When in New Orleans . . .
February 13, 2011
I think I’ve finally recovered from my whirlwind trip to the Big Easy last week. I was there for an event sponsored by RustOleum, but I did have a few hours to walk the famous French Quarter. I haven’t been to New Orleans since before we had kids, and it was fantastic to be back, if only to spend a few hours indulging in the best of that crazy wonderful place.
I purposely left my Nikon at home, so all of these images were captured with my phone on a rainy day, but oh what a glorious time I had! I love the sights, smells, sounds and flavors of this place. I made it my quest to cram as much as I could into my brief stay.
When in New Orleans, one must savor pralines. I made the fateful mistake of ordering a ‘pray-line’ like we say out here in California. Oh the disdainful ‘you poor sad tourist’ look I received. When in New Orleans, the proper way to pronounce this sweet treat is ‘praw-leeen’. I shall never make that mistake in enunciation again.
When in New Orleans, one cannot escape the gorgeous architecture of the French Quarter. Funny how lantern fixtures are so in vogue now, popping up everywhere over dining room tables and above kitchen islands. N’awlins has had them on display since oh, forever. Always classic, always gorgeous, indoors or out!
It amazes me how much New Orleans Square in California’s Disneyland (below) captures the same (albeit illusionary) feeling of the real thing. Bravo Walt, bravo.
When in New Orleans, one must visit Café du Monde and order beignets and café au lait. One MUST. And then one must be suckered into buying beignet mix, convincing themselves that they can recreate the extraordinary flavor at home.
When in New Orleans, one must pop into an art gallery or two . . .
I chanced upon my most favorite artist’s gallery, and yet again was smitten with his work. Twelve years ago, my Mister and I discovered this French artist’s gallery in Paris down a small hidden side street. His name is Marc Clauzade. He paints the most amazing scenes of women in social settings on the Côte d’Azur. I still have the old tattered brochure from Paris tucked away in my nightstand.
One day, someday, I shall own one of his paintings . . .
When in New Orleans, one becomes convinced to bring home a souvenir that captures the feel of the city. This time, for me it was those fleur-de-lis silver salt and pepper shakers.
When in New Orleans, one sees A LOT of strange things . . . .
But the best part is, you can hear great jazz anywhere.
When in the French Quarter, I love to pop into the amazing (yet pricey) antique shops. Eye candy everywhere !
When in New Orleans, one cannot escape the feeling of Mardi Gras in the air, and one is tempted to don multiple strands of saturated colorful beads, intricately detailed masks, and order one or more potent hurricanes, especially during Carnival season.
When in New Orleans, one must do their very best to dine on po’boys and grits and spicy shrimp, gumbo, red beans and rice, and jambalaya. I have one thing to say about that: mission accomplished!
My Grandmama always said I must have spent a former life in N’awlins because of my affection for grits, spicy seafood, all things French, and the ease at which I can deliver a “y’all”. All I can say is this born and raised California girl left the Big Easy craving only this:
So long N’awlins, until we meet again . . .