- New Orleans Love
Once upon a tme.. A very long time, when I was a little girl… I was dreaming about going to Louisiana…
The Mississipi with those white boats, the colonial houses, Lincoln, the jazz and Tom Sawyer…
Sooo many years later, I realized one of my dream…. It’s done, I made it !
So ?… Happy ?… Was it the way I expected ? What to say abut New Orleans ?
That it’s the birth place of jazz, capital of cooking in the US, colorful houses….
Everybody knows that… But New Orleans is a lot more than that.
Called ‘The Big Easy’ or ‘Nola’ for those who know her intimately, New Orleans is above all, a big mix. A cultural mix, American, Spanish, French, African… and those mixes make beautiful people.
People are genuine and say hello when you pass them in the street, the food is a feast, messy, the kind of food that you eat with your fingers and makes you wanting some more. No fuss, just pleasure.
I stayed at ‘Madame Isabelle’s house’ which is a charming hostel with the architectural characteristics of the New Orleans’ houses. The name made me think about …. yes, a whorehouse… Actually there was a lot in New Orleans till 1917 in Storyville (the red-light district), nowadays only a few remnants remains.
I don’t really know what it was before and it’s not important, it’s old and pretty, from 1831, with a garden at the back, a rococo living room and this family atmosphere that makes you feel at home. https://www.facebook.com/misabellenola/
New Orleans is also known for its Mardi Gras and the ‘Southern Decadence festival’ on the first week-end of September.
If you want to party hard, no need to wait for the festivals, they party 24/7, all year long, some bars never close and it can be wild.
Jazz is absolutely everywhere, in the streets, in shops… It’s like the soul of Louis Armstrong hangs above your head all the time.
The best bands I saw, perform on Jackson square and Bourbon street, no need to go in bars, spend money and get drunk to be transported. In New Orleans, heartbeats and goosebumps are free.
I learnt more about their voodoo beliefs while there and on tour with a guide from ‘Le Monde Creole’ which I chose carefully according to their price and what they could offer. For 25 dollars i had a 3 hours tour with a fascinating lady who lives in New Orleans for 50 years. Locked doors opened, we went through history about white, black people, free, enslaved, while walking on hidden courtyard. http://www.mondecreole.com/
Go to the church on Sunday morning and cry when they sing, go to ‘Coops place’ on Sunday afternoon when they watch the game and eat at the counter some creole prawns, eat beignet full of icing sugar at the famous ‘Cafe du Monde’, try the gumbo, pô boy and drink a hot buttered rum, or a few… Difficult to get the recipe, but it’s something like a butter paste with spices (cinnamon, cloves, orange zests..) that they add to hot water, brown sugar and rum. It’s a delightfull delight.
History is long, complicated and heavy in Louisiana that’s probably why people are so happy. They dance, they eat and drink, but that’s what life is all about, no ? That’s why New Orelans and I get on so well.