New Orleans: Part 3

The following evening, we explored the nightlife a little more in New Orleans. No, not Bourbon Street. Instead, we checked out some classy bars and then Frenchmen Street. The day started a little interesting because we were notified by the hotel that there was a boil order, which meant we should not use tap water without boiling it first. You know it’s serious when they shut down the Starbucks! We had instructions on how to do laundry and shower. Craziness. But we decided to enjoy New Orleans despite this new development.

We started off at the Carousel Bar that is an actual working carousel. The bar itself revolves every 14 minutes. It’s a little faster than you’d expect. I could feel the movement in my stomach but it eventually subsided. I ordered a wonderful cocktail, I think the French 007. And it was superb. It was sweet enough for me but not sickeningly so. I was quite pleased. Then again, it’s hard to destroy champagne based drinks.

Carousel Bar

We decided to find a good seafood restaurant. My quest for fresh seafood had not ended. We ended up at Bourbon House. I ordered Alligator Boudin as an appetizer. I wanted to try alligator again and see if I did like it. It reminded me of the Sicilian dish of fried rice balls. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t love fried things. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m not sure I could recognize the taste of alligator but I don’t think I love the way it is prepared.

But I got my fresh seafood. I had oysters and homemade caviar as my entree. It was wondrous. They were fresh and untouched. It was everything I could have wanted. A touch of lemon was all that was needed!  Dessert was a peach cheesecake, which was okay.

And then it was time for some jazz. We walked to Frenchmen street, which was slightly out of the French Quarter. We knew we were in the right place when we found a brass band just playing on the street corner. It was wonderful. We headed to the Spotted Cat since that is where our tour guide recommended. NExt door, however, was a street market of artisans selling paintings, earrings, clothing and much more. The market was open until 1am!

After browsing and posing with the giant ART lights, we went into the jazz club. It was small, cramped, and hot. It was perfect. The first band was washboard, harmonica and percussion. It was quite bluesy, which was nice. Even though I love the blues and live in Chicago, I don’t seek it out much. This bar had a one drink minimum too but the prices were more reasonable. No $5 waters here! Then the next band, the Cotton Mouth Jazz Band, came on. They were everything I wanted. The instrumentation was trumpet, violin (!), tenor sax, double bass and percussion.  They played covers of classic jazz songs. I couldn’t stop by feet from tapping to the music. And I love the band’s character. During one solo for violin, the trumpet player and sax player started playing their instruments like violins!

The Cotton Mouth Jazz Club

Then we decided to see what else was in store for us on the street. Then we had a quandary. We wandered from club to club but all of them had rock, pop, or electronica. We wanted jazz, or even folk. Eventually, the doors swung open at BMC Music Club where two women, who may be Hyperphlyy according to the BMC Facebook page, were singing a series of pop/hip hop/rock melodies. Their music was infectious. We got waters, sat down as they did a 15 minute continuous song of popular 90s music. They were stupendous.

We decided to give it one more try to find a club with music we liked. We ended up settling on the initial brass band on the street. It wasn’t exactly jazz or blues but it was in the style we liked. They did a brassy cover of “Sexual Healing.” It was kinda crazy. People kept lining up in front of them into the street. I was getting concerned that I’d watch someone get hit by a car. Thankfully no one did. While I was standing on the sidewalk across the street, some guys started setting up a BBQ stand right next to me. What a wondrous place. I highly recommend Frenchmen Street. I just wish there were more jazz clubs there. But it’s definitely less gaudy than Bourbon Street.

That’s all for now!

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