Got back from New Orleans last night, spending a lazy day with family today…
First time to Jazz Fest, first time to New Orleans, first beignet, first muffaletta, first Abita brew, second/third/fourth beignet… now I’m out of money (expect some cheap recipes in the near future).
Jazz Fest was awesome – saw a bunch of great bands and rubbed elbows with some of the dirtiest hippies I’ve ever seen. The weather was perfect the whole time, mid 80s, sunny and breezy. And New Orleans, overall, is a pretty cool town. The French Quarter is crowded, expensive and has a wholly unique, dramatically unpleasant smell, but that didn’t put a damper on our time.
We stayed at Bayou Segnette State Park because we
couldn’t afford to sleep inside love camping, and for $20 a night, the price couldn’t be beat. We even got to take the ferry across the river with some seriously crazy friendly folks.
And, best of all, we didn’t get grifted even once. Some of the fools there even try the “Five bucks says I can guess where you got your shoes! — No you can’t. — You got ’em on your feet! Five bucks!” game. I was ready for ’em, though.
(And not to be a party pooper, but that city still has a long way to go to recover from Katrina. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on that whole debacle, but this isn’t the place or time for it. Just know that those orange X’s are still all over the city, there are empty lots on every block, and entire neighborhoods in the 9th ward and, to a lesser extent, Lakeview are boarded up and abandoned… five years later).
As far as the food goes, it’s certainly not the most veg-friendly town around. They add seafood to everything imaginable, which cuts out a lot of options for me. Still, veggie muffalettas were pretty easy to come by, and when those weren’t at hand, I could usually scrounge up some veggie red beans and rice. When all else fails, like at Acme Oyster House (so Ali could try the oysters), I settled for a bowl of hush puppies (yep) and a root beer float (yep yep). Not the most nutritious meal I’ve ever had, but it held me over until a big dinner.
I didn’t take many pictures, but here’s a few just for fun.