So, unsurprisingly, I absolutely adored New Orleans. So much so that I am now daydreaming about living there, even if just for a few months, so I can have more time to eat! drink! listen to jazz! gaze at the architecture!
As J said, the city has soul. It comes through in so many ways, and in our brief stay there we absorbed as much of it as we could.
The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer as we didn't arrive until almost 8pm. So really, it's Evening 1, and it consisted of:
The Sazerac Bar @ The Roosevelt Hotel
123 Baronne St
New Orleans, LA 70112
New Orleans is famed for its cocktails and we dove right in, taking a cab straight to the Sazerac Bar where we could down celebratory Ramos Gin Fizzes. Back in the day, they used to have a line of barmen who would each give the cocktail a hearty shake so that it was frothy and showy - now you can sit in elegant armchairs while waiters whisk drinks to your side and the dramatics are a bit more muted, but still - it is a perfectly made drink that makes you happy to be alive.
Also due to weird flight times, we'd had an afternoon lunch/dinner so weren't in need of real food, but as usual I couldn't resist trying at least one thing, so I settled on the dish called "Heirloom Tomato". The waiter noted that it wasn't exactly a salad, which was appreciated as what came out was amazingly done, but definitively NOT a salad.
Afterwards, we decided a walk through the French Quarter would be a good way of getting a tiny introduction to the city, so we followed Bourbon Street back towards our apartment.* Let's be clear, a lot of Bourbon Street is my idea of hell, but I was still glad to see it in all of its tawdry desperate glory. And there are still some gems to be found, one being Fritzel's (733 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA 70116) where we popped in to see a jazz band entertain a mixed crowd that was loving every note played.
* Speaking of our apartment, Air BnB was the best option for us by far since we needed two bedrooms. We stayed in the Muse Suite in the Treme neighborhood (picture at top of post). The owners were helpful and thoughtful and the apartment beat every luxury hotel I've ever stayed in (jacuzzi bath, amazing shower that could have fit four people inside, master bedroom and closets the size of my London flat, etc.) and it was within walking distance of the French Quarter and some damn good fried chicken. Highly recommend.