If you are traveling in Louisiana, please visit New Orleans. Even if people in Shreveport turn up their noses at any plan to spend time in that “dirty city.” Those Shreveport people are jealous, I swear, so don’t pay much attention to what they say about New Orleans.
On my first trip to New Orleans, an erstwhile looking man, who smelled like he had a bit too much to drink, confided in me that he had discovered a dragon in the nearby bushes and invited me to come see for myself. I didn’t take him up on the offer. Maybe I keep going back to New Orleans to see if I can spot my own dragon there.
Gritty enough to be intriguing. Quirky enough to be fun. Historical enough to educational. New Orleans (Nahw’-lins in the local parlance) has given me a mishmash of memorable moments:
- Jello shots on Bourbon Street
- Having my palm read in a back room
- Alligator heads of so many sizes on a shelf
- Music on tap, spilling outside the doorways
- Artwork designs in the rod iron railings
- Roasted alligator on a stick
- Creaky beds in the Garden District hostel
- Chicory coffee and beignets at outdoor tables
- Walking tours and ghost stories
In a fit of adventure one night, my two companions and I climbed over a gate into the city center’s historic cemetery. As I’m not athletic, they had to push and pull to get me over and in. Once inside, we found ourselves tramping about raised stone coffins, a great spot for swapping ghost stories. Perhaps that is what the small group of men huddled in the back corner were doing. With obvious vehemence, they started toward us so we turned away. They kept coming even faster! So we ran. On the way out, I was the first one up and over the fence! But they were quickly over the gate too. We ran “on red alert” through some deserted blocks until we came to a big truck with “Bob Dylan” written in big letters on its side. A few burley men were loading the truck with large containers. At that point, our pursuers seemed to lose interest. We slowed to a fast walk, started to breathe and fell into nervous laughter. Neither companion ever mentioned my sudden burst of agility. I can’t explain it.
“What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in New Orleans, goes home with you.”-— Laurell K. Hamilton
“New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” ― Mark Twain
Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think. –TMLL