There’s a flight landing every two minutes at Louis Armstrong. Whoever is not here for the game, is here for the party. Every one of them is looking to drink big, bet big, and cheat on their spouses. And it all costs money.
– Nicky, Focus (2015)
Pizza and loaded fries for breakfast! Hurrah! Again I am pretending that I am way younger than I really am. Is there even a cut-off point in your life when you shouldn’t be having pizza for breakfast?
I am taking the Voodoo walking tour today. This was not my intention for my morning, well, let’s be honest, I had no idea what I was going to be doing today. So I was more than happy to go on the tour with one of the people from the hostel. Plus, all that walking would justify all the food… right?
Oh, we know how this is going to go, so just agree with me already.
The Power of Voodoo (who do?)
And we’re running late already. We could say it is not our fault since the Streetcar was “late”. This is, however, now a running thing, and we really should have expected it.
The icing on the cake was that we ran into two people from the hostel at the streetcar stop… they left 15 minutes before us.
So now we’re power-walking towards the Louis Armstrong Park. And it’s around 26C (78F) so I’m starting to build up a bit of a sweat. Again, let’s be honest, I’m already starting to soak my undershirt.
We managed to get to the tour just a few minutes left. As a quick TL:DR (too long, didn’t read), the tour guide covered the origins of voodoo as a religion in New Orleans. The importance of Louis Armstrong Park as a location. And gave a great coverage of Marie Laveau’s life and influence in New Orleans as Voodoo Queen.
I highly recommend it, if only to learn a little bit more about Voodoo as a religion that is practised, and maybe dispelling some of the mythos that has been built up over time.
Also, the walk does cover some nice locations!
You Do (Do what?)
It’s time for lunch, we are both hungry. And we know what we want.
Po-boys. And we know where we’re going to get them.
…and I guess, that was the plan of everyone from the PT (physical therapy) conference that is running in town. If you’ve just jumped into this part of the blog, then as a reminder, there is a massive PT conference running in town. There actually is also a massive marketing conference that is also running in town…
Somewhere else in town, but still, in town.
We get our sandwiches and make our way to Jackson Square. And have a nice meal watching the random acts in front of the cathedral.
Can’t ask for much more, great food (too much food if you ask me), great company and conversation, and a great location.
So it is mid-afternoon (around 2:00 PM) and I am wondering what to do for the rest of the afternoon. My friend has gone off to Lafayette cemetery in order to have a wander around there (she managed to snag on to the last tour of the day). Then it hit me.
A quick wander over to Cafe du Monde confirmed what I already knew. They are packed solid.
But I recalled a conversation with two people in the hostel this morning, and a name popped into my head “Cafe Beignet”. The two people had claimed that the beignets here were (subjectively) better, and one of the reasons was that they were always freshly cooked.
I’ll take that recommendation, and also, there is one pretty much right by Jackson Square. It is a nice airy cafe and happily is nowhere near as packed as Cafe du Monde. I placed my order for a black coffee and an order of beignets (which come in threes).
As I’m sitting there with my laptop out, and notebook scribbling away furiously, I notice a lady sitting on the table next to me doing exactly the same thing.
Her beignets have just come out and she starts away at them. And suddenly she looks like a crack-head. Honestly, no matter how daintily she tried to eat them, the icing sugar ended up everywhere. All over her lovely dress. Poor thing.
Mine have turned up and they look like they’ve just come straight out of the frier, and absolutely covered with icing sugar. The sugar high on these things must be immense. Also, if you sneeze while around these things (besides being gross), you will probably end up coating yourself with icing sugar (and look like you have a habit of some sort).
Google Maps Story, Incoming
It’s now 3:20 PM and I was again wondering what to do with my afternoon. As mentioned previously, all plans and itineraries I had made have gone out the window. I ended up thinking how I have not gone down Frenchman Street and that I should go over there.
So I plug in “Frenchman Street” into Google Maps.
This is the route you get if you are not specific on WHERE on Frenchman Street you want to go.
Now, I still have my Jazzy Pass so I blindly think: “Sure, I can do that trip”. And hope on the 55 bus. And the trip takes me onto a motorway, and I get off by a gas station. This can’t be right, can it? I am a minute’s walk from Frenchman Street so again I blindly follow Google Maps, and I am led smack bang into a residential street. I walk for about 2 minutes in one direction and it does not look like a place for live music during the evening and night.
My bright idea for the day was to google the top bars on Frenchman Street and get their addresses. I found the Blue Nile at 532 Frenchman Street and shoved the address into Google Maps
Expletives followed at this point. I was half considering walking back up there, but saner minds prevailed. Instead, I am waiting for a bus that may come on time (it didn’t). But at least it did.
Finally at the correct end of Frenchman Street and yes, pretty much the place where I started an hour ago. I take a quick look around, before deciding I should get back to the hostel. By walking, since there is no chance of getting on the streetcar
I should mention I’ve somehow aggravated my left knee at this stage which is the reason I left Frenchman so quickly. Really, really aggravated my knee.
Business as Usual.
Got back to the hostel after walking for over ninety minutes, with an aggravated knee, and a “protein” coffee.
Had a shower (needed), and took a nap (very needed). As expected, we’d be out for the evening. However, lesson learned from last night was “get food first”.
And, I the place suggested was Cochon Butcher (yes it is the place on the New Orleans episode of Somebody Feed Phil).
And it was so worth it.
Linguine for one, Burgers for the rest of us. I didn’t even get to finish the side of mac and cheese either.
I make no apologies for the fuzzy pictures… I’m heading towards drunk at this point!
The night takes us to Le Bon Temps Roule, another fantastic bar with a live brass band. Arguably not as great as the one in Maple Leaf Bar, however it was still great. We have new people joining the group at the hostel (skewing it more to XY, than XX previously). However, it was still a great time, reinforcing the belief that it is harder to find a bad live band than a great one.
Now for some reason, saner minds have NOT prevailed, and have decided that walking back to the hostel would be a great idea (a 2.5-mile walk). In honesty, we thought we could get to St Charles Avenue and then get the Streetcar from there. However, we just decided to hoof it when we realised that a Streetcar was not going to turn up for a while.
It did though… when we were about 4 stops away from the hostel!
So it’s 3:00 AM, one of us leaving at 5:30 AM for an early morning flight. So we all stay up, and chat, really loudly. About really inane stuff.
I am not sure how my last day in NOLA is going to go considering I am falling asleep at 6:00 AM.