14 April 2013

New Orleans (cont'd)

So, if you're just tuning in: in my previous New Orleans post, we were rolling ourselves in from second breakfast at Commander's Palace...we get back to the hotel and change into our Walking Around Clothes (as opposed to our Gussied Up For Special Meal clothes).  Most importantly this involves a change of footwear: the sidewalks and streets are notoriously uneven, so you need comfortable and sturdy shoes.  And despite the heat, I tend to wear closed-toe shoes because I have a pretty good idea of what comprises the puddles in parts of the Quarter--let's just say it's not primarily rainwater.

Alley view of St. Louis cathedral
Anyway, we walk around, listen to music, browse in shops, and in general bemoan the fact that we ate so much. We poke into the small but charming Faulkner House Books in Pirate's Alley behind the cathedral.  I once bought a first printing of Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust there--near fine, in a very good dust jacket. Spent more money than I had, but the book has gone up in value since then, so I feel quietly justified. In a completely out of character move, I left without buying anything, first edition or otherwise, but did take some photos.

I believe this entire case is filled with Faulkner first editions.
The beautiful fiction section in Faulkner House Books
My friend Carla buys shoes the same way I buy books: with impeccable taste and great abandon. So when we found a store called Shoe-Be-Do, she was in heaven. I was mostly agog at the designs (and prices). I would swear that some of those shoes were more architectural wonders than something to  adorn the feet. I was pleasantly surprised that in the back they had actually had some Walking Around Shoes.  I tried on a pair, and while the sole felt divine, the straps caught under my outside ankle
in a decidedly abrading way.

I mean, really: who could wear these?
It was hard to drag Carla away from ShoeBeDo, but there were other stores calling our names. Along the way, I was pleasantly surprised to see the fellow I hereby dub Kora Guy playing on one of the street corners.  We paused to listen for a while, at which point he mentioned that he had CDs for sale for $15.  Feeling oddly shy, I walked away, but before I gained the following block I was feeling full of regret.  I vowed that if our paths crossed again that I would buy one.

Kora Guy
Eventually we wandered back to the hotel room to rest a bit and freshen up--not for dinner, as we were feeling decidedly antagonistic towards food.  But our friend Patrick came over again, so we visited for a couple of hours in the air conditioned confines of our room before heading out again. Carla was feeling a little ill, and also had a ton of work to do, so she stayed behind while Patrick, AW, and I ventured out.  Here is where things became a little comical.  AW is a vegetarian, all I wanted was a light salad or maybe some fresh veggies, and Patrick, who is at the best of times a somewhat picky eater, had given up breads and pastas for Lent. You'd think that in one of the culinary capitals of the US that we might be spoiled for choice, but that's where you'd be wrong. We walked around for nearly two hours looking for a place where we might all sit down together to eat, but we found nothing.  As I noted before, New Orleans is surprisingly vegetarian un-friendly.
Cafe du Monde
Naturally we wound up at the one place where we said at the beginning of the night we wouldn't go: Cafe du Monde. I think our exact words were, "Ugh--fried dough.  WAY too heavy after our other meals today. Let's go anywhere but Cafe du Monde." Poor Patrick had to content himself with a large chocolate milk.  I tried to make my meal a bit more healthful by getting milk and fresh-squoze orange juice. (You may say squeezed if you like.  I prefer squoze, with a nod to Jill Conner Browne.)

Anne Walton and I were actually debating sharing one order of beignets (they come 3/order), then wondered aloud who we were trying to fool?  Of course we couldn't share an order. That would just be silly. I mean, why hold back now?

Covered in a light but comprehensive dusting of powdered sugar, we walked back to the hotel, laughing and carrying on, while I was keeping a stealth eye (and ear) out  for Kora Guy.  No joy.  I'd have to keep my fingers crossed for the next day.  And by that, I mean Easter Sunday, where we had 10:30 reservations for another three-course brunch at Brennan's. Tune in next time for flaming breakfasts, outrageous Easter bonnets, and where not to stand for watching the French Quarter Gay Easter Parade.


  1. Oh, my goodness! I don't think you can survive in New Orleans without eating bread! Haha. I could sure go for some beignets right now.

    1. I know! Thankfully he only had another few hours to go without bread before Lent was over.

  2. My husband and I love New Orleans, particularly for the food, so I have been thoroughly enjoying your trip reports. Can't wait for the next episode!

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  4. Wait wait wait...people actually wear those shoes? And not just Lady Gaga? Crazy.

    1. My friend Carla actually tried on a pair and said they weren't uncomfortable considering the heel height and the construction. She has good feet (and I guess a healthy back or something) 'cause she can wear heels all day and not have aching feet. Me, I think they are cra-za-zy

    2. Mental. I've come to the conclusion that as much as I love heels, they're never going to be a day wear or even night wear (except when I'll be sitting 90% of the time) thing. Viva la flats!


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