I caught a plane from San Jose, Costa Rica and flew to New Orleans. Let me start off by saying that I loved this place, and wish I had stayed longer. Now most of you I’m sure will remember back in 2005 there was hurricane Katrina that caused plenty of damage to say the least. My first thoughts when I walked around the town was that they had done a great job of rebuilding and making it look like it never happened, but you can still see the scars in certain areas. Most notably is that the place feels under-populated. And it really is, after doing some research the population is still a lot less than it was before Katrina. I suppose when so many people were evacuated, many simply did not come back, or maybe they just didn’t have anything to come back to and wanted to start afresh.
But like I said, the place is great and has plenty of character to make it a worthwhile visit. I didn’t realise it at first, but you actually go there for the unique nightlife that can be found. The town is very quiet and relaxed during the day – almost as if everyone is in a day-long siesta – and it certainly is hot enough to warrant staying indoors. At night however, everything comes alive.
There are two main streets in New Orleans for night life. Bourbon street and Frenchman street. Bourbon street is where you go to find dance clubs, strip clubs, cocktail cafes, and an all-night street party. You can legally drink on the street in New Orleans, and so it’s common for drinks to be served at bars in plastic containers so you can buy a drink and then go for a walk down the street to the next place, or simply strike up a conversation with others.
Frenchman street is in the French quarter of town, and is only a ten or so minute walk from Bourbon street. Frenchman street is famous for all its jazz bars and clubs. My idea of a good night out is to go to Frenchman for a few drinks which are usually cheap, listen to some jazz at one or two jazz bars, then hit up Bourbon and get the party going. Most places are open all night, or at least until 5 or 6am. Fun fun fun!
Here’s a pic of Bourbon I took during the day.
Walking down to the French quarter.
Walked across to the Mississippi river.
St Louis cathedral.
The place I stayed was a great hostel about a half hour walk from town. It was right in the suburbs, which were fairly nice in some places, although it was very easy to find yourself suddenly walking down a dodgy-looking street. The people are quite friendly though, had a quick chat with some old man who was saying things like “times aint what they used to be” and whatnot.
All in all, New Orleans has a great atmosphere, and great character, and I do recommend it!