Finding My Way Around NEW ORLEANS (Part 1)

So I recently took a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana and I have so much to tell you guys about it! I’m going to try my hardest to find the right words to adequately describe my experiences while I was there. It’s not easy explaining how ALL OF YOUR SENSES can come alive just by being in one location. The things I got to do, see, and taste while in NOLA were beyond amazing! The art, history, culture, music, food, and overall vibe of New Orleans should be experienced at least once in your lifetime!

First off, I have to tell you how I was somewhat hesitant about booking my trip for the post Mardi Gras season. I wasn’t sure if there would be anything to do during my stay there, but I was so wrong! I had such a great time! Who knew there would be so much to do and so much fun to be had no matter when you go to New Orleans?!

As soon as the plane landed, I left the airport and went straight to a volunteer opportunity I already had set up (I’ll talk more about that in a later post). My volunteer site was a few blocks away from the casino, so I decided I just had to go there next! I mean, why not? Well, I didn’t stay long because I lost $25 in a penny slot machine! I couldn’t believe it. I know it’s only $25, but I was so emotional! But, I guess I should’ve known better; the house always wins, right? Oh well… I then took my little hurt feelings and left the casino quick, fast, and in a hurry! Fortunately for me, just a short walk down the street, I found my happiness again in a plate of warm, snowy powdered sugar on top of warm pillowy dough, world-famous, Café du Monde beignets. They were sooooo DELICIOUS!

I left Café du Monde and continued my tour around the French Market then onto Jackson Square. That’s where you’ll find the St. Louis Cathedral, museums, shops, restaurants, and all the street performers you can stand to watch. There were musicians, magicians, caricaturists, jugglers, and even a few palm readers! This is where I started most of my days. I knew that even if I didn’t have anything planned for the day, there would always be something going on there. One of the great things about Jackson Square is that it’s in a central location. All the side streets along the Square allow for easy access to the riverfront (Mississippi River) and the rest of the French Quarter, where there’s some form of entertainment everywhere you turn.

I quickly realized that in the French Quarter, everybody is an artist and every street corner is a stage. There was beautiful artwork all around and music blasting from every direction. The music is what captivated me the most. There were so many genres, styles, and instruments being played. I heard great music from amazing drummers, trumpeters, saxophonists, violinists, singers,  Have you ever seen/heard an African bass harp? Yup, there was one of those too (check out the Buku Broux videos below)!

There’s something so enchanting about the music you hear in the French Quarter. It’s live. It’s in your face. You don’t just hear it, but you feel it. It moves you and drives that crazy, mesmerizing energy you find on Bourbon St., Royal St., and Jackson Square. Whatever you like: jazz, blues, classical, rap, rock, funk, etc, you’ll find it somewhere in the French Quarter.

Overall, I had a great time in New Orleans. The food, music, and art were exceptional! I absolutely enjoyed my time there experiencing the sights and sounds of a place so rich in culture and history. Take a look and take a listen at some of what I witnessed while in NOLA. Hope you enjoy and come back soon for more of what I got to do and see in New Orleans, Louisiana. As usual, happy travels!

Buku Broux was hands down my most favorite French Quarter band. Their music is mind-blowingly good! Check them out:

Buku Broux
Louis Armstrong Park
Louis Armstrong Park
Jackson Square
St. Louis Cathedral
Riverwalk, Mississippi River Bridge
Greenwood Cemetery
Greenwood Cemetery

I’m not too sure of this duo’s name, but they were good too!

This band performed at the Krazy Korner on Bourban St.

Tanya Huang. Such an amazing violinist:

-Christina

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