As I write this, I'm sitting in my room in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, which is pretty much at the geometric center of the French Quarter. My first impression of the French Quarter--narrow streets, dingy buildings, bags of garbage piled by the sidewalk. It's Columbus Day, so I'm assuming that the normal garbage pick-up didn't happen today.
My friend Dave and I had dinner at a place called Sbisa's, if I remember the name correctly. We started with Mint Juleps, which Dave really liked; but a Mint Julep is just bourbon with mint and sugar, and unfortunately the mint and sugar don't do enough to hide the taste of the bourbon. What can I say, it isn't a flavor I've acquired. Dave had duckling and I had filet mignon, and we capped it with slices of chocolate ganache torte which were outstanding. The filet could have been dry and chewy (it was neither) and the torte would still have made up for it.
After that we walked around and window shopped, and looked at the Mississippi.
For the record, Dave and I are in New Orleans for the 11th Annual Tcl/Tk Conference. As usually, the conference consists of a couple of days of tutorials, followed by three days of papers and other technical sessions. I skipped the first day of tutorials, and was supposed to be teaching one of them tomorrow, but that fell through about a month ago; so I'm at something of a loose end tomorrow. I shall have to find something interesting to do......
Make sure you take in Preservation Hall! It's in the Quarter. And have beignets and caffe au lait at Cafe du Monde near the French Market--then go to the French Market and wander around.
And if you have some time during the day, check out Royal street and the "antique" shops. You can also go see where Faulkner had his apartment near Jackson Square--there's a bookstore there now.
I love New Orleans! Just hanging out on a street corner watching the street performers is a gas. And you could collect beads for Jane!