I know what it means to miss New Orleans

It’s no secret among those who know me that I *love* New Orleans more than any place else on earth.  It is my most favorite city.  I was lucky enough to go to graduate school there and to spend three fabulous years in that seductive city.  I just went back for a weekend and showed Bill my version of the town.  Here’s just a few iphone snaps I took — bear with me as this blog is bound to be a bit NOLA-heavy over the next few days.  I thought I’d start off by sharing a few of my favorite places.  People always ask me where to go, what to do, so here’s the start of my little list.  Some of these you’ve probably heard of, but maybe not all . . .
*Layfayette No. 1 – this is my most favorite cemetery in New Orleans.  You might be thinking that’s an odd thing to start off with, but cemetery’s there are a big deal.  They are above ground, run down in the way that things can be there, yet still elegant.  I’m sure there’s famous people buried there, but I’m not really sure who.  They filmed an Ashley Judd movie there years ago.  I just like to walk around and look at the history.  Sometimes I eavesdrop on a walking tour there too.  It’s also in the heart of the Garden District, so a great spot to include if you walk around there.  Which you should.
* Speaking of the Garden District, we happened upon the most lovely surprise this trip — the ladies of the NOLA Opera Guild have opened up a home there for tours.  You might think this is no big deal, but it is.  It’s the only home that you can tour in the Garden District.  The houses there are just lovely from the street, but to really get a sense of the place, you need to go inside.  Now me, I have connections so I get to see inside homes all the time.  (Yeah, not such a humble brag there!) But even so, I do not get to see inside gorgeous mansions & this is one of them.  It’s also available for wedding receptions.  Y’all out there reading, if you want a former resident to come on down and shoot your wedding in NOLA, I am your girl!  We loved our tour of this place and fell in love.
* One of the things I just adore about New Orleans is that they have totally unique shops that sell things that are cool now, but they have always sold them regardless of the trends.  One of these places is the silver shop called As You Like It on Magazine Street (a fantastic street to find said kinds of shops).  This place sells antique silver of both the solid and hotel variety.  I love finding little treasures like the teaspoons pictured above in their baskets of mismatched items that you can procure for a few dollars.  They also have an online shop & lots of unique things that make excellent gifts.
*At some point in your travels to NOLA, you will likely find yourself in the French Quarter.  While you’re there, do yourself a favor and stop in at the Napoleon House for a drink (just order a Pimms Cup & trust me on that).  It is old and fabulous and caters to locals as well as tourists.  My favorite bar for a little refreshment.  (Second row, on the far left).
*I was thrilled to see that so much of the city is just thriving after Katrina & that little streets that were a bit on the shabby side when I lived there are vibrant places now.  One such street is Oak Street, home to the famous Jacque-Imo’s restaurant and Maple Leaf bar/music hall.  Now there is a fantastic thrift store, a ton of little restaurants, a great home design store, and one of my favorite coffee shops, Rue de la Course.  It’s in uptown, off Carrollton Ave. & well worth the streetcar ride or just drive over if you rent a car (which, I suggest you do).

That’s installment No. 1 of Laura’s NOLA’s picks.  More to come . . .

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