Dec 26, 2009

A day in New Orleans

Parlez-vous le français ? (do you speak French?)
J'étais à Nouvelle-Orléans aujourd'hui (I was in New Orleans today)

Wow – what a city – Combination of Paris SOHO, the Jazz Capital of the world, an Historic Battle Field, and one of the best Cajun cuisines you will find. Wild Life, Swamps and nature - the Wet Lands of the USA.
Come join me to a great tour of the Famous French Quarter…

Celebration for your senses

Music, Food, Culture, History and Nature in one breath

Saturday, December 26. 2009 – We have been in the area for quite some time, but did not get to see anything yet. We have to see the city, we said to ourselves – next week we are gone, and we can’t miss that place. We had no idea exactly where to go or what to do, but we knew one thing – It must be in the French Quarter.

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The French Market

As we approached the city we saw a parking lot in one of the corners, with a sign “Farmer’s Market Parking”. That’s a good start we thought. We parked the car and ‘followed the herd’. When we got there we realized this market was a combination of three in one – the French Market, Flea Market and the Farmer’s market.
This indoor market is a house to many booths, selling local art, food, and souvenirs. A blend of color smell and sound makes this old market a unique experience.
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Lot’s of hats, Cigars, alligator heads (I think they are real), Jewelry, colorful masks, crafts, statues – you name it!
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We even saw in the Farmer’s market section some Strawberry plants in hanging baskets.
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Gator on a stick

New Orleans 105As we walked through all the merchants in the market, we had to eat something that is unique to this area, so we chose a New Orleans style Tamale which is a corn based dough filled with pork cheese and spices
New Orleans 106 … and – a Gator on a stick!  yap – real alligator meat. How was it? we didn’t like it that much :) but some people there were so amazed by the taste that they had three of those one after the other. I guess it’s a matter of taste, but I can say I ate a gator!

Jackson Square and St Louis Cathedral

New Orleans 017 We continued our trip moving South West walking down Decatur street, passing street artists, restaurants, Cafes and many many people in between.
New Orleans 037 You could hear live music out of many of those places, mostly jazz, but other styles too. People are in a constant buzz in this town and bars are on every corner. We took some pictures with those street artists, enjoyed the great atmosphere as we explored the old buildings around us.
New Orleans 022We reached a nice garden called Jackson Square, where you could see the magnificent catholic church all in its glory between the trees and statues in the park.
We entered the church and were amazed by the art on the walls, on the ceiling, and the windows. Like most of this blog – words will not do justice so here are some pictures we took inside St. Louis Cathedral:
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Bourbon Street – “Barely Legal”

New Orleans 045 Bourbon street is the adult part of town. It is full of bars, live sex shows, VIP clubs and the like. These establishments do not hide their merchandise, and you can pretty much see pictures describing everything you could expect inside. I did not take too many pictures (with my camera, I mean) and we pretty much skipped this type of entertainment (We don’t have this type of expense on our monthly budget) but enjoyed the special ambiance around us, New Orleans 040the kind that you can feel in SOHO in Paris or in the red windows district of Amsterdam. 

Best Street Show I have ever seen

New Orleans 058 We walked on Bourbon street from St Ann all the way down to Conti street, where we turned South East and walked towards the river. At the end of Conti street there is an entrance to a nice park where you can walk along the Mississippi river, take a steam boat or just enjoy the nice views, garden sculptures and cool breeze.New Orleans 054
When we reached St Peter street, we saw the cathedral again, the horse wagon tours around the city, but one thing caught our attention – just across from the square there was a group of four young guys on the street, giving a show to a big audience that set in an amphitheatre-like shape and were applauding  and laughing and looked like they were having good time.
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We decided to stop and watch the show. I can’t even remember what was the name of this group (I think Dragon Master Showcase) but they were extremely funny and gave a very nice show of Break Dancing, Acrobatics, Music and Comedy combined. If you happen to be in New Orleans – stop buy and enjoy this show. You will like it!
When the show was over (45 minutes or so)  we started to head back towards the car. One more glance at the market, and a peep into Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop (Patti bought a cooking book – I got Pralines) - Besides the delicious pralines they make, the store is full of local flavors, books arts and local merchandise. Nice store to visit.
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