The Big Easy — New Orleans, Louisanna

“Way down yonder in New Orleans; that’s the land of dreamy dreams. There’s a Garden of Eden, you know what I mean.”  If you don’t know the lyrics of this song, then it’s time you head on down to The Big Easy and experience it for yourself.

Bourbon Street

Anything can happen on Bourbon Street

New Orleans is called The Big Easy for a very good reason.  In a 1986 film staring Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin and John Goodman, was shot in New Orleans.  Even though the film centered around a murder investigation, the craw fish, music, jazz, good looking women and slow pace of the town lent an easy-going life style that captured an adult audience.   The city of New Orleans and its atmospherics function as a protagonist in the film. This is evident from the beginning of the film: The opening is an aerial shot of the New Orleans bayou and the cajun band Beausoleil plays “Zydeco Gris Gris” on the soundtrack (title sequence).

 

Commander's Palace

Commander’s Palace

The food is wonderful in New Orleans, especially if you like it spicy.  Tonight, this picture is taken at the Commander’s Palace.  Their wait staff makes other high-end restaurants look  bad.  Each table has two sets of servers, in black tie and white shirts.  Commander’s Palace is a classy place with top quality food and service.   This party of friends, says, yes, definitely, yes, they would go back again – it was so impressive.

Right across the street from Commander’s Palace, you can stop in at Lafayette Cemetery.   It’s not every day you see tombs above the ground. Because the water table in New Orleans is so high, people are not interred under ground.

Lafayette Cemetery,  across the street from Commander's Palace

Lafayette Cemetery, across the street from Commander’s Palace

 

Peaceful and quiet

Peaceful and quiet at Lafayette Cemetery

We did a lot of walking, checking out the sites, getting down and dirty with the locals, visiting Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, the River Walk, Cafe Dumonde, the museum and a host of other beautiful places.

Jackson Square with St. Louis Basilica in the background

Jackson Square with church of St. Louis Basilica in the background

In and around Jackson Square, local artists and craft dealers set up to sell their wares.  People are friendly and will converse with you in several languages, and explain their art.  It’s colorful, interesting, and definitely worth the taxi ride.  Near Jackson Square in the famous Cafe Dumonde, renowned for their sugar treat of beignet and cafe ole.  Beignets are fried dough with white power sugar on top, so order a plate of six; they just slide down your throat.  Delicious!

You know you’re in New Orleans when a bride and groom comes strutting down the block with a band playing horns in the background.  People are having fun.  And if you want to join in, they’re waiting for you on every street corner in New Orleans.

Wear comfortable shoes.  Try to do all of your sightseeing in the daytime hours.  Watch your purse and wallets, be street smart, go back to your hotel after dark.

Photos: Patricia Florio

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