To be honest, I really wasn't sure if there was room in my heart for another city. I mean I knew I would enjoy myself, and I was prepping by reading the menus of every restaurant I had logged in an excel sheet (salivating tremendously, and rightly so). But really? Could anything measure up to San Francisco? To New York? Paris? Florence? I had my doubts. But much to my surprise this city drew me in and I left feeling intoxicated. And not by the many pints of beer and cocktails I may have consumed while ambling down streets. And amble we did. I think I managed to take a photo of every single building in New Orleans, because honestly I have never been to a city with such grand architecture. Each house seemed like it harbored ancient secrets and perhaps a ghost or two.
New Orleans is by no means pristine. It's rough and gritty, and the glare of Bourbon Street is much like a poke in the eye compared to other areas that feel real and maybe a little bit raw, but beautiful nonetheless. The landscape surprised me most perhaps because having grown up in Northern California I feel a sort of allegiance to redwoods and cold, blue oceans. Yet here, the hanging, moss covered trees and the quiet, stillness of the bayou stirred something inside me.
Here are a few places I can definitely recommend if you ever decide to go (you should).
Cane and Table. Really, really good cocktails.
Courtyard Brewery. An amazing selection of beers. The owner thought I was under 21, so he gets an obligatory shout out. Pretty much made my year.
Peche Seafood Restaurant. Don't ask questions. Just go here and order a glass of the Sancerre and the Louisiana Shrimp Roll, then thank me later.
Cochon Butcher. BBQ Pork Sandwich + Mac n Cheese. Go now.
Eat New Orleans. I have dreams about their baked eggs floating in butter, cream and herbs, all mopped up with a buttery warm biscuit.....I can't talk about it anymore.
I by no means feel like we spent enough time here. I'd like to come back, stay longer, eat and drink more (if that is even possible) and explore more of the surrounding areas. I'm struggling to define New Orleans well, so I'll take a line from one of my favorite bloggers, Joy the Baker. She said: "New Orleans is like living in a sauna with really pretty architecture and ghosts and cocktails and donuts." It's pretty wonderful.
Photos by Alexa Evans