New Orleans

I joined my parents for a fun 36 hours in New Orleans last weekend. College is busy and hard and organic chemistry exams are always looming, but despite (and perhaps because of) all this, I am glad that I went! A snippet from the author/comedian John Hodgman’s newsletter is what finally helped me to make up my mind to go:

Here is a good idea for your LIFESTYLE. Accept an invitation from an old friend to dinner at Galatoire’s in New Orleans. Plan to stay only one night. Dress for dinner before heading to the airport. SUIT AND TIE. Bring no more clothing than will fit in a paper sack. Fly to New Orleans and check into the MONTELEONE HOTEL. Go to the room, open the door, drop your sack on the floor of the room, and then listen to the door shut as you are already walking away, directly to a seat at the revolving Carousel bar in the lobby. Order a pre-dinner martini and drink it by yourself.

You will feel like a goddamn spy.

That is the type of life that I want to lead. So I packed a small backpack, planned to stay only one night, and headed off for the Big Easy.

EXPLORATION

We managed to fit a lot into the short stay! We made the most of very comfortable weather by strolling in the French Quarter and taking a tour on an open-top double-decker hop-on hop-off bus (so many hyphens).

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We also enjoyed visiting the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

ART

So many splendid galleries on Royal Street! Two really stood out:

Martin Lawrence Gallery — I loved the clever and fun paintings by Michael Deyber that depicted “cliches, euphemisms, and idioms.” There were prints in addition to the originals which put them within the realms of this college student’s dreams.

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“Bad Hare Day” “Counting Sheep” “My Ass is on the Line” “Couch Potatoes” “Under the Gun” & “Call of the Wild”

Antieau Gallery — This gallery is filled with whimsical quilted/embroidered pieces. The “Birds of Prey” dress completely took my breath away.

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FOOD

I had three truly exceptional meals in NOLA.

  1. The obligatory beignets from Café du Monde. There are not many days when I get to fulfill my dream of eating funnel cake for breakfast. This was an epic day.

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2. Brunch at Brennan’s. Brennan’s has an aesthetic that is very appealing to me (think: antique mirrors painted with bright animals and pink bow-tied waiters ). I had the absolutely scrumptious Soft-Shell Crab Chartres (almond tempura battered soft-shell crabs, coffee-cured Canadian bacon, poached eggs, caper-dill hollandaise) and a side of similarly spectacular Georgia Cheddar Grits. Unfortunately, I was too busy stuffing food into my mouth to take any pictures.

3. Dinner at GW Fins. The food is good in the way that expensive coastal restaurant food is almost always good. I’d recommend the Crispy Pork Belly and Yellowfin Tuna Tartare appetizers and I’m sure you couldn’t go wrong with any of the fish entrees. What made this meal fabulous was the BISCUITS. I could go on and on about them (and in fact I did for most of the meal). They’re small enough that you can eat a couple (or five or six) without feeling gross, they’re wonderfully crunchy, and they’re served with a sweet butter that makes them taste almost like shortbread. Best of all, they’re delivered to you throughout the meal straight from the pan so they’re warm and fresh and your mother can’t keep track of how many you have eaten!

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