The Dead Dog Blues
CHASING THE BLUES, CHAPTER 3: NEW ORLEANS
With no desire to repeat yesterday's bumbling around, we started the day with some planning, outlining what we wanted to do today and sketching out the next few days—Extremis Louisianas to Lafayette by the weekend. That done, we packed up and drove to the National World War II Museum on Magazine Street.
|World War II Museum looks like a fleet of battleships.|
|Bombed out scene|
After all that combat, we were ready for something with a lighter tone, so we moved on to the quirky atmosphere of Jackson Square, pausing to check out the small French Quarter visitor center of the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park near the square. With sites scattered across south Louisiana, the park relates the history and culture of early New Orleans and the lower Mississippi River delta.
|St. Louis Cathedral|
|Galen, a great New Orleans street performer|
We finally settled on Stanley Restaurant on the square for lunch. Specializing in New Orleans comfort food, the menu was a less than ideal match for a pair of salad lovers. But the food was very fresh, and the service impeccable. At Stanley, we caught our first glimpse of the New Orleans style of hospitality, and we were impressed. Both the hostess and server were brimming with friendliness enhanced by a convincing sincerity.
|St. Louis Cathedral interior|
|Jackson Square artistic offerings|
Since we were in the area, we decided on a whim to stroll up Dumaine Street on the slim chance we might run into Jacques, a costume-loving French mastiff we had met hanging out in front of his home on Dumaine in December, 2012. When our memory failed us on the exact location, we pulled up a photo of the natty canine on our blog and realized we were standing exactly at his address.
|Jacques (L) and Jules (R)|
So far, Jules has not learned to love costumes as Jacques did, but the gentleman is optimistic that she will. She has been attending obedience school, the only place where she is perfectly behaved, leading trainers to ask her befuddled owner why she is there. Jules is rather skittish, he explained, still adjusting to the noise and commotion of living in the French Quarter, but hope springs eternal. We'll definitely seek them out again to check on Jules' sartorial progress when we return to New Orleans.
|A popular New Orleans attraction|
Ten years ago, Katrina left five feet of water in his house, "but I'm back," he said. "My house is OK now." Like the employees in Stanley, he seemed genuinely friendly, glad to chat with us even if we weren't buying his service.
After picking up our car, we headed toward our hotel. Along the way, we stumbled upon Jenavieve Cook and the Royal Street Windin' Boys performing at the corner of Royal and Conti. With Jenavieve on vocals and trumpet, they were offering up some entertaining old-style New Orleans jazz as well as a bit of blues.
Eventually we reached Lamothe House, an 1839 city mansion converted to a French Quarter guest house. Its location at the cusp of the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood had lured us there. It was in easy walking distance of Frenchman Street. Often referred to as "the locals' Bourbon Street", Frenchman was the place New Orleanians had consistently pointed us to when we asked where to find blues music in the city.
Frenchman was also the place where we were treated to yet another generous serving of New Orleans hospitality. Greeters were standing outside several of the clubs and restaurants on the street to welcome you into their establishments. When we told one we were looking for blues music, she replied that her particular venue did not have any blues performances that night but proceeded to find us a place down the street where Dana and the Boneshakers were playing. Highly recommending the band, she sent us off to Bamboula's, once again amazed at the ability of New Orleans locals to make us feel genuinely welcome in their city.
Tomorrow we'll leave New Orleans to explore more of Louisiana, but not before we had a chance to hear a little New Orleans blues from Dana and her crew.
- Artists in Jackson Square: 23
- Carriages around Jackson Square: 16
- Street performers around Jackson Square: 42
- Shops around Jackson Square: 26
- Tourists around Jackson Square: 1,529
- Statues of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square: 1
More Photos from Today
|My Gal Sal, a B17E lost in a World War II mission over Greenland and recovered 53 years later|
|Jackson Square in its spring glory|
|A team reconnaissance of Dumaine Street|