New Orleans

2004

 

Decided to see New Orleans before the next hurricane recycles it. Spent four days proving you can have fun there even if you don’t drink.  When I arrived, brutal sub-60s temperatures had forced the locals indoors.  But soon it was warm and sticky: December felt like June in Virginia. The locals ventured out with heavy jackets. (Seriously.)

 

Stayed by the airport 10 miles out of town, triggering the Great Fare Asymmetry I remember from Bermuda: $1.60 to get into town in the morning (bus) and $32.00 to get back at night (taxi). (The bus runs at night, but the tourist people advised me not to ride unarmed.) No car—it’s a walk-and-trolley town. I wrapped my partly-healed sprained ankle, took 2.4g of ibuprofen a day, blistered my feet and got shin splints.  There was lots to do.

 

I got a big laugh the minute I got off the plane.

Gate C-7 New Orleans International

 

 

A shot too iconic to miss

 

 

The Bourbon Street scene: A frat party for all ages.

 

Restaurant Review

The day before I left, my oral surgeon saw that my biopsy hadn’t healed properly and performed another biopsy, making gluttony its own atonement.  Enforced moderation in the City of Excess.  I felt like a Moslem who goes to heaven and finds he’s impotent.

 

  • Emeril’s: Very expensive and very good. Quail with a hint of blackberry. Chewy brownie with pecans and lemon sorbet. The chef may have an attitude problem, but the staff was great.
  • KPaul’s: Paul Prudhomme began the Cajun craze, but Cajun will never be a favorite. Even at its best.
  • Brennan’s: Creole food is a symphony: cream and variations. Breakfast was breaded shrimp over creamed spinach with Hollandaise on top, oyster cream soup, and key lime pie.  I doubled up on lipitor for the duration.
  • Landry’s: Good seafood.  Insane portions.
  • Café Begnet: My favorite. Cloudy weather and jet lag left me depressed and disoriented. Latte helped.  The staff got to know my well in the four days I was there.  The café had a cat collective. Crumbs meant birds, and every day a different cat came shopping. Day 2 cat found a way to get at table height.

 

 

 

A Town of Signage

 

Thought about it, but I like my ear.

I do wonder which is more toxic in the long run.

 

Indeed.

 

Other towns have speed traps.

 

 

I can’t think of a caption for this.

 

None needed.

 

Poor Australia.

 

I restrained myself from photographing the paranoid on the bus. His eyes were narrow tubes into a molten core. The gestures were rejecting: No.  Go away.  He got off at the Tulane Health Clinic.

 

Not shown: A sidewalk plaque commemorating the sidewalk.

 

Ann doesn’t live here anymore. Her husband died, she was hospitalized for DM2, and she got tired of being blinded with flashbulbs when she stepped outside.  So she moved to a gated community. Talked to someone who had been inside the house.  She said it was conventional except for a human skeleton in a chair, and her husband’s artwork, which was “too modern”.  “It was a giant…<delicate shudder>….” That was all I got about the art.

 

Audubon Zoo

 

The Zoo was small compared to San Diego, but also had thoughtfully laid out habitats.

 

The habitats were better designed that in San Diego because you could get much closer to the animals.

 

Silverback

 

The thing is: most of my friends will find this very interesting, and will study each structure to see what it’s all about.

 

Art

 

A curious thing about the art galleries: Half of them are one block away from Bourbon St, on Royal.  From party town to antiques and furs in a 30 second walk. I can only compare this to Philadelphia as a city in need of defragmentation.

 

If I had a $20,000 art budget for the trip, I would have spent it in this block.  And several friends would have had inordinately merry Christmases.

 

Liz would have gotten one of these.

 

I think Bob Schneider would appreciate this one.

 

I would have ended up with the Lotus Elise, although technically it wasn’t for sale.  This was a limited edition.  Now I know where one of them went.