Hey there Frenchy

Trip Start Jun 20, 2009
Trip End Aug 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I woke up at about 8.30am and went to get the free continental breakfast. Most hotel/motels I've stayed at so far have had a wide variety of different breakfast foods but this was an exception. They had croissants and doughnuts (beignets) that were all stale. So I left there to go on the French Quarter walking tour on a fairly empty stomach.

The French quarter is certainly a strange site. It something you certainly wouldn’t expect in a country like the USA. The architecture is mostly very old and is very interesting to look at. People pretty much dominate the French Quarter especially at night, so it is a car’s nightmare. The shops consist of either voodoo souvenir shops, restaurants with specific French New Orleans menus and bars. Bourbon street is full of bars and strip clubs, which really comes to life in the evenings. It reminds me somewhat of that street in Bangkok (Patpong?). The LBG Mardi Gras wasn’t long ago here but there isn’t much to suggest that this is where it happened apart from a museum that you have to take a ferry to get to. The strip clubs were all targeting males with spectacularly ugly women out the front to promote them.

Away from Bourbon street you get a more classy area where the French market is and the fancier restaurants are. The French Market is pretty much what you’d expect, people selling t-shirts, bags, gizmos and gadgets that have no 'real’ value apart from having a display purpose. Jazz and Blues are pretty much played in every restaurant so it certainly isn’t hard to find. Sitting outside is the main problem, as it is very hot and most of the bands are playing outside. The weather certainly improved today, as it is completely clear, in contrast to the torrential rain yesterday.

Along the walking tour, I visited the main chapel of New Orleans which doesn’t differ much from what the East Melbourne Shul looked like. I also saw Jackson Square where most of the street performers play. Most are solo acts, but they certainly differ in quality. When I was there, there was a guy who must have just found a used saxophone and was just blowing into it like a crazy man. There are also street mimes, which you feel sorry for given the extreme heat and the fact that they have to stay still for  long periods. Tonight I had Catfish from a seafood restaurant. Amazingly it tasted like fish.

I would certainly recommend New Orleans as a good place to relax and listen to music, so far it’s the coolest place I have been.

Tomorrow I’m off to Baton Rouge for a night.

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