New Orleans! Day 1

“New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.”
― Mark Twain

And he was right.  The food here is absolutely criminal in terms of taste, and portion sizes!

 

My first full day in New Orleans starts with an early morning walk to Lafayette Cemetary.  A twenty-minute stroll down St Charles Avenue, and a left turn onto Washington.

I am aiming to get there for when it opens at 7:00 AM.  One, to try and avoid the crowds for picture taking opportunities.  And two, hopefully, the sun will not be too high in the sky as sunrise was at 6:41 AM.

Well, I got there and even though the sign says “opened 7:00 AM”, the gates are well and truly shut.  So I do the only thing I can do.

Plan B

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Get coffee at Still Perkin’ and wait.

During which I get productive and fiddle about with the camera (at this point I still had not figured out how to shoot video footage with it).

One hour later and I go back to the cemetery to find it open.  Hallelujah!  Time to take pictures, and hopefully learn a little history of the place.

For better or worse (most likely worse), I started treating a few things like a video game.  In particular, finding the Man of the Woods monuments around the cemetery  It turned into a running tally in my head, and if I was not careful, I was pretty sure I would imagine a PS trophy pop into my mind.  (platinum trophy includes doing EVERYTHING there is to experience in New Orleans).

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I absolutely enjoyed wandering through here.   There is a great amount of history to learn within the cemetery.  Everything from, how the tombs were made, who is buried there, and the intricacies of the different designs and meanings.  But also just to see the bits of colour that brighten what would otherwise be a very sombre place.

Also, cuddly toys!

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I highly recommend going there, and spend anywhere upto an hour wandering it…

…then go visit famous houses in the Garden District.

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Now I am not a knowledgeable architect, but I do know what I like.  And it is always nice to see how the houses here differ from other States, and other countries.

Blah, blah, Spanish, French influences, wrought/cast iron etc!

Also, Anne Rice lived here.

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The area also has houses belonging to celebrities such as John Goodman, Sandra Bullock (who does not really stay there but has other celebrity friends make use of it).  And of course, Beyonce and Jay Z have a place (or rather a palace?) there.

 

It’s not even 11:00 AM

After heading back to the hostel to get some laundry done I then had to ask myself a very important question:  “Lunch?”.  By chance, someone I follow on Instagram posted a few pics from the Acme Oyster House down in the French Quarter.

Well, that was the “where to get lunch” decision sorted, and I head over there.

 

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1/2 and 1/2 shrimp and catfish Po-Boy
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Boo Fries

 

Now, I would come to learn that portion sizes here are enormous.  Even by US standards!  I still have nightmares of the “large” Big Mac Meal I got in New York, where I seriously did not finish the fries, or the soft drink.

And one girl at the hostel did warn me to not get sides, and just buy one dish and visit multiple places.

I really should have listened to her.

While eating this, there was another tourist, who, like myself, totally underestimated the portion sizes.  He got a load of crawfish, and was promptly told to make sure he sucked the juices out of the heads (ooh) that he just twisted off (oww).  He also got a po-boy, and the look on his face was that of “how the hell am I gonna finish this…”

Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

Well, I could at least walk off the food while exploring the French Quarter,

French Quarter

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I also visited Gallier House.  And nearly missed going there after Google Maps decided I wanted to go Gallier Hall instead!  Probably my fault, but again it highlights my reliance on this app these days (praise the sun for roaming data).

Gallier House is a restored 19th-century historic house museum located on Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was originally the home of prominent New Orleans architect, James Gallier, JrWikipedia

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Keeping to form I forgot to take any meaningful pictures while in the house/museum (like when I visited the places of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona).  I will learn one day.

For now, the main thing that did catch my eye was…. the kitchen set up for a making a cake.  mmm cake.

The remainder of the day was me wandering around Jackson Square, before walking back to the hostel which was about 2 miles or so.

Saint Louis Cathedral

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The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, also called St. Louis Cathedral, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and is the oldest cathedral in what would become the United States. – Wikipedia

(honestly, I like the one in Barcelona more)

 

Back at the Hostel

I took a shower and a nap, before heading into the Hostel courtyard.

In what would become a running motif for the rest of my time here, every evening would start with

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Very serious drinking games (ffs, I’m nearly 40, I should not be doing this).

Followed by…

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A fantastic live band somewhere.  This evening we visited the Maple Leaf who were hosting the absolutely fantastic Rebirth Brass Band.  This place was easily packed solid with people enjoying the live music!  I am pretty sure this part of the evening also involved beer.

And tequila!

Ending with nearly passing out on the street.  And finding food at 4:00 AM.

Breakfast the next morning, was not easy!

 

 

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