Ecclectic and Eccentric
Southern hospitality is prominent in New Orleans and so is uniqueness. The great mix of people is what gives this city it's spicy flavor. You really have to explore every nook and cranny to get the full taste. Walk around in empty corners and open your eyes to what surrounds you.....you will always find something special!
You have to visit the French...
You have to visit the French Quarter. Yes, it's touristy, but it's a must. Depending on your age and the time of day, you may want to avoid it though. During the day, you can go almost anywhere in this place, and it's actually really neat. The old buildings, in Carribean style, line all of the streets around here down to the river, with ferns and other plants hanging off the sides of the balconies. There are tons of places to eat and shop, as well. I reccommend making your way down toward the cathedral, which I'll explain in the Must See section. Anyway, walk around, explore, but don't wander outside the Quarter.
At night, Bourbon Street is the place to be, at least for all of us tourists! It's pretty raunchy, so I would avoid it if you're offended by such things or you have children with you. However, if you're not offended, take a stroll down here at night.. everything is open 24/7 around here! Drinking and dancing and hanging off balconies is the primary deal here at night. Ah, well, you all have also seen what goes on here on Bourbon Street with the intoxicated females, so I'll spare you... but I can assure you it does go on. Walking back to the hotel at night... take that for what it's worth. ;)
Take the St. Charles Street...
Take the St. Charles Street car to the Garden district. It costs about a dollar. The homes and gardens are great! The french quarter. Make sure to go into Madame Louvue's voodoo shop at the end of Bourbon past Tropical Isle And get a Mufulatta at General Grocery. Four people can eat the sandwich and it is an awesome meal!
One of the best attributes of this city is the food. New Orleans is renowned for its mix of all cuisine's, but also for mixing in the south's Cajun influences. What is produced is some of the best food you can find. Some of the restaurants are very elegant, aesthetically pleasing establishments, but as I have found some of the best places to eat GREAT, not good, food is in very “hole-in-the-wallish” type places. You don’t have to spend a fortune at Emeril’s (although you definitely should if you can; see my Restaurants heading) to have awesome food. As far as restaurants that I have visited, I will try to list as many different types as I can. By no means is this an exhautive list! On your trip here, do yourself a favor and get away from the Quarter and find yourself one of these "off the path" restaurants. You might come out having eaten the best meal of your life!
John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969)
A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs. In the shadow under the green visor of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D.H. Holmes department store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offenses against taste and decency. Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul.
--from A Confederacy of Dunces I took this picture on the way to get a three day trolley pass at the the check cashing place on the other side of Canal Street. I did not know who it depicted, and it took me some time to track it down.
Apparently John Kennedy Toole (who was born the same year as I was) wrote this book called "A Confederacy of Dunces". It is famous (although obviously not to me) for the recording of the type of dialogue spoken in New Orleans - some think that it is the most accurate depiction of the city in a work of fiction. However; some New Orleanians think it portrays the city and its inhabitants in an unfavorable light.
The nearly life-sized statue stands in front of the hotel Chateau Sonesta, the former D. H. Holmes Department Store. The bronze statue shows Ignatius J. Reilly standing "under the clock".