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Any New Orleans Tourism Experts?

 
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 04:29 pm
want to get the most out of my 3 day plan.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,701 • Replies: 21

 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 05:06 pm
@hawkeye10,
What are you looking to do and where are you staying? I've still got some friends there who know all the restaurants. If you are into wildlife, the zoo and aquarium are top notch. Give me some more details about your trip.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 05:36 pm
@engineer,
Staying 3 nights French Quarter. 5pm on a thursday to 6 am monday

Plan to :
ride the St Charles line (looks like 14 block round trip walk to board)
take the ferry to Algiers point and walk around (not sure of walk)
Walking explore French Quarter and maybe some of the garden district
See about finding a decent farmers market

plan to eat at
Acme oyster
Coops place
Adolfo's

Maybe
Gumbo House
Dat Dog


The restaurants are solid, but I am not sure that I am making the best use of my time. It will be hot for me, and my knees are not good, so lots of walking is not good. There will be lots of eating and drinking and jazz, though I dont know yet where I am going to get my jazz.

Kinda feel like I plan to walk too much, and that there must be some really cool indoor light walking thing that I should do instead but nothing pops oiut at me. One of my kids will do the WW2 museum, but I am not hugely interested. Another wants to go church hunting, especially not doing that.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 05:43 pm
@hawkeye10,
you like organized or "on your own"
Agree about the zoo and aquarium. Also the art museum an the colections at Tulane are great. Take the trolleys and wander around the French Quarter.
Its been 20 years since I lived there but many of the great restaurants are still there. Some of the Po boy dives are every bit as good as the big named rstaurants.
We liked to drive down the river to Pointe la Hache and dig into Mudbugs an oysters (I dont know whether the seafood is back. I knew the crabs were coming from Indonesia after the oil spill.

Its a walking around city . We used to live in the Garden District and there are interesting shops all over

My office used to be in a dive area called Meterie (I think it got wiped by Katrina) and the new homes are kinda uninteresting but everyone has open views as the live oaks start reforesting.

Art museum has one of the best Llique and Faberge egg collections

Cafe du monde is a must , just dont breathe in the powesered sugar , lotsa people choke .
I was never a big fan of the coffee and chickpry, its just like a dunkin donuts except fresher.
Chickory has an undertaste that I can pick up and its too bitter for me. so I gotta sugar the hell out of it. BUT the bignets are the best.

Riverboat i pretty good. We did it once and it was a really hot day (Its always hot , Really hot, and Super hot) September is the worst cause the breezes stop for long periods. OCTOBER is the BEST month, its warm but not overly humid (summer rains are a bitch it can get like a sauna.
The French quarter at nite is pretty good. but it can be quite touristy . I liked the solitude of Sunday mornings when you culd walk around in a rainy day an see the bones of the quarter without all the people.

You going for business or pleasure.
DO NOT wear expensive watches or jewelry. The pickpockets know their stuff and the cops were not to be trusted either especially if you dont look like white bread.

Its still a great town
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 05:56 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Cafe du monde is a must ,

Of course, even for this diabetic.

This is a mini family reunion. Lot of us appreciate great food and jazz, and drink...so we decided to meet up. We will do one thing a day together, and spit into groups for the rest.

Coops place and Adolfo's will be everyone, we shall see about the rest.

$30 for the river boat, $40 with food, is worth it? Kinda figured it is fake, and all they do is tool around the harbor and I have seen much better harbors by boat (hamburg was way cool) so it did not sing to me. plus the food on the brunch tour clearly sucks, so I figured the jazz probably sucks too.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 07:36 pm
@hawkeye10,
From the foot of Canal, see the Aquarium. Walk up Canal for ten blocks or so and catch the Streetcar. Ride the streetcar down St. Charles. This is fairly scenic and will take you through the Garden District. Get off at Tulane University and Audubon Park. See Tulane (my alma mater and I think Farmerman taught there) or not then walk through Audubon Park (one to one and a half miles on a walking path) to the zoo. New Orleans has a great zoo with LOTS of live oaks all over the place. Be sure to see monkey hill. It was built by the WPA in the 30's so the children of New Orleans would have a hill to play on. (It really is the only hill in town.) Now it is all fancy, but when I went there as a kid, it was just a hill for us to roll down. There is a boat the will take you back from the zoo to the foot of Canal. Honestly, that is not the best part of the river, but it's a nice, relaxing way to get back downtown.

From the French Quarter, check out the Mardi Gras museum in Jackson Square. Stroll around the square, eat at Cafe du Monde. Stroll down the River Walk. Go past the Aquarium and across Canal to the Riverwalk mall complex. There are some interesting stores in the mall, but the trick to go all the way to the other side where there is a food court that you will only get in New Orleans. Get some seafood Po Boys and check out the Mardi Gras store while watching ships go down the Mississippi. Also, there is a Cafe du Monde in the mall where all the locals go to avoid the tourists at the fancy restaurant at Jackson Square.

From the French Quarter hit up the Gumbo place right beside the Cabildo. It's called the Gumbo Shop or something like that. If you want to set out a little bit, walk down St. Peter away from Jackson Square for a mile or so. Last I was there a couple of years ago, you could still see a lot of reconstruction from post Katrina going on. When you get to Rampart, cross the street to Louis Armstrong Park. Nice for a stroll. If you walk back down St. Ann's you will see Marie Laveau's House Of Voodoo. Never been there so I can't recommend it.

From the foot of Canal, you can take a ferry to the West Bank and stroll around Algiers. That area was settled in the 1700's and was good for a stroll prior to Katrina. The west bank did not flood, but it had a lot of itinerant workers move there and I heard crime was up. Ask before going.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 07:46 pm
@engineer,
If you go to City Park, check out the art museum. Strolling the park is also a pleasant walk. When I say "pleasant", I mean for someone raised in New Orleans. You didn't say when you were going, but New Orleans in August is as oppressive and anywhere you will find. Expect 95-100 degrees, 100% humidity during the days. Get out early, rest or do inside activities in the early afternoon and go back out again in the late afternoon, evening.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 07:48 pm
@engineer,
I said gumbo house but it is gumbo shop. I dont even think I like gumbo but I need to get three kinds and share to make sure.

Had not considered looking at Tulane but my kids might actually like that.

The aquarium and zoo for me has the same problem as with those mexican restaurants and so forth that get recommended to me ...I can eat good mexican in a lot of places (though not olympia), I want to see and do things in my short time that I cant do anywhere else. DAT DOG might be an exception, my cousin loves the place.

Thanks
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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 07:55 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
but New Orleans in August is as oppressive and anywhere you will find.


That is a huge concern. I am on a med that dehydrates, and I am certainly not used to humid heat. Thus the idea that a lot of my looking comes from riding the streetcar and ferry, and the walking to the stop.

Still like the Algiers point trip, get on the water, get an different view, walk around a bit. Crime is fine there, in the French Quarter most certainly not fine.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 07:59 pm
hopefully dlowan, mckenzie and/or jpb will check in
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George
 
  4  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 08:33 pm
Weird as it sounds, visit a cemetery.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 09:06 pm
@George,
I was scrolling through to see if anyone had suggested that. I found the Metairie cemetery one of the most interesting places of my visit there since I'm not into the bar scene and not interested in alcohol.

I would also recommend the Wax Museum if it is still in existence after Katrina. Been awhile since I was there.

If your knees are okay for bike riding, you might do well with renting a bike. It used to be a popular mode of transportation through all the throngs of tourists. Can probably find some in NO City Park.


There are many tours you can take too, that don't require walking. Here are some to give you an idea of what's available on what subjects.

http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/tours/
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 10:18 pm
@hawkeye10,
Im a jazz fan and was never really impressed with the jazz clubs. Whenever the Marsalis brothers played , its good to get tickets. Anything else was just ok. I never cared for tourist clubs like "Preservation Hall" especially in heat months.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2015 11:06 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Im a jazz fan and was never really impressed with the jazz clubs. Whenever the Marsalis brothers played , its good to get tickets. Anything else was just ok. I never cared for tourist clubs like "Preservation Hall" especially in heat months.


Ya, coming up empty on that. My brother has been in town a bunch of times, I hope he has an idea. Thing is it is hot and it is the slow season. I am not optimistic.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 11:57 am
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

I would also recommend the Wax Museum if it is still in existence after Katrina.

The wax museum is still there and air conditioned too. It is ok IMO. The Metairie cemetery is the best for being big and spooky, but if you are looking for something a little closer, get off the streetcar at Washington and walk one block to the Lafayette Cemetery. It has the characteristic above ground tombs and some good character and is more convenient if you are already doing the Garden District. Again, the Metairie one is better, just a ways out there from downtown.
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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 05:53 pm
It turned out to be too hot for me to function during much of the day, because of my meds and because I am not used to the heat. Did a lot of eating/drinking/music listening/people watching/socializing in the french quarter, and spent the afternoons either in the AC in the room or at the pool. If I go again it will be during a cooler time a year. On the plus side tourism is not going that well this summer other than the conventions, so getting into places in the quarter was much easier than normal, I got told by several waitresses/shop clerks. I got told that the locals blame the economy, and it especially hurts them that oil is down so far thus the Texas economy is not doing great. There is also a sense that the economy all through the South is not great or maybe even good.

Quote:
French Quarter Festivals, Inc., which produces the festival presented by Chevron, said the festival drew 36,602 attendees, which "shifted downward" from the 2014 total of about 57,000.

http://www.nola.com/music/index.ssf/2015/08/louis_armstrong_birthday_augus.html

Yikes.

I did not go obviously and neither did any in my group, though two considered it and actually walked by it. The new $5 charge was enough to keep them away, as they were hearing enough good free stuff.
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George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2015 09:03 am
Any specific recommendations from your trip?
Other than don't go during summer.

Way back when, I took summer courses at Loyola of N.O.
The courses were good. The weather was abominable.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2015 09:45 am
@George,
I cant say dont go in summer because some people dont mind or even like the heat and because of the decrease in tourism the bars and restaurants are easier to get into.

1) socialize at the pool. Maybe this is because of all of the drinking going on but people were very chatty, and a lot of people go to N.O. often so they are personally up on where the best places to go are, which are often not the places that turn up looking like the best on websites.

2) by far the most exciting food is coming from the chefs that are taking regional recipes and using them as inspiration. The best place I went was Adolfo's which is creole/italian

3) dont totally negate the idea of going to some place that is doing something not new orleans. I went to a burger place and had pretty much the best burger of my life. Great chefs are in this town, and some of them are doing things not regional. If you are staying for many days break up eating regional with something totally different.

4) eating in a courtyard, even in the worst of the summer if great fun so long as you go later after the sun sets. With misting fans it is comfortable, and you will almost never find that experience anywhere else. One of the best things we did was several hours in a wine bar courtyard (9-11) drinking winw, snacking and talking.

5) you just have to go with the flow here...service will be slow, things often get done half assed, the place smells and the French Quarter at least is very broken down.....in a lot of ways I was reminded of Chicago in the 70's

6) this is a great place to people watch, and if the females of your party like to dress slutty this is a great place to do it in the summer...second only to Las Vegas in my experience but I hear that Miami is like that too.

7) we had great success in asking the hotel staff where to go to eat, ask, they might actually tell you the truth

8) if you go in summer keep in mind the heat index, it ran just below 100 to about 115 24/7. Plan your day with a cooling break in the middle cause the heat will wear you out. A couple of hours in the room or at the pool.

9) in summer dont start drinking heavy till later in the day, it makes dealing with the heat harder, and you just burn it off

10) dont plan too heavy. Have a list of things you think you want to do in mind but go with the flow. There is so much to do that you will never be bored, and it is the perfect place to just wander and go where the immediate mood takes you
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George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2015 12:39 pm
Good stuff!
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2015 02:09 pm
@George,
The NYT's a day or so ago had a piece asserting that the eating in New Orleans is better than it was pre Katrina. In "Hungry Town" Tom Fitzmorris says that Pre Katrina Cajun/ Creole was dying because this is not what the youth wanted to eat. It came back big after the storm but it looks to me like it is dying out again, not only because the young dont want to eat it but also because the chefs dont want to cook it. It is boring, it has been done to death. Remember the old saying that New Orleans is a town with 5,000 restaurants and 40 recipes...never really true but you get the idea. And even the old school places are not usually doing old school recipes anymore, for instance in most cases the chefs no longer use roux. We went to Coops place which does oldish dishes, but the gumbo had no roux in it. The fried chicken was the best I have had though.

This is certainly at this moment a very exciting culinary town.
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