I have loved this city from my first visit in the early 80s, to my most recent in 2013 for Super Bowl 47. While the food is good, I think it is the spirit of the people here. They have been through so much here, particularly Hurricane Katrina. It seems nothing would ever make them leave the area, no matter how difficult life has become.
Tennessee Williams one said, “America only has three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” While this might be a slightly judgmental exaggeration, there is no doubt that New Orleans stands out.
So, I will do all the fun, touristy things, like Johnny’s Po’ Boys, some beignets at Cafe Du Monde, some jazz, some oysters at Acme, and Felix’s. Food is important here. Believe it or not, I was walking down Bourbon Street on my first trip, with a few others. I see a short little head pop up and down, and it turns out to be a friend of mine, Don, from SoCal!! Small world.
But let’s take a slightly different look at this ultimately party time city. The focus will be on things I have not done here.
Voodoo and Vampire Walking Tour-New Orleans is often called the most haunted city in America. Unsolved mysteries, black voodoo magic, and local ghosts! We shall see. I have already done the Cemetery Tour.
Banksy Street Art Tour-I guess he hit this city some time ago. I saw his exhibit in Chicago last September and was cycling in Amsterdam when his mysterious black cats appeared.
French Quarter Food Tour-While I have been to most of the famous food establishments, it never hurts to see what the locals regard as the best.
Nawlins Bike Tour-Assuming no rain, expect to see me on two wheels. They say ghosts love bicycles!
Voodoo Museum or Museum of Death-Well, maybe, maybe not.
The Pharmacy Museum-America’s first licensed pharmacy in 1823, by Louis Dufilho, Jr. And I made a visit!
I must reveal that my last visit was certainly different (Katrina took a toll), not just because of the Super Bowl. And now, after the most recent storm, Hurricane Ida, I hope the city is back to its usual wild and crazy self.
While I am not the partier I thought I once was, Nawlins can change your mind set in a hurry. Just ask every visiting Super Bowl team who visits.
There’s no doubt that NOLA has long been considered one of America’s weird and quirkiest cities. The decadent, tawdry and marvelous Big Easy has a peculiar uniqueness all its own. This Mississippi River city’s magnetic appeal is undeniable. And the food? Well, that’s a religion in itself.
Each February, Mardi Gras brings out the bold, the bawdy, and the creative. Mark Twain referred to New Orleans’ cemeteries as “Cities of the Dead” and these bizarre burial grounds are hauntingly unique. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 houses more than 700 elaborate crypts and mausoleums in its narrow labyrinthine walkways. And the city has inspired quite the retinue of horror stories.
Voodoo is still very practiced here – the ancient African religion brought to New Orleans from Haiti. Visitors looking for the bizarre, macabre, and creepy will find it here.
Also, in the best tradition of my regular travel buddy, Mr. Mike, Nawlins is a great walking city. We have walked some of the great cities of the world together: Cape Town, Bangkok, Singapore, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Hanoi, Seville, and London.
Walk, eat, drink, shop. Repeat.
And people are very friendly here.