Friday, February 1, 2008

French Quarter, New Orleans, LA (Wed.1/23)

Kim had a great tour book (except for the fact we were missing 2 pages) that led us through the French Quarter. It has a ton of history and some good foods to try - beignets and eclairs were favorites.

We were just there during the day, but there was still some good live street music to enjoy.

Smoking guitar player

We were told to watch ourselves around the French quarter... Carrying little cash, visiting during the day, and being aware of our surroundings. We found it to be very pleasant and safe with only one panhandler asking for money (I don't have my formula all worked out on how to know whether or not to give to someone asking for money, but he made it an easy decision for me when I watched him set down his cigarette and beer before asking).

We went to a Mardi Gras museum – I was hoping to find the deeper rooted meaning and origin to the festivity, but alas it's really just a time to party before Lent – get your drunken debauchery in one last time before you give up things to purify yourself for Easter. One interesting thing I learned was that in New Orleans the parade-people hand out beads and other worthless trinkets, while in the rural areas they come and ask for money from you (change) and people join in the fun of chasing down live animals (chickens, pigs and stuff). Yep, Americans know how to party... I guess.

According to our guidebook... supposedly one of the most photographed buildings in the French quarter... ok, I'll do my part in this seemingly self-proclaimed, self-fulfilling prophecy.

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