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Thursday, 8 March 2012

Time for a drink me thinks

After travelling for close to 20 hours, I was relieved to finally land in New Orleans and arrive at our hostel called Little India.

Note to future travellers:  Little India is a quirky and authentic backpackers hostel which is approximately a 20 minute walk away from central New Orleans.  It certainly lived up to its reputation as eccentric and dirt cheap. Emphasis on the dirt.  Still it was an experience and for $20.00 USD a night, you can’t go wrong. It was safe and secure and the people there were all friendly and willing to help you out wherever they could. Little India was also conveniently located opposite a streetcar stop, which will take you right in to town for $1.25 USD or $3.00 day pass.

On arriving to the hostel in the early evening, we were all itching to explore the area and see the infamous Bourbon Street. Oh- I forgot to mention how hot it was that first night. For some unknown reason, the temperature on arrival to New Orleans was 27 degrees Celsius or 81 degrees Farenheit. We couldn’t believe our luck! It was hot and humid and we were excited.

After befriending a girl (Justine) from California at our hostel, we all caught our first streetcar and headed in to town.  We found a quaint restaurant in the French Quarter and we all ordered the specialities of New Orleans; Jambalaya, Gumbo and Po- Boy. Each item was delicious.

 New Orleans certainly knows how to serve good food. After a few more drinks (and feeling rather merry at this point), we headed out to Bourbon Street and witnessed one of the craziest street parties I have ever seen. No occasion, simply a Friday night in New Orleans.   People were stumbling around with big plastic cups, beads were being thrown at our feet and the stench of vomit in some places was overpowering.   At first, Nicole, George and I were slightly taken back and perhaps even a bit judgmental. Any of you who know me will not be surprised to hear that within the hour- we were right in the crux of it- plastic drinks and all- stumbling around the streets of New Orleans putting dollar bills in the g strings of male strippers.  Sorry mum.


Not sure what to think...


I have been to some pretty crazy parties in my time (Dunedin anyone?) but this took the cake.  I would definitely recommend having a look at Bourbon Street but caution anyone if they think it is in any way a classy place that you can pop down to and have a quick drink. If any of you have been to Phuket in Thailand- think Patong Beach except more people and more alcohol.
All in all I would recommend the following places to go for a drink (or three) in the Bourbon Street area:
1.       Pat O’Brian’s: Bourbon Street: You have probably heard this before, but it is amazing. The line is worth it and you are served drinks whilst you wait.  When you get in there, you are given a table and there are two dualling pianists at the front who will play anything you want. We even got them to play a crowded house song. Make sure you order a hurricane to drink ($8.00 USD) but drink it with caution. I don’t know if it was the jet lag or just the amount of alcohol in the hurricane, but two of those and I was in a very happy place.

2.       Lafettes Bar located in the French Quarter: It is so hard to describe why this place is incredible unless you go there and experience it for yourself. It is allegedly the oldest bar in New Orleans and was originally a blacksmith quarters. The piano man is a legend and the building itself is beautiful and definitely worth popping in.

3.      Pretty much anywhere on Frenchman Street (just off Bourbon):  This area is not quite as tacky intense as Bourbon Street and it is known as being a more local spot meaning the prices are cheaper and there are far less tourists.

4.   Jazz Legends Courtyard Bar.  Nothing more to say.


Now don’t get me wrong- Bourbon Street is pretty damn cool and I definitely recommend going there. I sure had a good time. We only scratched the surface of the nightlife in this area as we had been told of so many different places and areas to go.  It is an experience and a half that you have to do. However, New Orleans has so much more to offer than its nightlife. If any of have been there, you know what I mean. If any of you are going, you absolutely must go to the French Quarter, the French Markets, Garden Village, the Warehouse District and the waterfront. 
 Photos of these fabulous places to come.

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