City Park New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs Is a suitcase and trunk

Had lunch at Juan’s Flying Burrito.  Quite good but their veggie burrito had a lot of jalapenos in it, and I think I got all of them in one bite.  My mouth was fiery for a while and I was sweaty.  Still good though.

Thursday night I took the streetcar down to Harrah’s Casino to play some poker.  When I tried to get into the casino I handed the security lady my passport as she asked me how old I was, and I froze and said “27?” like it was a question.  Turns out I’m actually 28.  Who knew?  Hadn’t played in a long time and ended up down a bit, but I had a good time.

Sort of took a half day on Friday.  Worked in the morning, then took an hour break and ran about 5 miles around the bayou and through City Park.  It’s a nice 2-mile then 3-mile route.

Walked through Uptown to find the post office on Lafayette Square and scour the parade route.  Didn’t feel like sticking around though.  Just not in the mood.  So I toured a lot of the area, the shops, etc, to figure out where to go to buy things that I might need (new wallet, shorts, shoes, etc).  I ended up seeing a little of the parade, but it was a mad house so I ended up just walking through the French Quarter again and back up to the apartment.  I’ll prepare a little better tomorrow and stick it out on the parade route.

This is Lafayette Square.  There was a band playing, and a statue.
This is Lafayette Square. There was a band playing, and a statue.

It’s been a week since I’ve had any alcohol, coffee, bread, or cheese.  I don’t know what my life has become.  6 days in a row has got to be my longest streak since I was 21, and I’m in New Orleans of all places.

Saturday I did a much better job participating in festivities after my previous experience.  I walked around City Park for a little while and read my book.  It really is a beautiful park.

City Park New Orleans
Pretty sure there aren’t any alligators at this point. Or maybe that’s what they want me to think.

Then I walked out to New Orleans’ famous cemeteries, which seem to be a pretty big deal here.  Full sepulchers for everyone.  Or vaults?  They’re all above ground.  I’m not really huge on cemeteries, but it was something to do.

Cemeteries in NOLA
Zombies wouldn’t be as dirty here.

From there I took a streetcar down to the main parade area and caught Krewe of Pontchartrain, Krewe of Choctaw, and Krewe of Freret.  Kid-friendly with some cool floats.  Kid near me was all about collecting parade coins (thrown by floats) so I helped him with his collection.  Here are a couple floats.

Rock em Sock em Robots
Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots
Superman float
If I go crazy I’d still call him Superman

Went back to the apartment to settle for a couple hours before coming back for the night parades, which start around 8.  Started off with an Abita Amber at a dive bar before things kicked off, then took some of it with me and bought a couple PBR cans at a convenient store.

Being able to drink on the streets is so convenient.  You just get a beer somewhere and then walk around with it freely.  Streets are a mess though.  Like, horribly messy.

Anyways, based on observations the previous night, I decided to park myself on St. Charles Street to watch the parade as it came through Uptown to the quarter.  After it went through, I then just walked back to Canal Street and watched part of it go by again.  This doubles your opportunities to get throw items (which are worthless, but it’s something to do).

NOLA parade
Most of my pictures of this parade turned out bad.
Streetcar parade float
I thought this one was really cool.

Taking a good picture is very dangerous.  You could get hit in the face with a string of beads, or an entire bag of beads, or even a ninja star.  So I didn’t take a lot of pictures.

Beads are pretty easy to come by, so I wore them for the parade and then took a selfie before shedding my bejeweled visage.  I got called out taking it, and one of the guys decided he wanted to be in the selfie with me, which I was cool with.

"Say it's a picture with your new black friend."
“Say it’s a picture with your new black friend.”

For the record, I NAILED the cool person handshake afterward.

Walked through part of Bourbon on my trip back to the apartment just to see how busy it was.  It was very busy.

Bourbon Street
You’ve got to watch out for balcony people. They throw things.

Then I ducked off Bourbon to St Peter, which has a cluster of Irish bars.  I went in Finnegan’s Easy and drank some of a $2 PBR before continuing my trek.

I decided to walk up Frenchman to see what was going on since it was still rather early, and there were a lot of live bands playing so I stopped in Checkpoint Charlies, Vaso, and Blue Nile.  Enjoyed the band at Vaso the most – had kind of a Latin American jazzy vibe.  Talked to some locals on the balcony of Blue Nile again for a while.  Friendly people.  But jeez 2 miles is a long ways to walk back (from Frenchman, it’s 3 miles from the parade).  All in all I probably had 6 beers and spent like $21. Hot deals.

Sunday I had a relaxing day in and decided to try my hand at vegetarian Cajun cooking.  I should really do one with a meat substitute, but for now I kind of just cooked what I had lying around the apartment.

Vegetarian Cajun
Celery, Bell Pepper, Onions, Garlic, and a little Mushroom.

Those basics I combined with fried eggplant and polenta for this creation, for better or worse.  I didn’t taste it yet, but it did manage to make the entire place smell like onion.

Vegetarian Polenta
I don’t even know what polenta is.

Then I mad a Cajun mixture with red beans and quinoa, and a regular quinoa and broccoli thing as well.  Cooking is done for the week!  I’m such an adult!

Oh, I also went down the Fair Grinds coffee shop, which is pretty adorable.  I like it more than Bean Gallery, plus it’s cheaper.  Win-win.

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