Saturday, September 19, 2015
New Orleans Second Glance
We got up fairly early and walked down to Bourbon Street, where we had beignets and an Andouille sausage omelette while listening to a banjo player at Cafe Beignet. The beignets were hot and fresh, better than a Krispy Kreme, and the sparrow pirates made off with any unattended food, but the omelette was a bit uninspired. Took a self-directed walking tour of the quarter after that, until I lost track of where we were, and decided to simply head for Jackson Square.
Early in the day, the buskers and street vendors were barely setting up, so we wandered on past, only taking time to visit the Presbytere and look at the artwork and stained glass.
Took stroll on the Moon Walk, until the rising sun and heat grew unbearable. Bought a hat from a street vendor to shield my tender, bald scalp, then bought a day pass on the streetcar line and cruised on out to the Garden District, to marvel at the mansions, take a stroll in Audubon Park (which oddly enough had a very clean public restroom near the golf course; I wasn't expecting much), and see Loyola University.
Headed down to Decatur Street across from the French Market to have a muffaletta sandwich at the Central Grocery. The sandwich was massive (we split a half) and very tasty, and we ate it at the crowded counter, washed down with a Dixie beer - a bit like Heineken, but with a sweet aftertaste. Wandered across the street to sample pralines and buy an ice cream cone, then wandered through the French Market, which contained an odd mix of touristy crap and occasional locally produced crafts. A lot of the stuff there we've seen in outdoor markets from one end of the globe to another. Bought a very very tasty organic pina colada from one of the booths, and sipped on that as we walked around.
Back to Jackson Square where things were in full swing. Lots of amazing artists to explore, and we bought a small drawing that we liked. Wandered onwards, occasionally poking our heads into interesting shops, and pausing to listen to busking bands along the way. In mid-afternoon the heat got the best of us and we had to retreat to the hotel for a quick shower and restful hour or two by the pool.
Refreshed again, we jumped on the streetcar again for a tour of the CBD, which turned out to be a waste of time. Got off down by Harrah's casino and walked over to the area where the steamboats depart, then hit the outlet mall (bigger on the inside than outside, it seemed) and bought M some tennis shoes at the New Balance store, as the ones she had walked around in all day were hurting her toes.
Back to the docs for a very nice meal of gumbo and crawfish etouffe at Poppy's Crazy Lobster, accompanied by a flask of Voodoo Juice and a very bayou trio playing nearby. Walked back to the hotel and called it an early night, though the good times were just starting to roll on Bourbon Street.
at 7:20 AM