Author Topic: What to do in New Orleans  (Read 292 times)

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Offline lordxizor

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What to do in New Orleans
« on: March 13, 2016, 03:44:12 PM »
I'm going to be in New Orleans for a few days for a conference this week. I'll have the afternoon Tuesday, evenings Wednesday and Thursday and all day Friday until about 3:00 to to whatever I want. I'm planning on doing a bus tour for an overview of the city in a few hours to hit the main sights. What else should I do? There's not time for me to go too far from my hotel as I won't have a car. I'm staying right in the french quarter, so of course I'll check that out. Any suggestions for good restaurants or jazz clubs in the french quarter?

Offline millahh

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2016, 05:01:25 PM »
Here's a list I did up for a friend a couple of years ago:

Quote
Here's that list.  We were there last month for our ten-year anniversary of having met (we met at the Tropical Isle, at the corner of Bourbon and Orleans).

The Praline Connection – Awesome soul food, a bit off the beaten path, on Frenchman right off of Esplanade (which is a sight to behold in and of itself).  Where we had the hogs head cheese, and what may be the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.  http://www.pralineconnection.com/

Emeril’s New Orleans – In the warehouse district.  Spectacular food, some of which is Creole/Cajun, some of which doesn’t fit as easily in a genre, but is just awesome.  Probably the best service I’ve ever had in a restaurant as well. Not too dressy… Jeans and a decent shirt are fine.  The buffalo duck wings were life-changing.  http://www.emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-new-orleans?

Mr. B’s Bistro – It’s part of the Brennan empire, on Royal (a block off Bourbon).  We had brunch here, and were impressed enough that we bought their cookbook. http://www.mrbsbistro.com/

Le Bayou – We wound up eating here a couple of times.  Probably the best jambalaya I’ve ever had (more of a dirty rice base than a tomato base), and perhaps the best muffaletta as well.  They have a nice balcony on which you can eat, that looks out over the street.  They also have fried cheesecake (yes, you read that correctly).  http://lebayourestaurant.com/

Desire Oyster Bar – Two words:  turtle soup.  The rest of the food is awesome as well.  Located on Bourbon. http://www.sonesta.com/RoyalNewOrleans/index.cfm?fa=restaurant5.home

Jimmy J’s – Seems like a little bit of a dive, but it’s go character.  Great food after a rough night on the town…and it’s right across Chartres from the Marriott!  Best pancakes Julie has ever had.  http://jimmyjscafe.com/

Non-restaurant:

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum – Small museum of 19th century medicine…a must for chemistry types.  Well worth the $5, and a bit disturbing (especially the old surgical instruments).  On Chartres, a few blocks from Jackson Square.  http://www.pharmacymuseum.org/  Only seems to be open 10-2, and is closed Monday, I believe.

French Market – Down by the river, it’s part farmers market, part flea market, and really has to be experienced.  Great place to grab some fresh-grilled alligator on a stick.

Jackson Square – Probably the most known spot in the French Quarter.  Lots of artists have their stuff out here on the weekend, if you’re looking to do any art shopping/browsing.  Jazz bands tend to be around as well.

Audubon Aquarium – very good aquarium, you can pet/feed stingrays.  You can get combo tickets for the zoo and insectarium as well.
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Offline millahh

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2016, 05:02:56 PM »
I should point out that I only knew about Praline Connection from bosk1 and TempusVox.

Also, get some absinthe...I actually haven't been to the Olde Absinthe House, but Pirate's Corner is awesome.
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Online Stadler

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 08:37:21 AM »
It's been a while, but I used to go to the French Quarter regularly, and even got married there.   

Olde Absinthe House is only good because it "kinda" looks like the Led Zeppelin cover "In Through The Out Door".

I wouldn't go all the way to Emeril's, I would go to "NOLA", his restaurant in the Quarter.

I would ABSOLUTELY go to the ACME Oyster House, sit at the oyster bar, and have a dozen or two.

You need a coffee ("Café au lait") and a beignet at Café du Monde.   

I can't remember the name of the place, but there's a burger place around the corner from Pat O'Brien's that has a chili cheeseburger that is phenomenal; you need a knife and fork.

And you have to pee in the Mississippi to say you did. 

Offline TempusVox

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 09:01:59 AM »
Take a cemetery tour. There are several that target St. Louis Cemetery. I've been there many times and it's been the inspiration for a few of my books. I was once caught in a massive thunderstorm there and crawled inside one of the unsealed vaults. I can't say it was totally empty because it wasn't really. In New Orleans, after one year and one day, you can share the tomb with another family member. During the extremely hot, and humid summer's there, tombs will reach 300 or so degrees round the clock. When a body spends a full summer in the vault what is left is some rotting wood, bones and ashes. The wood is disposed of and the bones and ashes are brushed to the back of the tomb with a push broom where there is a space of a few inches. The remains drop to the bottom space under the vaults, and the vault is ready to receive the next body. It looked relatively remains free when I crawled in feet first, and whomever had rested there before me didn't seem to mind. I waited out the downpour for about ten minutes before this feeling that regardless, if a family member of someone showed up and saw me they'd probably get pissed; not to mention I was really being disrespectful without meaning too, and at the least inconsiderate. So with extreme guilt, I crawled out and sloshed my way back to my hotel. The soaking my penance.

Someone told me they stopped the tours for a little while, but some companies now do them again.

And as I have mentioned here a few times, a must stop is a visit to Praline Connection. Off the beaten path, but the BEST in my opinion.

The aquarium is very nice too.

I love NOLA. It's history is rich, and amazing. Before Katrina we nearly bought a winter home there.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 01:53:19 PM »
Bringing this thread back as me and Mrs Cool Chris will be going to MSY next month. We planned this trip before we found out she was pregnant, which will limit her alcohol consumption (which, like mine, was anticipated to be significant), and her eating (likewise), if the nausea doesn't go away by then. So, one of us will come back 5 pounds heavier at least.
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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 02:33:41 PM »
Bringing this thread back as me and Mrs Cool Chris will be going to MSY next month. We planned this trip before we found out she was pregnant, which will limit her alcohol consumption (which, like mine, was anticipated to be significant), and her eating (likewise), if the nausea doesn't go away by then. So, one of us will come back 5 pounds heavier at least.

I'll repeat:

ACME Oyster House - the roasted oysters are phe-no-men-al. 
There's an Italian place called "Irene's" that's worth the trip.   Find that cheeseburger place.  NOLA. 

Online rumborak

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 03:02:37 PM »
Do NOT go to the Civil War museum. Unless you want to entertain yourself at seeing the "war of northern aggression" and not a single mention of slavery (but instead a picture of a black Confederate regiment, because "they fought with us against the aggression!")

EDIT: Just looked, maybe they cleaned it up since I was there 5 years ago. Reviews of the place were nasty back then, and rightly so.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 03:10:10 PM by rumborak »
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2017, 03:05:20 PM »
When I was in New Orleans a year ago I stayed right in the French Quarter. I spent hours every evening wandering around watching street performers, people watching, and eating beignets. It never ceased to be amusing. I also really enjoyed the WWII museum, though I was in a bit of a rush when I was there and didn't get to see it all. There was also a hop on and off as you please bus tour thing that was really convenient. There was a tour guide narrating with 20 or so stops at places to get off and see things. it included a walking tour of the garden district and a cemetery. Again, I was rushed and didn't get to see everything I wanted, but it was still worth it. I didn't have a car, so I didn't really get to do anything outside of the French Quarter or that bus tour, so I'd love to go back and see more.

Online hefdaddy42

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2017, 09:04:32 AM »
I went when I was 19.  It was awesome.  I don't remember all the restaurants we visited, but it was collectively some of the best food I've ever eaten.

The Cafe du Monde was awesome.  We also had a good time at Pat O'Brien's, but that is really touristy.

We did a cemetery tour, that was really cool.

Also, lots of great music and walk-around sightseeing.  The hookers were very friendly.

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Online rumborak

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 11:14:05 AM »
The hookers were very friendly.

That was my experience as well. I went on Bourbon Street in the middle of the week, all alone, and I ended up chatting for a long time with one of the dancers.

Also, NOLA was the only time I've ever seen a guy dance on the bar, gyrating his junk in plain sight. Gotta tell you, you can't not look.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 11:41:29 AM »
Thanks everyone.

Acme Oyster House is on our list, despite neither of us caring much for oysters. I have seen it on a couple TV shows.

I don't generally care for guided tours, and am not "touristy" by nature. But this is one place where I am looking forward to doing "touristy" things.

Most of my knowledge of MSY comes from Gabriel Knight, so I will probably try to hit as many places from the game as I can /geek

Interesting about the hookers....errrr I mean dancers, according to rumborak  ;)
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Offline bosk1

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2017, 12:09:31 PM »
I don't generally care for guided tours, and am not "touristy" by nature. But this is one place where I am looking forward to doing "touristy" things.

I generally agree with you.  But my wife and I did a bus tour of NOLA and a night bus tour of D.C., and both were fantastic.  The cool thing about the one in NOLA is that we passed by things that we had driven past or were likely to drive past without even really noticing, but the bus tour guide explained the historical or cultural significance of those things and made me realize I was seeing something of value I otherwise would have had no clue about.  And when driving through the areas hit by Katrina, for example, he was able to explain that there was a LOT more to what we were seeing than "oh look, another condemned water-damaged house." 
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2017, 04:45:34 PM »
I should point out that I only knew about Praline Connection from bosk1 and TempusVox.

Also, get some absinthe...I actually haven't been to the Olde Absinthe House, but Pirate's Corner is awesome.

Absinthe is great. I had some when I was in Salem a few years back.

New Orleans is at the top of my list of places to go. It's even above Italy so you can imagine the desire I have to explore New Orleans.

Offline CrimsonSunrise

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2017, 07:23:08 PM »
The National WW2 Museum was AWESOME!

Offline cfmoran13

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2017, 09:15:03 AM »
The National WW2 Museum was AWESOME!
I second this.  They have a separate wing for the European stage and the Pacific stage.  I went to the European stage since my grandfather was at Normandy.  Very cool place.

Mother's!  I had my first jumbalaya there.  Awesome stuff!

I was there during the last Mardi Gras before Katrina.  I'm glad I got to go.  But, unless I'm going for a jazz festival, I don't see myself ever going again.  Everyone's behaviour made me feel bad for the state of humanity.

Offline bosk1

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Re: What to do in New Orleans
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2017, 09:24:09 AM »
Surprised I don't see Willie Mae's listed.  http://www.williemaesnola.com/  The banner when you open the site says "America's Best Fried Chicken."  I can't disagree.  I've never had anything like it.  I know Millahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh said the same thing about the fried chicken at The Praline Connection.  I cannot recommend The Praline Connection highly enough.  Everything we had there was fantastic, including my personal standout: the fried catfish (and I generally do NOT like catfish, but my wife wanted to try it).  And I did not try the fried chicken there (I forget what I ultimately ordered).  But it is hard to imagine anything beating Willie Mae's.  Unless you just flat out do not like fried chicken, if you visit NOLA and do not stop in, you are doing yourself a grave disservice.
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