New Orleans Travel Blog› entry 38 of 59 › view all entries
Well, here it is - almost 10 AM and we still haven't gotten our rears in gear to brave the oppressive humidity of New Orleans. Slept like logs, then had a really terrific breakfast. The Creole Gardens is known for Miss Annie's great cooking. That is a reputation that is much deserved. She is a delightful woman with many stories to tell. I wish I knew all the right questions to ask. Of course, like probably everyone who comes here, I had to ask how she and her family got through Hurricane Katrina. She said she managed to evacuate to Dallas, Texas. It took her over a year to be able to return. Her home was under 19 feet of water. She lost everything. She is very philosophical about it - that is the only healthy way to deal with such tragedy.
We hopped on the St. Charles Avenue trolley for the ride to the French Quarter. We walked down Bourbon Street and found it full of schlocky shops selling touristy junk. It also, it would seem, hosts scads of "adult" entertainment spots with pictures of naked girls everywhere. It was not living up to the reputation for beauty one reads about. Once we turned off Bourbon, everything improved, except the number of tee-shirt shops. There were some nice art galleries, one of which was devoted to dogs. I snapped a photo of a portrait of a standard poodle, named Diva. It is a caricature, one of my favorite forms of art. My sweet standard poodle, Barkley, may he rest in peace, would have rolled on the ground, laughing hysterically.
We continued on to Jackson Square, fronted by beautiful St. Louis Cathedral. There is a large bronze statue of Andrew Jackson and the park is surrounded by beautiful buildings on three sides. Seconds after Jag took his photo of Old Hickory, the skies opened up. I have never seen so much rain come down in my life! It poured to the point that the water was running down the street like a river. This went on for at least 30 minutes. Even with large umbrellas, we had to seek shelter. We joined several other people under an awning in front of a hotel.
Once the rain eased off, we looked for a record shop called the Music Factory. It has an incredible number of cd's of New Orleans Jazz as well as other forms of jazz. Jag was looking for a cd made by the David Hansen Trio - the men we heard at Houston's Restaurant last night. We caught the Canal Street trolley out to see some of the cemeteries this city is known for.
We transferred back to the St. Charles trolley and decided to have some lunch (at 3:45 pm!). We decided on an Asian-fusion restaurant near our inn, named Hoshun. It has been in business only 7 months. I hope it is successful.
One thing I have realized. I truly do not like to visit cities. Although many are very beautiful (Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, San Francisco, New Orleans), most basically look alike. They have a central core of impressively tall buildings, but this is surrounded by big box stores that are the same in every city and town of any size all over the United States.
Dinner tonight was at another new restaurant, Creole Skillet. It was excellent. It is such a struggle to start a new restaurant. One must be very patient, to say nothing of having good financial backing. This one opened only last January. They have not yet established their reputation. If they keep preparing food as delicious as Jag and I had, that should not be too much longer. Their prices are very reasonable and that should help keep them in business as well. Now, if only the economy makes a change for the better ...