Friday, February 19, 2010

At The Corner of Canal and the Quarter

We could have had more food and more fun, but I don’t know how we could have fit more into just five days. We definitely could have fit more family and friends into the apartment, if I had only known ahead of time that we’d score this coup.

I was awakened with a call from Roger, our Atlanta attorney friend. Our party is on the front page of the New Orleans Times Picayune. Even in a city with millions of revelers, we somehow managed to stand out. Of course, it’s rather difficult to keep a low profile when you’ve snagged the best corner in the Crescent City -- for Mardi Gras, at that. Now, all our New Orleans family and friends will know that the bawdy broad came back.

This corner is never quite quiet, but it does take a very brief siesta between the hours of four and five a.m. This is when the party people have finally been herded home by the police with bull horns and the street sweepers are still asleep. There is still the occasional sound of a siren, but not as much as when the Charity trauma unit was the emergency clinic of choice for all traffic accidents, broken fists and faces, and other wounds inflicted during inebriation altercations.

Before dawn, the mountains of trash have been bulldozed and swept off the sidewalks and the streets have been washed down. In a city where the success of the season is measured in tons of trash, it is truly amazing to see not a dot of debris once the street cleaners come through. It’s as if a huge zamboni has resurfaced the city for the beginning of a new day.

Everything important in New Orleans comes by the corner of Canal and the Quarter. Everywhere you want to go is accessible with one of the street cars or buses, the St. Charles streetcar for uptown and university sections, and the Canal line for downtown and the quarter. And if your business is in the ‘burbs, cab rides are less than ten miles from the center of the city. The historic Algiers area is a short ferry boat ride away.

It was a joy to have a number of grocery outlets available, with easily obtainable ethnic ingredients. We were so busy cooking and carousing that it left little time for restaurant reviews. All manner of manna is available in New Orleans’ uncountable restaurants, ranging from mom and pop shops to world-famous chef’s tables. One regret about this trip is how little local cuisine we consumed. We’ll correct that next time.

Another thing that we’ll prioritize next trip down is strolling through the many antique stores and art galleries that line the streets of the city. With so much local artwork rolling and strolling by the windows, there was little need to leave the building for more exposure to this wonder of the world called the Crescent City.

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