This is New Orleans, also called NOLA or the Big Easy. In my eyes it is the Las Vegas of the South without too much glitz and glam. The city is loud and alive.
I was in NOLA pre-Katrina in 1996 after an adventure at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. I don’t quite remember the city well or its notable landmarks but as I walked the alleys and streets of the French Quarter, my mind was arrested to the French street signs, the smell of beignets, the cute little shops, and wanna be musicians serenading the people.
As I walked deeper on Poydras towards the river and back to Canal then St. Charles, I was reminded of the quaint way of the streetcar. It’s iconic, historical, and a must do. However, no city is perfect and NOLA is no exception to this. Walking the streets and alleys opened a whole new picture of the city and homelessness, beggars, and people absorbed in their own mind and world.
NOLA has so many food options; if you’re a foodie, you ought to visit this place. Your palette will appreciate the fine restaurants. While I didn’t venture to fine dining, I was just as tempted to try southern fried chicken. Willie’s on Canal St. was an option though I was quickly intimidated by the long line. I settled for Popeyes, an establishment found nationwide but also has deep roots in NOLA. I dug into some fried chicken with biscuit and fries for an early dinner.
So, is this a place worth returning to for me? Possibly not, although if I return, I should check out Tasty Donuts (I heard it’s very good). As much as it is vibrant and fun, it didn’t wake up anything in my heart.
Until then, go easy in the Big Easy!
PS, consider staying at the Hyatt Regency on Loyola.