“New Orleans is a city you must visit when you’re young and foolish but return to when you’re wiser and still searching for your dreams.” (Edward Lee)
Let’s face it. Our human life lasts for a mere speck of time so we might as well take advantage of what we most enjoy at any stage of our life. No American city in my past travel experience thus personifies that existential adage of self-exploration for me better than New Orleans. So given my fervent devotion to studying authentic history, enjoying live music, and engaging in serious discussions of multicultural understanding as a blog writer and novice photographer, I present a brief chronicle below of some memorable “quality time” spent in New Orleans during our five day, mini- road trip last week.
To begin our vacation last Sunday, the decision to book a centralized lodging location downtown at the historic Best Western St. Christopher Hotel provided excellent reason to take to the streets nearby on foot to visit such popular tourist hubs as the bustling Canal Street shopping corridor, raucous Bourbon Street strip , as well the more serene shoreline environs abutting both sides of the Mississippi River. To further enhance this slow and easy approach to visiting New Orleans on this most recent occasion, we purchased an inexpensive transit pass allowing us three days of unlimited street car travel throughout the city. Beyond the Old Town proper to the west, we thus devoted an entire morning to ride along St. Charles Avenue and thereby absorb the historic antebellum look of pre- Civil War New Orleans. A second memorable streetcar excursion of interest brought us north of the downtown to the serenely forested grounds of City Park for an afternoon visit at the prestigious Museum of New Orleans.
Our transit pass also granted us free passage across the Mississippi River by ferry to Algiers Point, one of the oldest existing neighborhoods in the city. Following a shoreline path labeled aptly “The Jazz Walk” there, we obtained some fantastic panoramas across the river of New Orleans downtown. Turning inland, our Algiers tour would continue with a curious look at colorful homes shaded with bright pastel colors in this quiet residential vicinity. Regrettably, however, for stomach intolerance reasons, neither Ruth nor I would take time to indulge in any spicy Cajun or exotic Creole food options so enamored by many New Orleans tourists during the course of these streetcar excursions.
Know as well that on the last day of our New Orleans vacation, a major highlight happened with my online purchase of two affordable tickets on Stub Hub at the last minute to experience “Leonid and Friends” in live concert at the House of Blues along busy Decatur Street. For upon being unexpectedly escorted to our seats that night in row one, less than ten feet from the stage, we enjoyed over three hours of masterful musical entertainment from one of our favorite horn bands.
As the winter holiday season approaches, I must end this blog with some timely human insight I experienced on this mini- vacation. For I notice a distinct, heartwarming spirit lingering in me upon reflecting back to our friendly encounters with such a diverse representation of people we met during our latest New Orleans vacation. For during street encounters with those being either male or female, black or white, affluent or poor, as well as young or old, I noticed a spirit of helpfulness and giving to all in this city that’s been so decimated by major hurricane disasters in recent years . May we be so fortunate to find a glimpse of such togetherness as we celebrate at home or away on this important American celebration in 2022. Happy Thanksgiving to all.