If you ever have the opportunity, head to New Orleans for St. Patrick’s Day.
I most certainly was not prepared for all that New Orleans delivered during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I figured young Tulane co-eds would don their “Irish I had a Beer” t-shirts and weave drunkenly through the people on Bourbon Street- – and that was definitely accurate.
But the trip was so much more. The thing I love about New Orleans is the vibrance. Zydeco music pulses through the alley ways, bright colors fill the streets in all shapes and sizes, the smell of hot boiled crawfish beckons you into every doorway and the people are genuinely happy.
What I didn’t expect this weekend was the Mardi Gras-esque feel– more people than a typical weekend, however less that the overwhelming crowds of Mardi Gras. Bourbon Street and the French Quarter were abuzz with a sea of green-clothed individuals flanking the streets as parades moved at a snails pace. Girls and men alike wore feather boas, drank frozen Jesters and sang at the top of their lungs.
And just as exciting as the atmosphere in The Quarter is the food. New Orleans has always been a leader in cuisine and thankfully, the dreaded Katrina couldn’t squelch their flavor. Some stops this trip included the necessary beignet fix at Cafe Du Monde, a newbie (and goodie) La Bayou on Bourbon and the diner-style, side street cafe, Johnny’s PoBoys.
If you’ve been curious as to New Orleans’ existence post hurricane, now is the time to check out this diverse and strikingly beautiful city. The streets still smell like piss (some things never change) but overall, New Orleans is back and better than ever.