Sunday, August 29, 2010
Diary of An American Shopper - New Orleans Edition
Diary of an American Shooper - New Orleans Edition
New Orleans has always intrigued me. How could it not? It's a city with so much history. It invented a style of architecture, a style of music and a style of food. To me that's up there with the big boys - New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. I had always wanted to visit the city - I remember back in high school while working on our spring musical and bored with rehearsing, I tried to convince a friend of mine to drive with me down to Mardi Gras. He refused. So I waited.
Last summer, we finally got to visit and I wasn't disappointed at all. New Orleans is one of those cities that keeps it's past fresh within it. I felt the same thing when I visited London for the first time. It made sense to me that this was the city that spawned Charles Dickens, Jack the Ripper, the Clash, Alfred Hitchcock and Ian Fleming . New Orleans' history made sense to me too. This city housed Truman Capote, Anne Rice, Stephen Ambrose, John Besh, William Faulkner, Lee Harvey Oswald, Louis Armstrong, Wynton Marsalis and James Booker just to name a few -for a full list visit. There is this overwhelming vibe of "cool" that hangs in the air. The balconies drip with the ghosts of culture. It seems that this city is built upon remembering it's history. One legend leaning on another to bring us to today.
If you get the chance to visit this city, you won't be disappointed (word of advice - try to avoid it in the summer if you aren't good with the heat). Listen to some music, sample some pralines, eat some beignets and have some chicory. Take home a piece of art to remember this great city. I'm sure you'll find it as welcoming as I did.
There are local candy artisans, coffee roasters, musicians, painters and writers all selling treasures for you to take home. I found an awesome painted panel for my friend. I found it right off of Jackson square in the French Quarter. We turned the corner and there were a bunch of Jazz musicians singing and selling their cd - a great gift for jack. We sent home pralines from Southern Candy Makers. And of course we sampled some beignets and chicory at Cafe Du Monde.
And who can forget this is the land of Tabasco. We also found an amazing autograph store called Vintage 429. It was amazing. They had autographs from presidents ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Obama. They had a flag signed by all the Apollo astronauts, not to mention the countless celebrity and sports stars. There were so many autographs they were running out of room.
It's heartbreaking that this city and region keeps getting pummeled with hardship after hardship. It doesn't seem fair. Don't let the history and culture fade, visit this region. Support the people of New Orleans. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.