New Orleans is a city poised on a thick foundation of blazing character, clashing culture, and defiant uniqueness. I was only there for a day – but that much was apparent. But I also perceived, from my brief time in the French Quarter, a city frozen in the time-warp of tourism. No city ever stays the same, but when we make it a landmark in history, we threaten it’s authenticity. I admit – I was guilty as a tourist. I also recognize that I wasn’t there nearly long enough to comfortably make this assertion, but I felt it none-the-less. Maybe those of you who know the city more can counter me – I hope you can.
Regardless of what I felt for the city, I was on cloud-nine all day. I loved New Orleans. I loved it far more than I thought I would. For anyone visiting for a day I have several suggestions:
First, go to Cafe Beignet. You have to. Preferably when there’s live music.
Second, avoid Cafe Du Monde. At all costs. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s not worth it.
Third, make it to some museums – I was really bummed we didn’t have time.
Fourth, get some hot sauce.
Fifth, make sure you get a muffaletta at the Central Grocery.
Sixth, take the ferry over. We stayed on the other side of the river and it was awesome.
Seventh, check out Frenchmen St. at night – avoid Bourbon St. at all costs. Unless you’re into the music-too-loud-people-too-drunk scene. I’m not.
New Orleans is a city unlike any other. It’s history is layered with celebration, suffering, cuisine, vibrance, music, race, and so, so much more. It’s one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time.