I had the chance to visit New Orleans for the first time this past week. I flew down on Saturday, arriving in the French Quarter about 4:30. Took the St. Charles street car for the full loop - riding out through the posh residential areas past Loyola and Tulane, then returning. By this point, I was getting a little thirsty, so I took an interesting stroll down Bourbon Street. Very interesting ... nice restaurants next to dive bars, strip clubs, and hotels.
I grabbed a plastic cup of Abita Andygator and took it all in. After walking the whole length of Bourbon, I headed south for a few streets to Decatur, where I took a left over to Frenchmen. Here, I had some nice crawfish etouffe at Snug Harbor, then popped into d.b.a to see what type of jazz was playing. From there, back down Decatur to see all the tourist places and bars.
4/11/08 clarification: though I was completely stuffed from dinner and did not have a beer at d.b.a - this bar, and possibly Cooter Brown's (across town) have the best beer selections in New Orleans. Several good Belgian offerings, and other European imports as well as a decent selection of U.S. micros. /end clarification>
On Sunday morning, I had breakfast at Cafe Beignet, enjoying some cajun homefries and fresh beignets. Afterwards, I hiked a good way across town to visit the World War II Museum - definitely worth a trip!
After lunch at Gordon Biersch and a quick hotel stop, I headed over to the Convention Center for the reason I was in town to begin with ... the 235th American Chemical Society Meeting. I spent all Sunday afternoon listening to seminars, then attended a reception for the CINF (Chemical Information) Division..
On Monday, I spent most of day again at the Convention Center for talks. I did get a nice lunch break in, and had a shrimp po'boy from Johnny Po'Boys. In the afternoon, I gave my presentation in a special symposium honoring my former grad school advisor.
After business, a couple of us went to a nice reception on the top floor of the Sheraton (Harry's party) before meeting others for dinner over in the Quarter. There were a lot of presentations to see on Tuesday-Thursday, but unfortunately I'm still in the middle of the semester and had to head home.
All in all, it was a nice trip to New Orleans - and it beat my last experience with Louisiana ... 7 weeks of Army basic training upstate at Fort Polk :(
I did try a few Abita beers, along with Gordon Biersch and Crescent City ... New Orleans is not really a beer town. Though I will recommend if you fly through Atlanta to get there, have a pint at the Sweetwater pub in Terminal B.