Sunday, January 18, 2015


so recently, i left for my trip to new orleans. staying in DC for almost 3 months and having a daily adventure sure did give me the travel bug! i was sitting on the fence a little thinking should i really spend my money and go (flights are the worst to pay for)? i finally decided yes and justified it as a college graduation present for myself.

new orleans has definitely been on the top of my list. to me, i always got the impression that nola is one of those few places in the united states that really has a unique culture all its own that is non comparable to any other city. i also considered  boston, but opted out because of the winter weather--this southern california girl cannot handle the cold! like i said earlier, i was originally going to go by myself, but my dad really wanted to go. even though i was not alone, i planned this trip on my own. i booked the flights/hostel and put together the itinerary.

leaving LA during sunrise.

i left really early in the morning (4 o'clock) and got there about 1:30 in the afternoon. the first day was cold, 40 degrees fahrenheit, and cloudy but it was not miserable. it eventually started to rain during the night. the first destination was city park. here they have thousands of oaks with moss growing on them. the west coast girl in me mistaken them as weeping willows. this park was so beautiful and unlike anything i had ever seen.

i then went to storyland, a children's playground. it may not sound fun for the average 22 year old, but i really wanted to go. here they have sculptures that illustrate different fairytales and nursery rhymes. if i am not mistaken they are made my mardi gras float designers. i wish i could have visited this as a kid, but i still had fun.

next, i walked around the park and went through the sculpture garden. most of the time i am not very drawn to sculpture gardens, but i would say this one beats the one in DC.

fancy oaks wearing necklaces

this was creepy. the body would just blow in the wind.

 i knew one of the places i had to go to was the morning call coffee stand. a 24 hour coffee joint. i heard they had the best beignets in the city. morning call was one of the highlights of the trips. at first, i noticed tour buses circling around (like that scene out of spongebob) and thought, "oh know. it's just a tourist trap." i could not be more wrong. also, the name is so misleading. it looks much more like a parlor or "coffee" shoppe without being gimicky (after all, it is over 100 years old). also, they have really good beignets, says the amateur foodie. they are slightly crispy but so fluffy inside and not greasy. i tried beignets at other places and they do not compare. also, all the workers are such characters, a random one started to play the flute. so much fun.

beignets and cafe au lait.

after, i ran into some problems. i went to buy some jazzy (bus) passes, and it just sucked up the money. to get the tickets, i had to go the rta hub. it was unfortunate, but at least i got to learn more about nola's rta (thats what the urban planner in me keeps saying). new orlean's, just like san francisco, uses a streetcar system for some of its routes and it is not just a trourist trap. the locals use it all the time. makes me wish even more that LA would start something like this.

i then made my way to the hostel, nola jazz house in mid city new orleans. it was a nice place. i am not complaining, but i feel i was spoiled by my other trips. the HI downtown san francisco hostel and the philadelphia house were so great in there different ways. i think a lot of my disappointment has to do with the lay-out the building. it is just impractical that is really not meant for a hostel.

the private room

later we had dinner down the street at "katies." they serve homestyle food with a southern flair. we had crab cakes with remoulade sauce and a catfish po'boy with the dressings. it was delicious.

now for a song!i thought for this series i would choose a set of jazzy/bluesy songs. for today, i am sticking with an og nola jazz artist. louis armstrong and ella fitzgerald with "love is here to stay."

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