The French quarter by day and night

I see why people come to new Orleans in October. The weather is glorious and there is more of the same to come. As advertised, our hotel, the historic Frenchmen hotel is funky. The best feature is the courtyard where I am sitting now, beside a tiny pool (I forgot my suit) and hot tub bordered tightly by two-story wood frame buildings with balcony catwalks,painted pink with blue trim. Hard not to yell “steella” from the balcony. This is the best part about the hotel…plus the price $169 for our loft with doublebed and sofabed. The sofabed is the worst part…the mattress feels more like a web of wire springs. I put the cushions atop it, which helped. The location is good and not. Perfect for visiting the music clubs along Frenchman street but as I feared, pretty noisy. Even with ear plugs I could hear the faint sound of horns, but hey, it’s new Orleans. Some partiers even gathered around 3 a.m….on a Monday morning no less. You have to admire their energy and party hearty spirit.

Last night we did the obligatory walk down bourbon street which was particularly rowdy thanks to a saints game. We far prefer Royal and Chartes streets, with their elegant balconied buildings and antique shops and galleries. The city is a visual feast. We had coffee at a nearby bohemain coffee house that seemed to be a local favorite , Envie, after having the obligatory chicory coffee and beignets at cafe du monde last night. We wandered through the flea market, discovered the French farmers market was closed due to a water problem (lots of repairs going on here, mainly the roads. Not sure if it’s Katrina related.) we also visited st. Louis cemetery #1′ where Russ was excited to find the above ground tomb of a legendary chess master, paul Morphy. We tried to eat at Luizza’s by the tracks, but it was closed due to a power outrage so we had gumbo,and po-boys at another famous old neighborhood spot in mid city, Mandinas, which was very good with lots of character. There is a plaque about 12 feet from the ground showing how high the floodwaters of Katrina rose. Glad it survived. We took the canal streetcar bAck which was fun. It suddenly stopped midway and we had to transfer to a city bus due to track construction.

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