Sunday, May 5, 2013

I had the authentic Popeyes experience in New Orleans.

Y'all, I returned from New Orleans and managed to keep my dignity!  (If you don't count the fervor in which I feasted beignets.)  Besides, I didn't want to inflict another devastating tragedy on the city by flashing them just for some shitty jewelry.  

Despite having been born in Louisiana, I'd never been to New Orleans before. When an opportunity presented itself for a long weekend visit I figured why the fuck not?!  Spicy is obviously in my blood so a return to my homeland seems like an important life point or something like that I got a free hotel room okay.

It was a surprisingly easy eight hour drive made quicker by the Boston marathon bombing manhunt that captivated our attention for five hours.  Thanks, NPR.  

We did break for some barbeque at The Shed in Mississippi thanks to an internet friend's recommendation.  

It was nothing but a giant leaking shack made my redneck hippies and their scavenged junk...

...where they played blues and served delicious animal meats.  Y'all people really get me.  Thank you.

Most impressive display of bottle trees I've seen in a long time.  No haints were coming near this place.

But apparently lots of small children were...??

I figured at this point, the trip was worth it in itself even if New Orleans turned out to be full of douchebags with fishbowl drinks.  I have a weakness for Southern eccentricity and shoddy vernacular architecture.

I'd never really had a strong desire to go to New Orleans.  In my mind it was nothing but zydeco and drunk boobs in an endless Zatarain's commercial and as much as I enjoyed processed carbs in a box, that's my 9th circle of personal hell.  

Fortunately it wasn't at all like that.  Although I did see a fair amount of girls in brand new, painted on Forever 21 dresses teetering on impossible stilettos down cobblestone streets, I really had to applaud their determination.

I hadn't been out past 11 PM in probably two years but I once we got to town I put on my big girl party panties (and sensible shoes) to pretend I like to have fun.

And newflash to the girl that calls watching all of SNL a late night, I did have a lot of fun.

I met some internet people and here was some really phenomenal music that included but wasn't limited to these white dudes.  All the bars felt just like college - everything was sticky and there were no chairs except for waaaay in the back where old people* were making out.

*hookers AKA 'ladies of the night' because we're in NOLA so they're fancy.

Surprisingly one place even had a crackhead bathroom attendant which squirted the only soap in the facility into my hands therefore forcing me to tip her.  At the very least she could have attended to wiping down the brown-stained bathroom stall that my elbow accidentally brushed while I was trying to balance during a squat pee while holding my purse in my mouth.  But alas, she was too busy sleeping and dispensing watery soap at people.

Ahhh... college memories, y'all.

We mixed in a little shopping between bars because TAKE ALL MY MONIES, STRANGE CITY!

Now you're speaking my language.

This is the Frenchmen Art Market which probably makes all tourists squee their panties including this one.

It really was cute, y'all.  No frontin.' 

After midnight shopping - my favorite kind - and dancing I worked up an appetite and the only logical place to go was the purveyor of famous New Orleans coffee and beignets: Cafe Du Monde.  The place where all the employees looked like Waffle House waiters in Steak 'n Shake uniforms.

It was kinda charming except for the dirty truck stop bathrooms.

Or BECAUSE of the dirty truck stop bathrooms...??  I like a seedy city so these things aren't necessarily deterrents for me, just observations to give you the complete experience. 

At 1 AM we managed to avoid the usual line of 50+ people during the day which was mind boggling considering it was kinda dirty and depressing and everything you touched was coated in powdered sugar grime.  But now I can mark it off my travel bucket list I guess.

It was good but in all honesty, all beignets taste like square funnel cake pillows to me so I'm obviously not a connoisseur of pastries.  But I AM a connoisseur of carnival food sold out of a trailer!  So just get your fried dough from anywhere where you don't have to wait an hour in line.  My travel pro tip to you.

At another establishment where I ordered beignets (FOR COMPARISON) and they scooped the powdered sugar from a giant Rubbermaid garbage can on wheels and it was the best thing I'd ever seen and then put in my mouth.

For a square funnel cake pillow, that is.

On Saturday I spent the day doing my favorite tourist activity: walking around alone until my feet fall off and I run out of money.

Is this Disneyland?

Who cares?!  It was delightful!

I spent all day in the French Quarter trying to reconnect with my spicy roots and loved every corner and street and twist and turn OF MY ANKLES.  Seriously, bring your orthotics.  Beautiful historic buildings = bone cracking historic sidewalks.

Hey Lacy, would you like to visit some nice plantations and beautifully restored homes in the area?

Hell naw.  But this abandoned alley looks really nice.

I must say how surprised I was at how colorful the buildings were.  I assumed everything would be vomit brown (to hide the, uh... vomit) but it was like a Skittles everywhere I went.  It might be terrible for your eyes the morning after Mardi Gras but stone sober me found it refreshing.

Probably some famous building that I don't know...

Probably another famous building.  I don't know, I was just going bananas for all the greenery on the porches.  Probably not the correct architectural term for that either but I wasn't really trying to be all nerd about this thang.

Secret courtyards?!  My favorite kind.  If you didn't have me at the pastries and voodoo, now you really sealed the deal, New Orleans.

Details are important.

Other than me playing around with this iPhone filter and a head shop I visited, I didn't get to do anything remotely voodoo-related which is a terrible disappointment.  I had at least hoped for a chicken sacrifice or reenactment of The Skeleton Key but NOTHING.  

Of course it wasn't all Santeria and possessed Kate Hudsons, we're still in the South.

Tell me where you've seen a mosaic tiled Christ this good?!

I did had a few culinary moments that I swear came straight from Jeebus, though.  Although I didn't get any traditional gumbo or jambalaya, I did have amazing breakfasts which sounds lame but it's my favoritest meal of the day.  I find good eggs and buttery toast to be transcendent but maybe it's just me.

One notable restaurant adventure was Butcher.

It says 'sWINE BAR & DELI.'  I see what you did there, Butcher, and I like it.  Pork and wine and a play on words.  It doesn't get much better than that.

No trip to New Orleans is complete without visiting a few cemeteries and I certainly communed with the dead plenty.  Hell, I do that at home fairly often.

In fact, I lurked and photographed dead people's houses so much that I'll have to save all my cemetery pictures for a completely separate post.  

You're welcome.

I'm going to lose my super dope street cred by telling you this but we ended our trip with some culture by going to the art museum's sculpture garden.

And it was magnificent.  And free.  And there were beignets. 

That we ate here because hell yeah we did.  

Forgot the artist... sorry.

Forgot... my bad.

Rona Pondick
Obviously I'm really into some shiny shit underneath some Spanish moss.  And monkeys with human limbs...?

Robert Indiana
It was a really short and hardly planned weekend trip but it turned out fantastic.  I loved the city more than I thought even though my feet ached and all I ate for three days was breakfast and a pound or two of powdered sugar from a garbage can.  

It's like if Savannah and Paris had a gay, alcoholic baby raised on soul food and glitter it would be New Orleans.  How could I not love that?

And I only heard zydeco one time and that was coming out of a white dude's Land Rover at a stop light.   

Well played, New Orleans.  Well played.


  1. That seriously looks like so much fun. Baton Rouge was my first taste of Louisanna, and I'd love to go back and spend time in New Orleans. But not Mardi Gras. Bc I'm old.

    1. Definitely not Mardi Gras. I'm old too. I just generally avoided Bourbon Street even at noon because it was just too much. But it's a great city for us old people! You should definitely go and visit!

      (Take me with you)

  2. Good for your trip to the south! Last Saturday night I was watching "Double jeopardy" with Ashley Judd (my girl crush, specially when she is paired with old men like Morgan Freeman or Tommy Lee, don't ask)and I was wondering how the city looks like after Katrina? powdered sugar + humidity, nice combination

    1. The parts I went to were great but I didn't go to the areas really hit hard - those are still pretty much abandoned.

      Powdered sugar and LOW humidity is perfect. I don't think I'll be traveling to New Orleans during the summer. Yeesh!

      Yay for Ashley Judd!!

  3. The next time (and there's better be a next time) you're there you have to go to the Clover Grill in the Quarter for late night, enormous burgers. They use a hubcap for a grill press and harass drunken tourists who stumble into the place by mistake. The place is a wonder.

    1. There is absolutely going to be a next time and it will definitely include Clover Grill. I love burgers and beratement!

  4. I want to say something pithy but alas my brain is saying, "beignets, beignets, beignets, beignets, beignets." Thanks for that. There's a place in Oakland that allegedly sells beignets, but I bet what they're really selling is lies and disappointment. This weekend might be the right time to find out.

    Your pictures kick ass.

    1. You should definitely go - how bad could a bad beignet really be? It's fried and they put powdered sugar on top! DELICIOUS. (And tweet the results of your trip obviously.)

      Thanks - glad you liked the pics!