New Orleans, Part 2

New Orleans, Part 2

the final blog about our New Orleans trip is pretty much just about two things:

Music & Food.

and maybe not in that order.

on our 2nd day in New Orleans we took the street car up Canal St. it went almost all the way to the Fairgrounds. we didn’t really know where we were going, but we assumed that the massive group of pale, older, folding-chair carrying white people did. we followed the pack the 8 blocks or so and viola! the Fairgrounds and Jazz Fest awaited us.

it was sunny. and hot. and there weren’t many places to sit. we covered ourselves in sunscreen, camped out on the grass and started to watch music.

there are about 8 different venues that were simultaneously showcasing different sorts of music. each stage had it’s own theme (more or less). and each stage allowed for varying levels of intimacy. for example, on the “ACURA” stage, you’d be lucky to make out the performers features…if you could even make out their face. the “Heritage Stage” was one of my favorites of the festival. it featured local New Orleans musicians…and it was small, so I could get up close.

the Paulin Brothers Brass Band
brass band

after a couple bands it was time to eat.

crawfish Monica
crawfish monica

mango freeze & boiled crawfish
mango freeze & boiled crawfish

the crawfish was pretty tough to eat. there isn’t much meat in each “fish” and getting it out is tricky. Teal and I eavesdropped on some other “out of towners” who were getting help from a “local.” step one, pull the heads off. step two, suck out the juices from the head. step three, pinch, squeeze and pull out the tail meat with you teeth. not an easy task. by the time we’d finished the 30+ crawfish I felt like I was just starting to get the hang of it… another basket and I think I’d be good.

sweet potato pie
sweet potato pie

some of the other bands we saw on the first day include:

Coco Ronicheaux and the Swamp Monsters
Groupa – Nordic Folk Collective
Steven Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
Tribute to Louis Prima

Teal and I were both pretty tired after the first day…and our feet were even more tired-er. (hehe) so we decided to pick up some of those folding chairs that everyone was lugging around. best $10 spent. EVER.
(make sure to go into the CVS on Canal St. and pick some up if you go.)

the 2nd day was overcast, windy, and just a little humid. after the blazing sun and windless heat of the day before this was a welcome change. being able to unfold our chairs and sit down at a moment’s notice made it all the sweeter.

watching Buckwheat Zydeco
fairgrounds grass

of course, the eating continued…

fried soft shell crab po-boy
fried soft shell crab po-boy

pheasant, quail & andouille gumbo
duck andou gumbo

even though we were tired, Teal and I stuck it out to the bitter end. our last stop was the Gospel Tent. there weren’t many people watching the act and we felt a little bad about leaving, but eventually we threw in the towel and headed back to our hotel.

some of the bands we saw that day included:

Hadley J. Castille Family & the Sharecroppers Cajun Band
Forgotten Souls Brass Band
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Gospel Inspirations of Boutte

along the way we tried to sell our chairs. there were still two more days to the festival and we figured SOMEONE on the street car would have sore feet from standing all day. but no one would bite! it was very curious. we ended up giving them to the front desk clerk at the hotel, hopefully they found a weary festival goer to hookup.

later that evening the whole family ventured into the French Quarter for an ice cream place that Teal had found called la divina gelateria. the night was hot and muggy. people were out and about, it felt like a real city.

one thing I really liked about New Orleans was the coffee. it was good. and it was good at any number of places. even the drip coffee at this little spot was excellent. after tasting numerous varieties of ice cream, we sat outside and enjoyed our treats. I tried to convince the clan to go get some Absinthe with me…but to no avail, so we headed home for some much needed rest.

black coffee & black pepper cherry gelato
espresso & black pepper cherry gelato

our final morning in New Orleans we went back to CafĂ© Du Monde. it was just as good as our first visit. along the way we passed an art dealer selling paintings of the DOG that we’d seen all around the city including at Jazz Fest, on a big hotel, in various galleries, and in bus station ads.

rodriquez dog
rodriquez dog

smoking fish
smoking fish

our last stop before leaving was the famous Central Grocery where we purchased their equally famous “Muffaleta” sandwich…

Dad noms

it was quite a trip. we got to experience all manner of new food and new music. it was really special to try things that if we were back at home we wouldn’t have access to. New Orleans truly is an American gem. I highly recommend going there…and not just for Jazz Fest. there is music and food available on a daily basis there…in fact, it’d be hard to go and there and NOT experience it.

do you have any favorite food or music destinations? I’d love to hear about them!


1 Comment
  • teal
    Posted at 11:01h, 23 July Reply

    seeing pictures of all that wonderful food makes me whimper a little bit, as i’m not eating it and it is far, far away…..sighs.

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