The first thing you notice on arrival at the airport are signs in French – along with English and Spanish of course! Other than that, the airport is all but dead and doesn’t quite live up to the reputation of the man it is named after – the Reverend Satchmo!
Probably your best introduction to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana or NOLA for short, is to hit its most famous Bourbon St as soon as you get there. And once you’ve done so, you’ll probably have little reason to return there, save for the cheap alcohol and a never ending selection of strip clubs – if that’s your kind of thing!
Bourbon St is to New Orleans what Times Sq is to the Big Apple – the same amount of neon and tourists, minus the skyscrapers. What sets Bourbon St apart though is not just the availability of cheap alcohol but also the fact that it is perfectly alright to drink out in the street – a pleasant change when you’re coming from over regulated NYC!
Pat O’Brien’s on Bourbon, an old pub with a lively courtyard, is credited with the ‘Hurricane’ – one of two trademark drinks from this city. The other being the ‘Hand Grenade’, which, from experience, I would not recommend to anyone looking for a long night of drinking! End with it, if you must, but don’t make the mistake of starting with one!
Far from the madding crowd and a better place to watch them from are one of many balconies that are typical of this street and the neighbourhood it sits in. A lot of these belong to eating & drinking establishments, situated below in the same building, and others to home owners. Either way, they’re almost all available for rent during Mardi Gras!
Bourbon St is lined with scores of eateries, bars, karaoke rooms and jazz clubs – almost all of them catering to the white American tourist. If you must eat, drink or listen to music (the 3 things one does in NOLA) on Bourbon, then you really have to be selective about where you go. As far as eating goes, we lucked out with some fairly good ‘Jambalaya‘ at Remoulade which was to be our first meal in the city.