Thursday, November 25, 2010

French Quarter & Tipitina's

Travelled by streetcar down Canal Street (same as San Francisco's cable car but much cheaper at $1.25) and visited the French Quarter yesterday. This is the oldest neighbourhood in New Orleans and it's a very touristy area. I had a delicious shrimp creole for lunch on Bourbon Street. I LOVE Bourbon Street - it's full of bars, restaurants and shops, and there are no dry zones so you're allowed to drink anywhere you like (in fact the whole of New Orleans is like that). I would love to be here during a festival, I just think it would be so much fun! Kerry and I spent most of the afternoon in the French Quarter, browsing in shops on both Bourbon and Royal streets. So many of them sell Mardi Gras beads and Voodoo dolls. I didn't buy anything.

Further north of the French Quarter is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans, the Saint Louis Cemetery #1. The cemeteries in New Orleans have always been tourist attractions - the above ground tombs make them unique from most others. We were told not to go on our own because the #1 cemetery is located next to a violent public housing project and muggings/assaults are common within the cemetery grounds. Kerry and I used common sense (i.e. we went together, we didn't have our purses on show) and we were fine. I thought the place was fascinating - I loved it! Many famous people are buried there (including Voodoo practictioner Marie Laveau).

Later that night we went to a bar called Tipitina's in uptown New Orleans. One of the girls in our hostel (Anna) was going there to see Anders Osborne (a rock/blues musician) and asked if Kerry and I wanted to come along. What a fun night!!! Anders and his band played some awesome southern rock for over two hours. Then, to top it all off, they invited a special guest to play guitar on a few songs...turned out to be Pepper Keenan!!! (he plays in the bands Corrosion of Conformity and Down). I love Down so I was stoked to see him up there. I was buzzing!!!!!!!!! After the show finished around 2am, Anna, Kerry and I went to a cafe for some beignet. Anna was driving back to Iowa that morning so she wanted to have some before she left (she'd been bragging about this dessert so I thought I'd try some too). Beignet is a deep fried dough covered in powdered sugar. Very yummy - a great way to end the night.

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