if you take their picture (I didn’t cuz I didn’t want to get my camera wet), give ’em a little more.

There is seafood in nearly every food. ‘Cept the grits and corn stuff. So get ready to enjoy fresh, in its real meaning. What a difference fresh makes.

Eight million pounds of beads were shipped into New Orleans for this year’s Mardi Gras festivities. 8M pounds!!!!

The debutante ball and society life still claim no less than a half page description in the Times-Picayune. You have to read it; it’s precious. How “correctly” they handle certain descriptions and the aspect of “step” families. ANd the pictures are all about the girls in black drapes and pearls. Wow. Didn’t know that stuff was still being written in such a way.

Do NOT go barefoot outdoors. Not for any reason. Not in any area of the city. Why? Ask Nora.  (

You can enjoy NOLA alone. At least by day. You can walk and walk and walk. You can taste the hottest sauce that you would never deign to attempt otherwise. NOLA will turn you on to newer things, not ncessarily naughty, but it will push you to a different, dare I say higher, you.

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