Saturday, November 11, 2006

I Heart New Orleans

I am officially in love with New Orleans. This place is amazing. The food alone could be the subject of a 300 page novel. My dear lord do they know how to cook food in this town. Every meal I’ve had has been a culinary treat. And it’s not just the taste, but the presentation as well. These people love food, and it is very clear in their cooking of it. I, as it turns out, love food as well. And it is very clear in my eating of it this week.

When I came here in the summer I wasn’t a huge fan of New Orleans, because we were staying on Bourbon Street. And Bourbon Street, as you might have heard, is a bit of a drunken frat boy. Not really my type of street. The funny thing about Bourbon is that everyone on it instantly becomes a drunken frat boy, whether or not they are actually a frat boy, or if they are actually a 85 year old woman with a cane. Everyone is drunk and stupid. Is really is a beautiful representation of our fine country.

But this time we are staying in a cute little neighborhood outside of the French Quarter. It’s where real people live, instead of the people who come here to be drunken frat boys. A few blocks down there is a street called Frenchman’s where you can find the locals hanging out. And you can hear some of the best music you’ve ever heard. Because it is music the way it is supposed to be. Musicians who just love playing and people who just love music. It’s awesome. Here is a video I took last night in a bar called The Spotted Cat. The Spotted Cat still has fake spider webs in the window from Halloween (maybe from Halloween in 1960) as well as Christmas lights. I knew right away that I was going to enjoy this cat.

Look at the people dancing in this place, I felt like I was in a speakeasy. I think the thing that is so awesome is that you will never find any bar in the world where you see the eclectic mix of people that I saw in this place. There were young kids all the way up to a random 50 year old woman in a long sequins-ed dress. And they all just moved to the music and drank their beer.

At one point a tall black woman in a red dress stepped up on stage and just started belting out a song. No microphone, just her voice, rising above the jazz and the dancers and the smoke. It all felt like art in motion.

I really like New Orleans.

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