Back in May, Veronica, Wendy and I hopped over to New Orleans for the Collision Conference. Whilst most of the time was spent conferencing (and recovering from a brutal hangover). We efficiently managed to get New Orleans done, all my favourite spots, plus some new ones.
I’ve been to New Orleans a handful of times over the past few years, but this trip was the first time I really saw post-Katrina New Orleans. Whilst the cities resilience and spirit had never been lost on me on previous trips (it’s one of my favourite cities in America – top three!) the changes in the past two years have just been incredible, the wounds are healing, and the city is in a true renaissance.
Walking Around the French Quarter
Ace & Jig Outfit
When in Nawlins’ a stop by the Camellia Grill is essential.
The location on Toulouse and Chartres, whilst being the newer of the two locations (the original opened on Carrolton in 1946) is not without it’s charm, and you know you’re not just there for the eggs and the grits, but the service too. It’s breakfast and a show.
This is Jody. He’s worked there long enough that he’s served me before. And when he wasn’t serenading us with Isley Brothers tunes, I asked him exactly how long he’d worked there…
“Since 7am this mornin’ baby”
Café Du Monde
SEA NYC Outfit
Eggs Benedict Po’Boy at Stanleys
Faith at Mulates
This is Faith. Her and her husband have been dancing together for 64 years. Every day she is thankful that her father taught her to dance, else her husband said he’d never have married her.
She was born and raised in New Orleans. A life long believer in women working (“it’s so important to keep working” she told me “keep it up and keep going!”) she worked as a nurse and anesthesiologist.
She was still working into her seventies and her friends would ask her when she was going to retire, she would respond that she would retire when the good lord showed her it was time. In 2005 Katrina happened and her hospital was destroyed.
“The lord sure showed me” she said.
Fried Chicken at Willie Maes
Another Nawlins’ essential, we managed to make a quick stop at Willie Maes Scotch House. (Pro Tip: No wait when there’s torrential rain outside)
Originally set up as a bar with a barbershop and a beauty shop in the early fifties, they replaced the beauty shop with a restaurant in the 70’s and it’s been running ever since. It was badly damaged by Katrina but reopened stronger than ever in 2007 and is now run by Willie Maes great-granddaughter.
It’s been voted best fried chicken in America by the Travel Channel and the Food Network and well, me.
As I always I left a little piece of my heart in New Orleans, and am left with a longing to return.