Thank You, New Orleans

I fell in love with New Orleans last week.  The Crescent City is one of the most fascinating cultural destinations I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.  Viola and I took a much needed vacation to The Big Easy last week.  Viola described New Orleans as a “fairy tale” and I’d have to agree.  As we walked down Decatur for the first time, it felt like we were in a movie.  I could imagine the men wearing suits and fedoras walking next to women dressed in ruffled gowns holding umbrellas to block the sun.  Considering we walked into a movie crew filming stunt scenes for an upcoming movie featuring Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman, that helped to amplify the feeling.

The last time I visited New Orleans was in 1984, the year of the world fair, and I don’t recall much of the city.  My family and I spent most of our time at the fair and all I can recall is my first encounter with Popeye’s spicy chicken and seeing the space shuttle.

This also explains why we haven’t posted anything in a few days, minus the one from earlier today.  Everyone needs to take a break from everyday life and experience the great wide world.  Otherwise, we forget what life is all about.  Viola and I chose New Orleans because we wanted to visit a musical city.  New Orleans turned out to be the perfect place. We also thought it was appropriate to support a city still recouping from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  The city is breathing, but still aching from the devastation.  Viola and I feel happy that we could go down and support the local artists.

Viola and I did some of the typical touristy stuff such as go on a steamboat.  We just couldn’t pass up going for a ride down the Mississippi river.  We also walked around the Garden District, went to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Voodoo Museum.  Since we are Ghost Hunter junkies, we couldn’t help taking a walking tour about the ghost, vampire and voodoo stories in the French Quarter.  We chose Magic Tours, which is a small company that offers tours organized by scholars, historians and journalists.  We stayed near the French Quarter, so we spent the majority of time around this area.  Bourbon Street, during the day and night, was a trip.  I found it a bit odd watching kids stroll down the street as strippers taunted men (and women) to enjoy a show in the middle of the day.   Blues, Jazz, Rock, and Zydeco clubs  line up the street.  There is something for everyone on Bourbon Street.

I will be the first to admit, there is so much music to absorb it was a bit overwhelming and I felt a out of my element at times.  I don’t know much about Jazz.  I love Jazz.  I just don’t know much about the history.  I can name some of the greats, but I wasn’t sure what local artist was worth going to hear.  We ended up at the Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse and heard Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, a trumpeter who regularly performs every Friday at the club.  It was nice chilling in a quasi-classy club in the center of the mecca of Jazz.  We wanted to go to Preservation Hall, but never made it.  Truthfully, we should’ve been a bit more organized, but our intention was to relax and go with the flow, and that we did.

Over the next few days, we are planning to share additional information about some other things we learned while we were there along with other musical happenings we stumbled upon.  Anyone who loves music needs to visit New Orleans.  I am convinced of this.

We hope to return very soon…

In the meantime, I’ve uploaded some of the photos we took.  Enjoy and let us know what you think.  I am trying to improve my photographer skills.

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