Wednesday

Remembering New Orleans

New Orleans was the very first state I landed when I moved to these united states. It's a famous city, as I have heard of it even when I was still in Asia. Of course Mardi Gras makes New Orleans very famous around the globe. I loved the location of our place, right there on the 5th Street across the Double Tree Hotel, just before the Causeway Bridge. Lake Ponchartrain was literally our backyard where we biked,jogged,walked or picnicked. It's a great site with flocks of birds flying each day. People boating or sailing on warm days.By now, it is different as people are starting to rebuild their home, their lives.

Places we have been during our stay in New Orleans: ( Some of these places may or may not exist anymore. Some may have been partially damaged by water,by wind.)
Cafe Du Monde:
I am sure a lot of you have heard of this famous cofee place. They are also well-known for their beignet. We have been to this place several times and I have enjoyed their chickory cofee.

River Walk: It's a long walking path that at the bank of the Mississippi River. You can just walk and watch boats,or even the steam boats. Great for strolling,sightseeing and even shopping.There are lots of shops and dinning places, walking distance from the French Quarter.

French Quarter:

It's of course a must see area of New Orleans.And according the the news, the quarters hasn't been that affected. In fact people are already starting to parade on that side of town well-known for it's partying and parades.

Bourbon Street:
If you love night life, this is the place to go for drinking, dancing, sight seeing. Yes, even at night, people dress up, wear masks and walk around the street. This particular street is lined up with bars after bars and dancing clubs, and souvenir shops. Some shops sell lots of beads,masksand knick knacks. And of course this is the street where you can flash your thingy to earn beads. Even on ordinary days, this area always gets crowded.

Harra's Casino:
This was the first Casino I have ever been to. And we won some money playing the poker machines.

Steam Boat Natchez:
We rode this boat one romantic evening, the weather was so nice. There was a band playing jazz, and a guide talked about the Mississippi River and it's history.

Saint
Charles Street
:
It's a quiet street lined with alot of old old oak trees and goes all the way to the Garden district and along the way you'll see historic houses from the 1800's. And the best way to see all these is to ride the streetcar or trolley.

These are the nice places we have been while living in New Orleans. I am sure a lot of these places may have been washed out or may have been flooded as the entire NO city has been flooded. The city of Metairie was our home for two years at the 5th Street. It's a quiet neighborhood, except for the screaming couples at night. We had a lot of nightlife since hubby works till midnight. We would drive to downtown New Orleans and enjoy walking by the French Quarter,on Bourbon Street. It is very colorful at night. People dress up and come walking around, strolling.And I mean, not just dress up but they would wear funny outfits and masks. So if you are up there in one of the porches, you would have a great view of the crowd. You would see people with hairs of different colors,painted live person all kinds of stuff. And of course you would see a lot of skin especially when people get drunk. At first, I was very inocent. I was appalled that the women would flash their boobs just to earn beads, and I mean they are not gold. Later on, it was a common sight to me. It's something I have never seen in my life. Their party is very adult. It's not a place to bring your children. Of course there are lots of family fun during Mardi Gras, during parades and lots of family activities.

Another fun place we have been was the swamp. There are lots of swamp tours, but we did our own touring via canoe. It was a fun tour to the marshes to see the wildlife.We have seen alligators,snakes,lots of turtles.A nice adventure into the wild. We might have slightly tipped over a few times,but we managed to get out of the water at the end of the day.

I have seen some of the weirdest things I saw was at a freak show. We just happen to enter this bar, we didn't even know what was going on it was dark,all the lights were off and the guy at the entrance told us that no cameras allowed. There were peircing of nuts, women carrying cans of beers with hooks on their labia and guys drinking the beer under them. There was a guy who hammered a long nail into his pennis. I mean, it hurt just by looking. Then there was this woman who turned a bulb on using her genital organs. Gosh! I couldn't believe what I was looking at. Hubby was laughing at me. I felt like what they were doing wasn't right yet I was drawn to watch. It was a lifetime experience.It was one hell of a shock to me to watch people doing these stuff. After that I haven't seen any other shocking stuff.

Then there were these trips across to the other end of town to get to the Asian stores. I noticed that there were lots of Vietnamese people in New Orleans. People sometimes ask me if I were Vietnamese. There were not a lot of Filipino stores around except for a small store by Canal Street. I talked to the owner one time and she said that most of her customers are Filipino sea men that just stop over New Orleans. She would cook Filipino foods on Saturdays and that's when Pinoys flock to her store.

Aside from all these I really enjoyed going with hubby to these concerts. Some of them organized by the radio stations he worked for, and he gets to introduce some of the bands and/or singers. So, it was a great experience for me. Most of the ones that I have met in person are country singers. We were at the Goerge Strait Concert, Hubby introduced Sara Evans. I had a close look at her,she's pretty. Of course I saw the george Strait, Brad Paisley and others. We also went to the introduction of Brian McCommas album at the House of Blues. Of course he was there to promote his album, so he was very nice to everybody. He wasn't quite famous then. Later I saw him on CMT. We have been to some other concerts,just can't remember them all. Most of them were country fests. I am not a diehard country fan,that's why I didn't really pay attention to the country stars.

So,looking back, I would say that we had a great time. Really great time.

I hope that in due time,people who have fled the city will be able to come back and rebuild their lives. To rebuild the once very lively and colorful city of jazz and Mardi Gras.

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