Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Preservation Hall...

...and Mr. Leroy Jones.  We're starting with the highlights of our stay in The Big Easy...and this was definitely a high point...everything you read and hear about Preservation Hall is true...it's a small, hot, humble, ramshackle venue on St. Peter's street, about half a block from Bourbon St...

...but the live jazz music played there is "must experience in person" stuff.  Leroy Jones, jazz trumpeter extraordinaire, who toured with Harry Connick Jr's band as his lead soloist, was the leader of the band Monday night and what a treat.  It was a fabulous show put on before an enthusiastic crowd, truly the highlight of this trip.  Marcellus was thrilled to find out he'd be listening to Leroy Jones in person, and the night was everything we hoped it would be and more.

Another highlight was listening to Marcellus playing his trumpet from the observation deck of our hotel against the backdrop of the night time skyline...
it don't mean a thing if ain't got that swing and the saints came marchin' in our last night at the hotel...
The lad is good and I told him he may have a talent the world needs to hear, so keep that in mind while pursuing his jazz dreams.

In general it was fun walking the area...lots of art and street musicians of varying quality and talent, but all with an open venue to practice their craft and vie for tips from passersby.

We stopped at the Jazz Park, which is really just a room with not a lot to see...it's performance based, and they have artists stop by several times a week.

I did get a pic of Marcellus with Satchmo...

...and we did tour the beautiful outdoor Louis Armstrong park and its various statues of Jazz greats...
a slightly larger version of the great Louis Armstrong...
Sidney Bechet
Charles "Buddy" Bolden
Switching gears a bit, New Orleans is known for its food almost as much as its Jazz...

Don't normally see alligator and jambalaya on menus back home.  Marcellus did try 'gator - he said it was ok - and there are lots of "Alligator - the other white meat" t-shirts for sale everywhere.

We steered clear of the more exotic fare since we didn't have a week or two to fight the gastrointestinal battles of acclimation to local cuisine.

A famous restaurant everyone lines up for is the Cafe du Monde...
they line up every day for their world famous beignets and coffee...
We tried the faster, less crowded, less expensive version of the beignet - a deep fried pastry with tons of powdered sugar - at a little place a half block away...dee-lish...

Breakfast was in room and traditional...
Delicious - the coffee at the Omni Royal Orleans hotel is excellent - but like all food in this tourist town, incredibly expensive.

Dinner was out and about at various restaurants...
By the time our stay was finished, I'd made a couple of mortgage payments on food for the four of us.  Yikes.

And of course, no visit to the French Quarter would be complete without the requisite visit to Bourbon Street and the surrounding area...

the infamous rue bourbon...

you can bet patrons of this hotel don't get to sleep before 3 am...

encouraging message, but only applies at night...walk in groups or get mugged...

did not buy any zombie cigars...made with real brains, I assume...
the town is obsessed with voodoo and mystics...
scraping the bottom of the barrel on Bourbon Street...
So that was our stay in the Big Easy for a couple of days...flying home this afternoon and back in the saddle tomorrow...

later, mcm fans...

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