Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NOLA Day 2 - a wet whirwind

I finally got to see a lot of New Orleans on my second day - granted, most of it was from the inside of a car, but still, a view is a view.

We were going to go to the Museum of Modern Art to see the Disney exhibit, but the museum turned out to be closed on Tuesdays. So Plan B (as opposed to M-O-U-S-E) was to drive around and see as much as we could from the car, since it rained all day long.

Actually, for our first stop, we didn't have to leave at all. Dad showed me the church associated with the Friary. Just for comparison's sake, here's the church at the time of the flood:

And here it is now:

Quite the difference, no?

Once we left, Dad took me to the lower Ninth Ward, on which Katrina was especially punishing. Here, I was struck by the houses being built, some of them through Brad Pitt's efforts. The architectural style struck me as awfully "Hollwood" for such a Southern state. Witness:

Shortly after that, we made our way to the French Quarter. Even though the rain prevented us from getting out and exploring, I could tell from the car that you could spend your  entire vacation here and not waste your time. Just looking at all the varying styles of the buildings was fascinating.

We're hoping to be able to get out and walk around the Quarter, possibly on Thursday if the skies are clear.

Next we made our way to the Garden District,  AKA the fancy parta town. We stopped at a little mall of shops, which rather reminded me of the old Dayton Arcade:

Our one stop here was the Garden District Book Shop, and this place was soemthing all too rare in the era of Barnes & Nobles and Books-a-Millions: a bookstore with personality. The selection wasn't especailly deep, but the place had atmosphere to spare. Boxes of books that were still being unpacked dotted the floor. There were all kinds of autographed  copies that incluided everyone from Pat Conroy to Sue Monk Kidd.  I was especially amused by the shelf of vampire books, dominated, of course, by Anne Rice tomes.  I could have spent hours here, even in such a tiny place. Great fun.


After that we had dinner at the Camellia Grill, which is rather like a Steak n Shake without the corporate sheen.

We had, of course, burgers. I had a double on toasted rye that was quite thick and flavorful, but the best part was the chili, which had a nice kick to it - I wish there were more of it!

And that was pretty much it for the day. It gets dark at about 5 p.m. here, which is rather unsettling, but it leave me plenty of time free to write ramblings such as these.

If you'd like to see more pics from the trip, check out my Facebook photo album - you don't have to be a member of Facebook to see it.

Wednesday: Miracle on 34th Street at an old-fashioned theater in New Orleans, and quite possibly the Disney exhibit.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it's weird to go from the western part of the Eastern Time Zone to the eastern part of the Central Time Zone, isn't it? Very disconcerting and potentially depressing on a regular basis. Especially since all my relatives were always telling me that I didn't have any business out after dark.

    Back in '02-'03 in the time of the serial killer in Baton Rouge - the worst one, that is - I could go to a 24 hour store like Albertson's or Walmart and they would be nearly deserted by 8 p.m.

    Jeopardy answer: Upton, Kentucky

    "Where is the place where the east and central time zones meet in Kentucky traveling on I-65 between Louisville and Bowling Green?"

    It's really good for bets because people tend to think the time zones follow state lines.