Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Orleans: Yesterday and Today

This isn't some cheesy Katrina post; I literally mean yesterday and today.  I'm only here for a few days, so I'm trying to make the most of my time (which includes a lot of lunches & dinners surrounding the Zeitoun event I am here for).  Yesterday, I got back from Morgan City a little after noon.  I checked into my hotel and hopped straight on the streetcar and headed up to Maple St., where we used to hang out all the time in college.  First stop, Fresco--a restaurant where my bestie used to work (and which has a legendary spicy tomato dip).  Second stop, PJ's coffee, proudly displaying this on their door:

brew dat!

I also moseyed on down to the Maple St. Bookstore, where I picked up the latest copy of the New Orleans Review and some Eracism bumper stickers.  NOSTALGIA at its finest.

Then it was time to meet some folks for dinner at Lebanon's--the local restaurant my peeps and I patronized probably twice a week for four years in college.  I can now personally testify that after ten years, they still have the best hummus I've ever had in my life.  

And then I broke my no-Bourbon-St. rule and headed down to the French Quarter.  I was by myself, so I figured it would be wiser to stay in the more populated parts of the city, so I wandered around Decatur St., Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral:

stopped at Cafe Du Monde for some beignets:

headed over to Bourbon St. where I made friends with some girls in New Orleans for a work conference (we discussed love, sex, and religion) and had (3) infamous hand grenades at:

saw a bunch of typical New Orleans signs such as:


And that was enough of that.  I grabbed a cab uptown and called it a night.  But then this morning, I was right back at it.  We had an early luncheon this morning with the event organizers and speakers (as well as some students from the law school and school of social work), which was nice.  After the luncheon, I went to a very special place:

The Tulane English Department!  It was amazing to see so many of the same people in the building where I spent the majority of my undergrad years.  I then took the streetcar to another very special place:

The Columns Hotel . . . possibly my favorite place in New Orleans.  If I fantasized about getting married, I'd fantasize about getting married here.  There's no place I love to sit outside and sip a martini more . . . it's so quintessential New Orleans, and so reminds me of my time here.  This was my view from the big old southern porch today, looking out onto St. Charles Avenue.

And now, I'm scrambling to get dressed for our big event tonight--wish me luck, as the room is set for 270 people.  YIKES!


J. said...

One glance at those beignets and my mouth was drooling... yum!
I love New Orleans, but I haven't been there in over a decade. I MUST change that soon!
Good luck tonight! <3

April said...

Good luck!!

passport in my pocket said...

Wait - you went to Tulane? I didn't know that! Glad you're having fun in NOLA :) Love beignets. Yummy.

Jude said...

MmmmMmmm...beignets and bottomless daquiries...I loved this peek into another part of the planet! Have a terrific time tonight!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

How fun! I'd love to visit NO one day. My fav band usually does a HUGe concert there every two years (I'm talking people come from all over the world) but last year they changed it to Vegas. It was bittersweet becuase I actually got to go to the show, but I wish I'd gotten to go in NO :(

Enjoy your trip!

Faiza said...

you really know how to make all 24 hours in a day count! i love seeing new orleans through your eyes and hearing about the special memories you have there.

heather yalin said...

Best of luck, dear dear Claire! You are amazing, and looks like you are having a whirlwind amazing time! Love!

FourJedis said...

Good luck and have fun! I'm amazing you have had a chance to blog in your short visit! :)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Sounds like you are having a wonderful and wow, fitting SO much in. Good for you. Look forward to more posts. My daughter only spent her freshman year there (Loyola) but she sure loved it.

Micaela said...

yes, why the hell wasn't i with you on this trip!?!?! Big Ass Beers?! Brew Dat? lord, i should have been with you! :)

you have been on my mind all evening... i just KNWO the event went fabulous but i know how can it not be nerve wracking with that many people and with such a prestigious panel. I can't wait to hear how it goes!

your beginning made me laugh ;) oh claire, how i love you so!


Krystal said...

You are making me want to visit there real bad with all of your adventures! (I've never been!)

Diana Mieczan said...

Wow..sounds like you are having a time of your life! Good for you,sweetie
Kisses and enjoy

Ps: I am hosting a ban.do headband GIVEAWAY today! Please, join in!
(its really adorable)

Jude said...

Hi Claire, thanks for your comment! I'm so sorry about my Follow button, my computer is broken and I can't get it to work (I also can't follow others, grr!) - but I'll be seeing the computer doctor soon :) Hope you're having a wonderful time!

~KS said...

I was in NOLA almost 15 years ago... I so very much want to go back. Especially after seeing all these pics...

this free bird said...

Claire you are having one big adventure, my dear! So great to hear from you. You've been on my mind.


Ninjagaiden78 said...

New Orleans looks very nice. I def want to go.


Dee Stephens said...

Just realized you are from Lousiana too? I grew up in Baton Rouge and went to LSU.!
Love me some Columns Hotel!