New Orleans is a great city to visit. Recently, a friend told me she and her husband were thinking of visiting there, and asked for my opinion. That turned into…this post. I’m sure many of you have never been to New Orleans, and when you think of it, you think of Hurricane Katrina. It has been several years since that devastating natural disaster almost wiped the city off the map, but New Orleans is resilient.
Where to go, if you go? Well, first off, I think you should visit Annunciation Mission and offer to help them out in some way. This is a church/mission where busloads of Christians stay while coming to New Orleans (aka NOLA) to “do missionary work,” which involves re-building homes and more; it helps that the Salvation Army HQ is directly across the street. These two organizations work in tandem to accomplish many projects. The website to visit is www.annunciationmission.org.
Next, make sure you take a ride on one of NOLA’s really old streetcars– these 175-year-old cars have old fashioned light bulbs for illumination, and old fashioned, open windows. You get to see a lot of New Orleans for a low price on this charming ride.
Of course you should visit the famous French Quarter. This is where “heaven and hell have a block party,” according to my friend Corey Nieman. You’ll find souvenir stores, bars and restaurants, and live music on nearly every corner. My favorite band you should seek out is Tuba Skinny. Their lead singer, Erika, is amazing!
Near the French Quarter, in downtown NOLA, visit the Palace Cafe, a beautiful restaurant, and order their catfish. Or walk over to Cafe DuMonde, and get coffee and beignets (fried dough) in a semi-outdoors cafe where you’ll be among many tourists and a few locals. Nearby is St. Louis Cathedral, which is bathed in light at night, and interestingly surrounded with real life voodoo priests and soothsayers offering to tell your fortune, for a price, of course.
Finally, you should visit the Lower Ninth Ward to see what happened there– most of the neighborhood is gone, replaced by tall weeds and grasses. There are some new-fangled homes on stilts built by Brad Pitt and his supporters, and Fats Domino’s house is worth a picture.
If you can think of any other things people should see in NOLA, post as comments!