Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Orleans

A business trip sent me to New Orleans last week. I was stuck in the hotel's conference rooms during most of the day, but I did have the chance to get out during the evenings. On Wednesday and Thursday night, I went back to the hotel after dinner to catch up on some work. Friday night, I went to listen to some music after dinner. At first we went to a club on Frenchman street called d.b.a. to hear Hot Club of New Orleans. They played a mix of traditional, fusion, and gypsy jazz. When their set ended, we didn't want to hang around for another hour for the next band to set up, so headed across the street. Hint about d.b.a. - the cheap wine is really really cheap. One taste and I knew it was a hangover in a glass. I couldn't even finish it because it was so bad.

The bar across the street (The Spotted Cat) had a great blues band with lots of sax. It was a tiny little dive bar, but the music was fun and the crowd was just chillin to the tunes. We stuck around for an hour until the band's set ended. My smoke allergies kicked in, and it was back to the hotel for me. (I also had to work all day Saturday.)

On Saturday night we wanted to see the Mardi Gras parade by the Krewe du Vieux. It was going to head along Royal and then turn up Bienville through the French Quarter.

We decided to eat at Arnaud's since the parade would go right past the restaurant. We reserved a table in the section of the restaurant with live jazz; it was quite nice. We had a table next to the Bourbon Street window, so we got to watch all the crazies, drunks, and bums walk past. It made for very interesting people watching.

After dinner, we waited at the corner of Bienville and Burbon for about an hour, but the parade still hadn't arrived. We decided to head down to Royal, and got there just as the parade was passing by.
This was a smaller parade than those that will come next weekend, but it was fun and laid back. After depriving some children of beads, we headed further down the road so we could snatch up beads guilt free. It was a lot of fun!

New Orleans still isn't fully up and running, but everyone there was extremely friendly. The staff at restaurants, shops, and the hotel repeatedly thanked everyone for coming back to New Orleans and supporting their economy. If you are thinking about heading down that way, please go. They can use the tourism!