A fusion of food, travel and photography.

Heat and Steam in the Big Easy

Walking the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter, at any time of year, is a step back to a simpler time. Horse drawn carriages, wrought iron balconies and the waft of Creole cooking in the air conjures up images of lamp lighters and jazz musicians playing brass in the streets. During the summer, New Orleans is hot, humid and downright sticky. High ceilings and open windows were the air conditioning of generations past.

New Orleans Church Turret

Today’s NOLA, as it’s called, (New Orleans, LA) is a hybrid of ancient French Quarter architecture still intact, Louisiana culture and cutting edge gastronomy. Several award winning chefs and published cookbook authors call New Orleans home, and serve up amazing food to the locals and tourists alike. Hurricane Katrina may have caused devastating damage to the rural areas around the city, but nothing has damaged the reputation, quality or uniqueness of the food in New Orleans.

Bourbon Street Parade

Local seafood is king. Crawfish, oysters and shrimp are on practically every restaurant’s menu, and seafood gumbo is a signature dish of the city. Iconic restaurants such as Galatoires, Arnaud’s, Commander’s Palace and Acme Oyster House flourish amongst the younger generation’s Iron Chef and  James Beard award winners like August, Stella and Bayona. The mixture of very old and new, be it architecture, music or food, gives New Orleans a personality unlike that of any other city in the world.

New Orleans Cemetery

Be it during Mardi Gras or any other time of year, Bourbon Street is the focal point of the historic French Quarter. Cheap liquor, pedestrian only access and the “laissez les bon temps rouler” (let the good times roll) attitude brings a party to the streets every day of the year. Summertime adds an element of scantily clothed tourists who are prone to flash skin at other tourists for a cheap string of plastic beads tossed down from first-floor balconies overlooking the street.

New Orleans Headstones

New Orleans dates back to 1718 and has some amazing cemeteries. Since the entire city is technically below sea level, all New Orleanians are actually buried in crypts above ground. Although a little creepy, I wandered through a few burial grounds and captured some interesting images. I can’t wait for my next trip back, for some amazing food and plenty of spirits of another type.

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