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Montreal-Mexico City: Gave in to NEW ORLEANS charm

Montreal-Mexico City: Gave in to NEW ORLEANS charm

Old Jan 16th, 2005, 07:50 AM
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Montreal-Mexico City: Gave in to NEW ORLEANS charm

On my journey back, I had the better part of an afternoon and an evening in the Big Easy. I'd passed through New Orleans but this was the first time in my life I'd gotten a chance to explore Nawlins, and I went straight from my hotel (Avenue Garden Hotel) to the hitherto unvisited French Quarter.

My hotel was well situated in the Lower Garden District right next to a streetcar stop. The wooden-interior St. Charles Avenue streetcar for a reasonable $1.25 charmed me as it clanged its way through downtown, letting me off at the corner of Canal and Bourbon Sts. It was Monday January 10th on the return leg of my journey. I mention the day and date because I believed I'd missed the tourist mobs of Xmas-New Years and your usual weekend revelers, which I think gave me enough space and breathing room to actually admire and appreciate the architecture on Bourbon Street (the wrought-iron railings and multistoried buildings decorated are simply fabulous to observe and put you in a New- Orleans-state-of-mind; I imagined on a weekend or during Mardi Gras, *observing* this might be challenging what with the crowds) and throughout the French Quarter. I felt I'd timed it just right; not too crowded but pleasantly lively. There was a jazz band playing on Bourbon Street near Canal with couples dancing; one vagrant-looking man was bobbing and swaying to the music at a slight distance from the well-heeled crowd. I could not help but be charmed. It was about 73F and not raining and I just felt joyous to be in such pleasantness in wintertime(before returning to chilly Montreal).

I felt there was such an elegance to the city, with the narrow, historic streets, the beauty of Jackson Square and the adjacent St. Louis Cathedral. Food smells emanating from restaurants, jazz buskers (some fantastic!), restaurants and bars buzzing with music was just contagious and enlivened my spirit.

Next to my hotel was Voodoo BBQ, which my 75-year-old taxi driver said "Dat dere's da bes' BBQ in town" as he dropped me off. I don't typically go for BBQ since it's kind of heavy, but how could I NOT go after that recommendation. I got the graveyard (pork & beef brisket) sandwich and it sure was tender (I tried all three sauces: Mojo, Mango something, and Cane Vinegar on different parts of the sandwich, definitely would recommend putting one on) and tasty.

Thanks Nawlins!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 02:05 PM
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I wanted to add to this post that for those who live in the northeast corridor (New York City-Philly-Washington) that the Crescent train in the sleeper car was a really pleasant way to travel to visit New Orleans, which might make a nice trip for those who have a week-long vacation and don't mind (or like) being in a train for 24 hours. The meals come with the sleeper car, are varied and generally tasty and healthy. Since dining is communal, you'll get to meet people taking journeys for all sorts of reasons. I found between sleeping, reading my book, eating, listening to the provided radio in my room (which played bluegrass music or jazz; appropriate for the journey through the Deep South to Nawlins), the time flew by like a whiz. For sure, not the fastest way to New Orleans, but I found it relaxing and fun.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Hi Dan!
Thank you for this lovely report! We have been talking about a long weekend in New Orleans, since we now live close enough to drive.
You have convinced us
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 03:22 PM
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Here's to wishing you a great long weekend in Nawlins! It seemed to a special place to my humble eyes. I feel like I just scratched the surface; hope to go back at some point and make it the focus of a trip.

Wishing you a Happy New Year! DAN
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Scarlett This is not a paid ad!! I urge all to take the NO School of Cooking class with Kevin Belton on St Louis. I have done this twice over years. I do the one at lunch time--I see its $27 now. Belton is very entertaining!
Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 03:56 PM
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Thank you Dan, you too!

and Thank you Belton, I will definitely check it out. although there might not be that much time to learn to cook since I plan to sample the cooking
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