Sunday, May 17, 2009

NOLA--Day 1

Wow, what a trip...lots of food, fun and drink. New Orleans is still healing, but you wouldn't have noticed the way the quarter was buzzing. I didn't take the bling off the entire time. She was a silent witness to my adventures in the big easy. My mission, to help my friend Judy with her book signing, see how St. Bernard is coming along and to have some serious R&R.

After a shaky plane ride, we landed and I headed straight to the Crescent City Brewery for a tall Red Stallion, (I left my real stallion at home) and a plate of delicious raw oysters. They were the freshest, tastiest darn things and mixed with a big cool drink of the stallion made a perfect combination.

I was chatting with the oyster shucker and the young kid next to me chimed in. He wasn't crazy about oysters, but after he placed it on a cracker and tasted the shuckers special sauce he became a new fan.

The first twentysomething of this trip I met was from Brooklyn and was waiting for his girlfriend to finish up the day at a convention in Harrah's. It was his first time in NOLA, and asked many questions about the city; where to go, where to eat and about Katrina.

The weather was perfect, it was warm, steamy and had a sweet smell. After walking for a bit, I headed over to Cafe Du Monde for a beignet and coffee. I sat with my feet up, sipped on my cup o joe and listened to a fabulous violin player.

I was pooped and headed back to the room for a night club nap. Judy was expected in a couple of hours. Jay and Jay, the cutest couple own a three story house (imagine-narrow and tall) at the end of Bourbon. It's quaint, comfortable and full of character. It has a beautiful court yard full of overflowing large leaf plants. It's a little too steamy to sit and enjoy but lovely none the less.

Judy, an old friend, who has become a strong supporter with her volunteer efforts and her poignant book helping the forgotten victims of Katrina in the = St. Bernard Parrish (a large county of 500 sq. miles) just outside of the quarter. The water levels were high, up as high as 20 feet. She is an inspiration and a role model. She can get any stranger to tell her their story and in return retell to us with such reverence and dignity, that you yourself want to do something to help, even if it's dumping money into the city.

She arrived around 9:30 and we were off to Desire, our favorite restaurant at the end of Bourbon. It has our favorite Louisiana dishes, jambalaya for her and shrimp and grits for me. Oh, how delicious! Every mouthful is heaven. Then off to the clubs for some beer swilling and music. An end to a fun filled day.

Until day two's adventure...O&O

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