Ah.. New Orleans!
Here is an excerpt of an interview with the legendary Lenny Kravitz by Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune on NOLA dot COM.
Kravitz: Oh yeah. That’s the first house I ever owned, man — I ain’t getting rid of that. I came down to New Orleans for Jazz Fest 15 years ago. Aretha Franklin was playing, and I’d never seen Aretha live. At the time I was working on my album “Circus” in New York. I came down for what was going to be just a weekend, ended up staying for three or four months and bought a house. Had no furniture, was sleeping on the floor.
I’d always loved New Orleans when I passed through there, but I’d never hung out like that. I met all these people. I met Allen Toussaint and recorded in his studio. New Orleans was just magical.
TP: What about the city appealed to you?
Kravitz: There’s certain things in life that I love. One is architecture. And music, culture, food, people. New Orleans has all of that. The Quarter didn’t look like the rest of America — there’s actually some age. The music, obviously, is everywhere, coming out of every corner, and everybody plays.
I wanted to live in the Quarter and be in the middle of it. Willy DeVille lived two blocks down. He was the only cat that I knew that was a musician that I’d met somewhere else. It was so great, man.
Read more here
I was recently in New Orleans and all I can say is that I fell in love with the place. Totally love at first sight. Heck, it was even love at first bite! Being a foodie and all, Nola was the ultimate playground for the hungry explorer in me.. Completely knocked my socks off. The best thing about this entire experience was that it came.. cheap!
Here is a great list of 10 experiences for under $10 bucks that you can have in Nawlin’s!
1. Po Boy
You need to eat one of these to know how yummy this New Orleans specialty is. The Po Boy is delicious! A po’ boy (also po-boy, po boy, or poor boy) is a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat or seafood, usually fried, served on baguette-like Louisiana French bread.
What makes a po-boy special is the bread. A po-boy isn’t a po-boy unless it’s made with good quality, fresh French bread. New Orleans French bread has a crunchy crust with a very light center. The loaves are about 3′ in length, and are about 3-4″ wide. Once upon a time, there was many a corner bakery that made their own French bread, but there are only three bakery’s left in town that make true French bread: Gendusa’s, Leidenheimer’s, and Binder’s. Many of the larger grocery stores make bread that they call “French bread,” but it’s not made in the old brick ovens that the real bakeries use, so it doesn’t come out with the same contrast between crust and center.
2. Dueling Pianos at Pat O’briens
For a small tip, these skilled pianists will play anything you request!
Through the years Pat O’Brien’s has been and always will be an important part of New Orleans culture. At the end of prohibition in 1933, Pat O’Brien converted his speakeasy to a legitimate drinking establishment in the 600 block of St. Peter Street called, of course, Pat O’Brien’s. Business was good and the bar was always filled with neighborhood folks. There was a little upright piano in the corner for entertainment and there was always lively conversation. A few years later Pat realized that he had outgrown his little space. He and his friend Charlie Cantrell decided to become partners and buy the building at 718 St. Peter Street, the building that is now home to the world famous bar.
In the mid 1940’s, Pat O’Brien’s Bar propelled when the Hurricane Drink (please see below, no.9) was created. At that time, there was short supply of liquor such as whiskey, bourbon and scotch. There was, however, access to rum coming up the river. Bar owners were forced to buy large quantities of rum, 50 cases or so, in order to purchase other liquor. Through trial and error, they came up with a drink that everyone loved! Pat O’Brien paired it up with a glass shaped like a Hurricane lamp and the drink was perfected!
3. Beignets at Cafe du Monde
Quote: ” Beignets = delicious fried powdery sugar goodness. I’m going to send a text message to God to make sure heaven has these” !
Kids, adults and old folks.. all reduced to well, children really, eating this yummy snack and licking the sugar powder from their hands! Man, there is white sugar everywhere. Just one suggestion – don’t wear black or you will get white sugar powder all over your ass!
4. A single boxed praline from Aunt Sally’s famous original Creole Pralines
Sweet Pralines bubbling in an old copper pot. The click-clack of a horse-drawn carriage on a cobblestone street. Jazz drifting from an ancient doorway. The rich taste of gumbo. The first bite of a hot, fresh beignet. The smell of sweet pralines still warm from the kitchen. These are the sights, sounds and flavors that make up New Orleans! This is what the founders of Aunt Sally’s Pralines wanted to share with the world.
Wow.. certainly the best pralines in Nawlins. I love the original flavour with pecan, but trust me there are loads of other creative flavours to sample and to choose from!
In the days of sailing vessels, when news and fashion took months to travel from Paris to New Orleans, a southern gentleman made business trips to Paris and returned with some of these pralines, which he presented to the head cook of his plantation. By virtue of her excellent cooking, she prepared a confection that has lived through the ages.
Instead of almonds, she used a Louisiana nut called a pecan (pronounce “peakon”) and sugar made from Louisiana sugar cane. Instead of one nut she used a handful of pecans for good measure. In his historical writings of early Louisiana, eighteenth century historian Le Page du Pratz praised the pecan and its use in “the pralinea .. one of the delicacies of New Orleans” .
5. Street Car Rides
For just $1.25 ride the street car up and down the tracks. When you get to the end of the track, watch the driver cum conductor turn off the engine, switch the seats to face the other direction, walk to the back of the carriage and start all over form the opposite direction! There are red (air-conditioned) ones, and there are green (non aircond) ones.
6. Slots at Harrah’s
Your ten dollars may just double, triple or win u a fortune!
7. Street Performers
Don’t be stingy.. go ahead and give a mime a buck.
8. French Market
Fun and funky treasures to be found here. Also fresh fruits and drinks!
Drink that famous drink.. THE Hurricane at Pat O’briens.
Yes, it’s true. Pat O’s has the best specialty drinks in the world! Voted best Bloody Mary, BEST specialty drink (hurricane), best patio and a bunch of other BESTs this place is the place to come to get rat-faced plus be entertained by the famous dueling pianists!
10. The Sazerac
This drink just scrapes through at $10! Do not miss the Sazerac at where else, but The Sazerac Bar, The Roosevelt hotel. New Orleans is not called “top ten best drinking cities in America” by GO magazine for nothing! The Ramos Gin Fizz here is a must too.. but that takes me up to number 11, so I shall stop here!
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