No Place Like NOLA
Updated: Feb 6
Sometimes I click my heels together and say that but so far no such luck!
I absolutely love New Orleans. It's like the favorite movie you can watch over and over, back to back and never get bored. I've lost track of the number of times I've been to this enchanting city but every time I go back I feel like I'm coming home.
When I first arrived in this country back in the year 2000, New Orleans was the first stop for me and my family. Our New Orleans relatives showed us around town and when I saw the French Quarter I was captivated. That first glimpse of the "Big Easy" had me like "woah!"
So every opportunity that I've had to go back, I have jumped right on. I could totally live there; start my mornings sipping on some coffee in my balcony overlooking the French Quarter, cooking with the windows open while the curtains flutter in the wind, joining in second lining to celebrate some stranger's wedding. Maybe I'm romanticizing a little bit.
These are my top 4 reasons why I love Nawlins and I hope they inspire you to check it out if you haven't yet!
The best Jambalaya --kind of like paella but with sausage and smoked meat along with the seafood-- I've ever had was at a place that didn't even sell the dish. My best friend (Hi Erika!), my brother and I were checking out Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop and one of the lady's working there was making jambalaya for the staff and she offered us some. It was amazing.
Best places to get this in the French Quarter would be Muriel's by Jackson Square but honestly, if you're in New Orleans then you can have this anywhere and it will be AMAZING.
Beignets are like doughnuts but better. If you've had this anywhere else then you have not truly had beignets. You can find it in different places in New Orleans but my favorite place to have this treat is Cafe Du Monde. An order of beignets and cafe au lait is my go-to and does not ever disappoint.
The buildings in the New Orleans are reflective of its multi-ethnic heritage. Colonial Spanish, French architectural style, Creole and Greek Revival are well represented.
In the French Quarter the most predominant style are the Creole Townhouses which were built after the Great New Orleans Fire in 1788 and until the mid-19th century. This style is characterized by a steeply-pitched roof with parapets, side-gabled, with several roof dormers and a brick or stucco exterior.
My favorite style of house are the Creole Cottages which feature a full front porch, an interior chimney that pierces the ridge line of the roof, with back-to-back fireplaces serving two rooms. In my last trip I got to stay and AirBnB that was basically this kind of architecture cut in half to make two apartments.
The richness of the history of this place plus all the things about it that are shrouded in mystery make New Orleans the setting for so many books, movies, and series.
In October I visited the city with some friends and we ended up in one of the cemeteries in search of Marie Laveau's grave. Instead we got distracted by the story of the Tragedy on Lake Pontchartrain. My lovely friend Chelsea thought it was odd these six young people had died on the same exact date and when she looked it up she found this.
Almost everything in New Orleans and specifically in the French Quarter has some story. Some real and some, well, entertaining.
4. The People
If you really want to meet the people and talk to locals then Frenchmen Street is the place to go. Here you will get live music in just about every venue you walk into and art around every corner.
It's a way more chill vibe than the rest of the French Quarter which makes it very conducive to striking up conversations with strangers. Some are locals and some are replants from some other place but everyone has a story and everyone wants to hear yours.
I really hope you find your way to New Orleans this year if you haven't gone yet and if you have then tell me how it went in the comments!