Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Orleans 2013 - Rest of Saturday

This is the final post from our recent weekend trip to the Crescent City.  If you want to read about our visit to Mardi Gras World, what we did on Friday, or our excellent dinner at Cafe Amelie, click to your heart's content.

DB~ found an interesting 5K race that would go through Audubon Park, located in the Garden District.  I signed us up for it the week before.  DB~ really just liked the logo on the T-shirt and thought it would be a cool way to see some of the city.  So we planned on Saturday being our time to run the race in the morning, change clothes after the race, then cruise around the Garden District in the afternoon.

We woke up at 6:30 am (this was a vacation, right?) in order to catch the 7:10 streetcar out St. Charles Street to Audubon Park, in time for the 8 am race.  We were greeted by charcoal gray skies, thunder, and sheets of rain.

We went back to bed.

But at 7 am, the rain stopped and the skies turned light gray.  So with no shower, we threw our race clothes on and ran out to get the streetcar at 7:20.  Long story short, the tracks were under re-construction on St. Charles, so 3/4 of the way there we had to get off and get a bus transfer the rest of the way.  Then we had to walk 1-1/2 miles to get to the start line of the race...for which we were late.

As we were walking to the start line, the racers were running towards us.  We registered and half-heartedly jogged/walked the race.  Then we ate steaming hot crawfish etoufee at the end.  Naturally.

We didn't bring a change of clothes, thanks to our last second departure, so we were walking around the Garden District feeling gross and sweaty.  With the temperature in the 80's and the humidity high, DB~ selected a pub called the Bulldog for our lunch based solely on their air conditioning blasting out on the sidewalk.

After lunch, we went to a great bakery called Sucre based on a recommendation from DB~'s sister, who was there during a work conference a couple of years ago.  Sucre (French for sugar) is known for their macarons, just like Jean-Marc Chatelier in Millvale, so we wanted to see what all the hot fuss was about.  We bought 8 of different flavors and ate 6 of them (I had 4) on the streetcar ride back to the hotel.  They were quite awesome, but we both still liked Jean-Marc's better.

Sucre and The Bulldog, I failed to mention, were located on Magazine Street which runs parallel (but a few blocks away from) St. Charles Street.  Magazine is a lot like Shadyside in some ways and could have been in any city.  There were a lot of great looking restaurants and some fun shops -- we went into a store that specialized in antique locks and hinges, but we were pretty sweaty and starting to get irritated at each other.  It was time for a recharge.

Rather than wait for a bus, we walked back up to St. Charles to catch a streetcar back into town.  As is our way, we randomly selected Washington Street to walk up.  Halfway to St. Charles, we happened upon what is only the most respected restaurant in all of New Orleans known as Commander's Palace.  It is an old money, grand dame type of restaurant that helped launch the culinary careers of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, among others.  I never knew where it was located and we just randomly walked up on it.  What are the odds?

Right across from Commander's Palace was Lafayette Cemetery, which is kind of creepy in a Scooby Doo sort of way, so we wandered through that to check off another thing from DB~'s list.  This wasn't as old as say St. Louis Cemetery in the Quarter, but it was still old and still in poor overall condition, so it was a typical N'awlins graveyard.

After our showers and recharge at the hotel, we went down to Bourbon Street and got on a balcony overlooking the street.  It was around 5 pm, but there were still people milling on Bourbon, still freaky street performers to shake your head at, and other oddities to ogle.  We had some cheap drinks and lorded over the "commoners" below our balcony for an hour.  Then we left to go to Cafe Amelie.

After Cafe Amelie, we had some final drinks (Olde Absinthe House and a return trip to Pat O'Brien's) and said our farewells to one of my favorite cities.

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