Evan Genest's Learning Log

Web developer notes emphasizing LAMP, Symfony, PHP, Javascript, Drupal, and Node.

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A Week in New Orleans

travel

12 Takehomes from the New Orleans trip

Amtrak

This was a magical 19 hours. I would do it again.
We took a sleeper car on the City of New Orleans from Chicago Union Station to Louisiana's New Orleans. Bring a book, not electronics, to maximize the vibe.

New Orleans Public Library

Several great artworks were at the central branch. I worked there for a day. There are no vending machines, so bring coffee.

Why go: because you want relief from the French Quarter vibe of New Orleans.

Who's there: regular people who need the internet or need a place to quietly hang out. The space is well used. I spent a good hour inspecting all of the displays and art. The central library is an unsung museum, really.

The upscale food court across the street has a great vibe. http://www.pythianmarket.com/ There's a coffee house, a bar, and several food choices, all in a lively, indoor, open space. If you have a convention, this would be a decent place to circle up your crew at night if you need to convene a dozen folks. I think lots of Tulane Medical students are there, so the vibe is youngish.

My favorite day in Nola

Rode a public bike (Nola Blue Bikes) out to Treme neighborhood. Got a haircut at a barber shop Treme . Then shot across the city on the bike into the Lower Ninth Ward, to finally see what that is all about, 15 years post-Katrina hurricane damage.

My favorite 1830s house to stay in

On Hotwire we got a room in a hotel on Esplanade that still has oil paintings of the LaMothe brother and sister who were the first occupants. It has a pool! The pool is an unbelieveable feeling when in a hot gritty urban place like this. 30% of the rooms are ancient and wonderful. 30% are newer and comfortable. Unfortunately 30% are across the street in a less remarkable property, still comfortable and still with pool priveleges. The location is a 3 minute walk from Frenchmen street, which is a much better alternative for drinking and music than Bourbon or Bergundy streets.

12 Years a Slave

The actual tragic scene where Jim Northrop was "sold" (I cannot even believe that is a thing you can do to a father, brother, husband) is right kitty corner from LaMothe House.

Eating Cheaper

Restaurant eating is expensive, even for a divey place. Shrimp and grits was $20 around here so to stay on something like a budget in New Orleans, the eating near La Mothe is best if you go to the several delicatessans: Verte Mart or a couple others. One is 24 hours, withing two blocks of Jean LaFite House Hotel. In the map, search "fruit", "vegetables", or at least "sandwiches" maybe.