Jazz'n it up...

Trip Start Jun 27, 2009
Trip End Jun 26, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Saturday, July 18, 2009

My trip to New Orleans started off very well as I was seated next to a great New Orlean guy who was very proud of his city and proceeded to give me the full run down of places to go and where not to go - especially at night. On arrival at Louis Armstrong airport he then offered to give me a lift to my hostel as it was on his way. One thing I cannot fault about the majority of Americans is their amazing hospitality. After seeing me to my hostel, he shook my hand, gave me his business card and said if I had any problems during my stay then to give him a call.

As I had arrived saturday night at about 11pm and wanted to experience some of what this amazing city has to offer, I went straight out and went to Frenchman street - where all the locals go and those in the know ;) - and saw a great jazz band. It was fantastic listening to live Jazz but things start to wrap up there about 2pm, so I then went to Bourbon street, and went to a club playing decent tunes. I was having a drink and started chatting to these two black girls, when we realised that the club was closing, so they invited me to come along with them. Now I had only just entered Bourbon Street from the north east and as we walked down into the thick of it, I started to realise just how insane this place was. Anyway after several blocks of them turning down the advances of many black guys we ended up at a hip-hop club where they knew the bouncers. We went in and next thing you know I'm bumpin & grindin with these two girls. The only white guy in a sea of black people. It was incredible - I still have flashbacks!

The next day was a bit of a right-off but the day after I got my act together and made it into town and wandered round taking photos and soaking it all in. The afternoon after I got back to the hostel I met two guys travelling, an aussie named Felix and his German mate Nic. Not long after I also met Breda, a lovely Irish girl also travelling round the states. We planned to have some beers and then head into listen to some jazz but after several beers and money issues I ended up going solo again, however monday night in New Orleans is definitely not the same as saturday night!

The next day I went sightseeing with Breeda and Dane (another aussie) and tried some of the famous New Orlean donuts from Cafe Monde. We also bumped in Maxime a fantastic kid from Montreal who came to New Orleans to learn to play his trumpet. He'd just bought this classic old bike for $10. Wandering on a bit more - and after collecting some bead necklaces from ladies on balconies - we ran into Felix and Nic. At this point we decided to kick off the nights festivites by getting some beers before heading to Frenchman street. After a delicious meal of Gumbo we saw Maxime across the road having a trumpet lesson from an old famous New Orlean Jazz guy, so we went over and chatted. Then we went to DBA (a famous jazz haunt) and saw a fantastic swing band. They were great including many punters who were amazing swing dancers. Then this old jazz guy we'd been talking to with Maxime came on for a number - very impressive! Managed to also setup Maxime with a very gorgeous and very talented swing dancer. After the jazz finished it was about 2am and so we headed back to the hostel. Although myself, Felix, Nic and Dane got a lift from one of the swing dancers who we took for dinner at a gay diner. Great food apart from the grits which I had to at least try.

New Orleans is an amazing place even after the devastation of Katrina, as you can tell it is a shade of its former self, but the people and character of New Orlean's still shines through.
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