On my third day of intermittently exploring "Nor-leans" (at least this was how I heard the locals pronounce their city :D) , I think I've seen enough to realize that the city has more history and culture to offer than most North American stops. If you're ever in those parts of the world, with limited time and budget like myself, I suggest you try these -
|Royal Street at the French Quarter|
We were lucky on our visit to New Orleans for two reasons: First, we were booked at the Hotel Monteleone, which was right smack in the middle of Royal Street at the French Quarter District (more about this later). The Hotel, bought by an Italian shoemaker in 1886, has been named as one of the Historic Hotels of America. Tadan -
Second, we were in the French Quarter just in time for this year's French Quarter Festival. During this time, musicians from all over the world head on over to New Orleans to play (mostly for free!) in the numerous stages set up in the French Quarter (so named because it was founded by a French naval officer in the early 1700s). The atmosphere is not as rowdy as the more famous Mardi Gras festival, but you'll still see people partying everywhere. Woothoot.
So, the setting considered, here are Ten Things That You Can Do in New Orleans -
|1) Ride the tram. I love cities with trams. They're generally friendlier to tourists because they pass by places where tourist spots are usually located and they have set routes - which means you won't get lost when you ride one!|
|There are several tram routes in New Orleans, but two of those will take you to St. Charles Avenue, which is where the bigger homes in the city are located (Most adopt French architecture. They're beautiful.)|
2) Sample authentic Creole food. Ah. This one warrants a separate post. For now, let me just say that we tried out "K-Joe's" (above) -
|- and The Palace Cafe, where I had a USD100 per plate dinner! Huwat.|
4) Watch street performers, for free of course! Like I said, we were there at the height of the French Quarter Festival, which was just grand because there were talented musicians playing left and right!
5) Eat beignets (pronounced "ben-yey") or french donuts at the Cafe Du Monde. I honestly don't understand what is so special about beignets. They taste like Bicho Bicho brothers, except medyo sosyal because they use confectioner's sugar. Ho-hum.
|6) Walk around Royal Street to marvel at the architecture -|
|- oggle at the vintage jewelry in its many antique shops -|
|- and appreciate street art, peddled by the many artists in the city.|
8) Walk along Bourbon Street. Can you read the sign that I'm pointing to? That's a cabaret and the sign is self-explanatory. Heehee
10) Spend some downtime at the pier and watch the world go by via the Mississippi River.