I gotta say it: Up until a few years ago, New York City held the number one spot in my heart.
Then came NOLA. It was love at first bite. From the incredible food, to the narrow cobblestone streets, to the amazing, artistic and caring people, this city captured my heart in a New York minute.
If you’ve never been to New Orleans, you are truly missing out. Don’t think of it as just an endless carnival, although it can be. New Orleans is many things. There’s Jackson Square Park in the French Quarter, where, on any given day you may witness a brass band parade or a wedding presided over by a voodoo priest. Surrounded by artists, vendors, and most of all music, Jackson Square is the mecca of that down home New Orleans feeling.
Next is Bourbon Street, just steps from Jackson Square. Bourbon Street has survived fires, endless parties, and Hurricane Katrina. Nothing can keep this stretch of road down. It keeps rising up for more. Filled with jazz clubs, mom and pop owned restaurants, and stores, Bourbon Street is the nightlife spot to go to in the French Quarter.
Sporting comfortable shoes, I walked down every street in the French Quarter. ‘Boy town’ proved to be a sure fire favorite, as I accompanied Miss Avalon on her four corner street show. She stopped cars and ‘vogued’ graciously accepting roaring applause. My drink matched her wig, so I took it as a sign and shared my Hurricane. After all it was this delicious pink concoction that gave me the extra push to join Miss Avalon’s street show.
If there’s anything I vow to do every year is the New Orleans Jazz Festival, an annual blend of famous musicians and trendy usual suspects. In 2013, Billy Joel and Cowboy Mouth were a must see. The food is a compilation of the local favorites, and mine, including sweet rosemint tea, crab sack, jambalaya, and cochon de lait po’boy.
Next time around I will plan better.
I will take my own comfy chair complete with footrest and drink holder.
I will wear funky galoshes, and bring that fancy poncho from last years’ fest.
I will take a waterproof camera.
I will camp out under the deluge and wait for the rains to pass me by.
I will be singing in the rain.
All the words in my English/Spanish dictionary will never define the artistic, gastronomic uniqueness and freedom this city offers. This, darling divas, is my ‘Woodstock.’
Laissez les bons temps rouler!