March 12, 2011

New Orleans

Last week I returned from a wonderful trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. This was my first time in the South and it was a pleasure and privilege to experience Mardi Gras with locals. The vacation was part of an epic birthday celebration for one of my best friends, Nida. She was a California transplant by way of Hurricane Katrina, so going back to New Orleans with her was a humbling experience. There is nothing quite like New Orleans in my opinion: the people are well mannered, the food is prepared with real butter and more salt tastes better, and life is lived on a slower clock. Of course my city-folk-self felt like I was on an intense caffeine binge in the beginning, but by the end of the trip I was calmed down by peeling crawfish and taking my time with some amazing beignets. Louisiana has a rich history and it was fun to hear it unfold via Ghost Tour. I don't understand what it is about the French and settling in uninhabitable swamps (Versailles anyone??), but there sure are a lot of ghosts in New Orleans. The French Quarter's architecture is a uniquely European and houses a variety of shops and galleries. It was strange to notice the lack of tall buildings. Oh yeah, and people drink a lot on Mardi Gras. Boobs, peepees, and beads, OH MY!! Unfortunately, Bourbon Street by night is not the safest place for a camera. Even the beautiful parades would have been awesome to photograph, but I saw a couple people injured from flying beads and the like, so I kept my camera in my bag. Documentation might have been a total fail, but I think I was pretty successful in really living the experience. Southern hospitality truly does exist, and I was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people during my stay.

Top to Bottom: Dream House Inspiration #1/ Beignets courtesy of Cafe du Monde/ Bourbon Street by night/ Crawfish pre-boil/ Nida and I at MRB

As much as I love going on vacation, it is always refreshing to come back to the city. Sometimes you have to leave somewhere to fully appreciate it. It feels good to be home. I missed you, San Francisco.

- jerome

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