Ahhh….New Orleans. The Booze. The Music. The Food. The Culture. The People. The corrupt politicians. From Hurricanes to Hurricanes…its been a four year long wait for my beloved Chiefs to drop by. I am still trying to secure some tickets, but if you are coming down, here are some things to see/do/experience in NOLA. I know there are some other NOLA “locals” that visit AP and can inform you as to some of their favorite places, but here are some of mine that I have found in the past four and a half years. So lets forget about yesterday and laissez les bon temps rouler!!!
Drago’s char-grilled oysters: Don’t fall for the ACME tourist trap. They just aren’t the same. Garlic-chive-buttery parmesan goodness melted over an oyster over an open flame. It’s not KC BBQ, but it sure gives you a similar happiness to it…plus that nice looming threat of cardiac arrest that comes with all the best food. At the Hilton in the French Quarter or the original in Metairie.
New Orleans Music Factory: If you are an independent musician in NOLA, this is likely where your CD is being sold. All the best jazz, brass band, blues, zydeco, cajun, funk, or whatever flavor music you are looking for is available, all of them local artists and many either are performing or have performed at the House of Blues (located across the street). On Decatur street in the French Quarter.
Champion’s Square: This one is hard to miss seeing as it’s right out in front of the “Dome” (no self-respecting NOLA resident would ever consider calling it the “Mercedes Benz Superdome”). From what I have been told, this is the whole NOLA tailgating “experience.” It will be my first time there as well, but just from the descriptions, don’t even try to compare it to Arrowhead. If you want to see that, you have to travel up to Baton Rouge and catch the LSU game on Saturday. THAT, I am told, rivals any professional or collegiate tailgating experience in the country.
WOULD PROBABLY ENJOY:
Bourbon Street: It’s literally nothing but a street full of bars, clubs, and strip joints. Shopping is on Decatur, good restaurants on the side streets, and the party is on Bourbon.
National WWII Museum: Founded by Stephen Ambrose (the Band of Brothers author), it’s a great place to kill a half a day. John Besh operates the Cantina as well so you can be sure to get a good meal there.
Jackson Square: This is the lush garden area of the French Quarter. It’s worth it to walk through it and around it (artists often spread out their paintings or perform here). Poke your head into the St. Louis Cathedral as well. Its architecture is a breathtaking experience for the religious and non-religious alike.
Irish House: What better way to start off the gameday experience with a full Irish Breakfast and a Guinness? I can’t think of one either.
For cigars, the New Orleans Cigar Factory on Decatur is legit for hand rolled cigars. Some of you hippie tokers might also enjoy the Ra-Shop for all of your “legal” paraphernalia and “detox” needs. If you have had a good or bad experience in NOLA or have a favorite place, go ahead and list it in the comments. Let’s try to make this an open thread for all those who are coming to the game or just want to put in their input of the city. There are a TON of other places that I didn’t mention, but I didn’t want this to be some massive block of text.
If you are coming down, let me know. It would be nice to meet some fellow Chiefs fans. After our first two games, drinking away the sorrows alone is getting rather dull. If you get in on Friday, feel free to come by the cigar shop, light up a couple, and chat with the locals. I usually head there after work. On Saturday, I was considering heading to Dos Jefes for some live music and a cigar and then to The Irish House (see above) for breakfast before wandering around Champions Square pregame. If you happen to catch me here and mention your AP screenname, I would be happy to suggest a cigar or two for you and I might even buy you a drink (or a cigar…depends on how the week goes).