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Photo Essay: Fall Day in New Orleans

My 25-year-old son has lived in the big city for almost a year now.  He has asked me to spend some time with him there, but it has just never worked out until recently.  We had planned to visit the Louisiana State Museum exhibit “Katrina and Beyond” and hopefully see me in about nine seconds of fame on a video loop there.

Did BW do her homework?  The answer is NO.  We walked up to the doors at 10 a.m. sharp and were greeted by a big C L O S E D sign.  We soon learned that almost ALL the museums and walking tours are closed on Monday.

So we started walking to see where the Big Easy would take us.  How about I just stop talking and share some of the images of our day with you?  Hopefully, you can feel the cool fall breeze, smell the sweet olive blossoms, and hear the jivey jazz notes floating through the air as we walked and talked and ate and drank and shopped and acted silly.

I’ll let the captions do the rest of the talking . . .

May I touch your fruits?


Pink Blossom Balcony

Inviting New Orleans Courtyard

Through the Praline Looking Glass

Pumpkin Balcony

Blue Dog Window

Sonny Reflections

Who Dat Cat?
Who Dat Cat?

Walking Exchange Alley

Goddess of the Alley

Wrought Iron Utensils

Grits under Shrimp Divine

Street Jazz Band

New Orleans Street Jazz Dancer

Not much else left to say . . .


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  1. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the French Quarter! Even years before I left the area! Thanks for reminding me about how unique of a place it is. How long will the Katrina exhibit be at the museum? I hope it will still be there in the spring. I’d like to see it.

  2. Great photos. I’m sure y’all had a good time even though the museum was closed. I was a bit surprised when seeing the photo grits under Shrimp Divine though. I just knew there would be a photo of a traditional Monday dish…Red Beans and Rice. I do believe just about EVERY S. La. eatery has them on the Monday menu. Especially N.O.

    1. Yea, but you won’t catch me eating them! I have not yet developed the right recipe for shrimp and grits, so that is what I eat in New Orleans . . . and Cafe Amalie was closed so I could not critique theirs again like I wanted to . . .

      1. Next time you’re there, just ask the chef/cook. More times than not, they’ll tell you how it’s made. Last month I complimented the owner of a new restaurant on their Shrimp and Lima soup and told her that I was going to try to duplicate it. She thanked me and then told me how to make it.

    1. We did have a nice day . . slow and easy . . . and that photo was one of those rare seconds in time. He stopped to see if that was the gallery containing art with funny captions; I looked up, and boom, there it was. Those moments don’t happen often! I knew that was going to be your favorite! Snow yet? BW

  3. Looks like a fun day! I loved the May I Touch Your Fruits?!!!

    Seeing the shrimp with grits- do you have a garlic cheese grit recipe? I tried one I saw on tv and nobody would touch it.

    1. Oh my gosh, Tara. You should see the pics I took of him cracking up when I told him to talk to her like a real person. It was hilarious! He actually asked her that question and I about peed my pants!!!!

      No garlic . . . just cheese grits. Dotter makes cheese grits, too.

      1. Could you pretty please email me that recipe if you don’t mind. My family refused to eat the ones I tried the other night. Couldn’t even get the dog to eat them!

        1. MrsCoach, I don’t know if they’ll be the type you want, but I make cheese grits for breakfast fairly often. In my humble opinion, they’re just as good as the ones Emeril Lagasse puts in his Shrimp and Grits at Nola Restaurant! In my experience, if you use cheddar it gets a bit stringy. I prefer to use Velveeta. Yes, I know, it definitely bumps the level of refinement down a notch or three, but you can’t beat the smooth texture! The trick is to cook your grits to perfection FIRST.

          I use white “quick grits”, not instant, and I make them mostly according to the package directions. I prefer to put a little less water than they say, and thin them out later with milk or half and half (we use fat free). Also, be careful not to over-salt them, because the Velveeta is salty. Now, I will share with you The Captain’s succesful grits trick: NEVER STOP STIRRING! The instructions will tell you to put the grits in and cover, etc. Don’t. Boil the water, put the grits in, stir them around quick so they don’t lump up, then turn the heat way down. Be sure to keep stirring or you’ll get “popped” with grit bubbles! I stir and stir until they’re the thickness I like. Then I turn the heat to its very lowest and add Velveeta cut into smallish cubes. I have never measured it, though! I’d guess 1/4 of a small block to about 3-4 servings of grits? Just add some, taste it, and if it’s not cheesy enough, add more! Keep stirring, turn heat off if they start to stick, and thin them out a little with milk or half and half. Salt them again if needed, or add a little garlic salt or powder.

          That’s all I got! Hope it helps! (And they’re also great with bacon crumbled into them!)

          Annnnnd, now I’m hungry.

          1. That sounds amazing! Thanks for the recipe and all the great tips! Can’t wait to get home and try them out.

  4. Nice time on the off day. I think the band I did sound for in the early 80’s wanted to be street level guys but had too many wires.
    Some weekend soon going to go back home and look up the survivors. Bunch of stuff to do before leaving for Du-ziana.

  5. The pictures certainly came out great!

    It was such a fun, freestyle day 😀

    We need to make it a regular thing, but you have to stay the night so we can have a fancy dinner and hit the town!

  6. Awesome pictures, Mommer! The reflection one *is* awesome. I laughed aloud at “May I touch your fruits?” too!! I knew it was definitely something he’d say. 😉

  7. What a lovely walking/viewing tour BW—makes me realize I’ve not been to N.O. in far too long! Many thanks to Dotter for the detailed recipe/instructions on making non pareil cheese grits. I’m off to the store to buy grits!

    1. Don’t forget the Velveeta! Actually, if you don’t have any Velveeta, American cheese works fine! A blend of American for creaminess and a little shredded sharp cheddar for a stronger flavour is really good, too! (Like I said, just a little stringy if you put too much cheddar.)

  8. I just blogged today about my plans for spending my next birthday in N.O., and a kind reader sent me to this post. I’m hoping to avoid all the uber-touristy spots, and would prefer to hang out where locals shop for food (any good farmers markets or street markets?), eat, or go to hear music or see a play or just hang out and have fun on the weekend. Any recommendations?

    1. Welcome to the bayou, Becky! Well, let’s see. It’s hard to see the French Quarter and not mingle with the tourists. It is what it is. The farmers’ market is no longer that . . . it’s more like Eastern Indian/Asian handbag, sunglass, jewelry market which is a real turnoff to me. If you get a city map and just start walking AWAY from Jackson Square and off the beaten path, you find out of the way places that are interesting. My sister and I recently visited New Orleans for two days without a plan, and we had a marvelous time. Weekdays are best and daylight hours are best if you want to avoid the crowds and the rowdy crowds. We avoid the infamous Bourbon Street at ALL COSTS. We chose our hotel, spur of the moment, too, and loved the cozy courtyard. We walked a couple blocks to Rouse’s grocery store on Royal and bought our beverages for the evening and chose to imbibe them in that gorgeous, quaint, quiet courtyard rather than in the hustle and bustle of city night life. AND we were SAFE!! The hotel has valet parking upstairs, which makes it great for parking your vehicle and walking everywhere else. If you want to visit a few shops outside the Fr. Quarter, drive to Magazine Street and eat Caribbean food at The Rum House. Be sure and have beignets and cafe`au lait at Cafe du Monde in the Quarter, and remember not to inhale the powdered sugar. Leave there and walk toward the disappointing French Market, and find The Gazebo beverage shop and a jazz band will be playing outside for everyone’s enjoyment. Get a drink, grab a black iron bench in the shade, and enjoy!

      Well, that’s about it for my free travel advice! If you want more, there will be a fee! LOL! Have fun and please let me know if you went to any of these places. There are many, many, many more, though!


      1. I think the best trips are the unplanned, spontaneous ones. Too many plans = too much stress to “get it all in”. We did have a few places we wanted to go, but otherwise it was just, stop if a place looks interesting, eat where you want, walk to your hearts content enjoying the peeks at private courtyards, the lush greenery on the balconies, and the architecture that is pure New Orleans.

        I’d like to add that I never felt scared or in danger when we were there. The people – even the tourists – are friendly. Magazine street is a definite must. It has some great shops and restaurants.

        Our hotel was divine in an understated, old world kind of way. Here’s a blurb from a site on the internet, “this small, historic hotel includes nine lovingly restored 18th and 19th Century buildings strung like architectural jewels around what some call the most beautiful courtyards in the Quarter.”

        I feel another trip coming on. Having visited New Orleans for the first time in 30 years, I think I’ve fallen in love with it.