New Orleans, a feast for the senses

22 12 2012

This is part of a bloghop created by #GenFab blogger Lori Lavender Luz called A Perfect Moment. Lori’s perfect moment, like mine was in New Orleans. You can click on this link to go to her story and other perfect moments.

NO1

I only live 90 miles away, but New Orleans is a world apart. Every time I visit, I love it more. I’ve never been there during Christmas. My sweetie and I just spent the weekend savoring it all. I discovered Christmas in this old city has it’s own feel; it’s not Mardi Gras or festival time or it’s-so-hot-I-can’t-breathe-I-must-find-a-cold-bar-summertime. It’s beautiful and sparkly, people aren’t in a hurry, there’s more children with their families in the grand hotels all dressed up in their holiday best. There’s the odd mix of evergreen and palm trees and the illusion in hotel lobbies that it’s cold and wintery yet everyone is wearing short sleeves. The city feels more ancient at Christmas, maybe it’s the carolers dressed in vintage clothes sitting in the bars taking a break from singing their carols. Or maybe it’s the old spirits of those who have walked it’s streets, have once again come back for a visit.

I love the aromas of New Orleans
New Orleans has it’s own smell that’s like no other city. It’s the wet, humid, tropical, heavy air mixed with french bread, coffee, frying foods, beignets, alcohol and car exhaust. You sense the decay and the decadence and the history. It fills your senses the moment you arrive. For me it breathes welcome back.

I love the sights and sounds of New Orleans
Car horns, people talking, laughing, arguing, but mostly I hear music and as the sound of one musician fades you hear another. A trio of men singing Temptations-style wearing matching suits and standing in the middle of the street; musicians playing instruments I’ve never seen; crowds dancing and clapping; young street people with matted hair making up for their lack of talent with their great enthusiasm.

I love the tastes of New Orleans
Almost immediately upon arrival, we go to have a drink at my favorite spot in the Quarter. The balcony at Muriel’s overlooking Jackson Square in the shadow of the Cathedral.  Muriel’s is a favorite place for a memorable meal; their crawfish and goat cheese crepes will remain a sense memory that stays with you for the rest of your life. But this is also a haunted restaurant. It was once a private home and the owner gambled it away in a poker game one night long, long ago. He came home and hung himself so the home wouldn’t be taken away from his widow. If you meander through the back hallway on the way to the balcony, you’ll see the table set every day with bread and wine for his ghost.

Great food is so much the heart and soul of this city. And whatever restaurant you stumble upon will quickly become your favorite until you stumble upon another. Even the bread and coffee are better here. Herbsaint is a little bistro that we’ve been hearing about. I love to watch cooking shows and am always intrigued by the food combinations that I never thought could be put together. The magic that occurs when tastes blend and marry in your mouth with the perfect pairing of wine.  We had one of their signature dishes Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg. I do not know how you can fry a poached egg with a crust and keep the yoke buttery. But they did it. When you cut that egg and it drizzles into the pasta, well, my eyes rolled back in my head, as I tasted total deliciousness.

A toast to New Orleans
When I win the lottery, I’ll buy a French Quarter home with a courtyard and a balcony. I’ll call to you from the street and invite you up for a drink, maybe a Pimm’s Cup or a Sazarac. And you’ll join me on the balcony and we’ll wish everyone below a Merry Christmas.

NO

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14 responses

22 12 2012
Aimee Troxclair Hansen

Pimm’s Cup! mmmmmm! I love New Orleans. Jenay has been more in her lifetime that most of my friends. I want her to grow up and know every inch of the city, good and bad.

22 12 2012
conniemcleod

Aimee, there’s tons of kid/family friendly things to do at Christmas. (Who knew?!)

23 12 2012
Fern DeVilliers

I’ve always, always, always wanted to go to New Orleans. For some reason, I’ve always felt a connection. Now, you have given me a bunch more reasons. 🙂

23 12 2012
conniemcleod

Call me when you get there, I’ll meet you for a drink!

23 12 2012
Ellen Dolgen

Thanks for a great post!

7 01 2013
conniemcleod

Ellen, sorry it took me so long to post your comment, it was stuck in a another folder.

26 12 2012
Lisa Abrams

My hubby and I are going today for a couple nights! Can’t wait

26 12 2012
conniemcleod

Lisa, it’s such a great getaway. Have a drink for me!

31 12 2012
Lori Lavender Luz

OK. Now I’ll have to go back again to visit some of your discoveries.

Thanks for joining in Perfect Moment Mondays!

1 01 2013
conniemcleod

Lori, I’m so glad you had a great time in my favorite city!

2 01 2013
Kathy

I am here via Perfect Moment Mondays and really enjoyed your post! I went to New Orleans once, back in December 1996. I look forward to returning someday and should bookmark your post, to remember some of your favorites places and things to do there. Thank you for sharing and happy new year!

2 01 2013
conniemcleod

Kathy, I’d be flattered to be bookmarked! Hope you make it back to NO soon. The French Quarter Festival is a really great time to visit.

7 01 2013
Addison Cooper

Sounds like so much fun! My wife and I are heading to NO for the first time ever, in a few months. Definitely looking forward to the food. I loved your phrase “decay and decandence.”

7 01 2013
conniemcleod

Addison, I hope you both love it. It is a city that is made for eating and drinking.

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