Friday, April 29, 2011

NOLA Adventures Day 3 + Airplane Diaries Chicago-bound

I spent yesterday walking the streets of New Orleans once again. It's like a different city from the daytime to nighttime. There is no denying the energy that the people of this city have. Our cab driver who took us back to the airport was incredible. He clearly loves his city. He told us about how he left the city after Katrina but how he was drawn back. He shared stories about the Po' Boy and Muffuletta sandwiches and beamed when we asked questions.

We were a bit sad to leave just before the Jazz Festival kicked off (starts today!), but think it would be amazing to attend in the future. That's right. Despite my interest to poke fun, I also would love to return and soak up the rich music culture. Just as I thought Paris was both beautiful and absolutely unsanitary all at the same time, I also think New Orleans has both positive and negative attributes. As does every city. The streets were considerably packed yesterday and our cabbie explained how great tourism has been for them and did not foresee it slowing down anytime in the future.
These charming train cars travel all around the city.
They're not all red, but just as the people here, they are multicolored and multifaceted.
Whenever I see an old printed building, it excites me. I just want to time travel back to when the sign was created and walk the streets in a totally different era-- one that left remnants and roots, but that have since faded from site. And I personally think a Ginger Mint Julep sounds delicious.
I was fond of this door and the fleur-de-lis that adorned it. This symbol has quite the history that does not isolate itself as a strictly NOLA lily flower.
So very European-esque are these women sitting on that balcony. Could be a better picture, but alas, I was using el cheapo camera and in quite the hurry upon snapping. As it is for any city while being a female, alone, I almost left my purse at the hotel... I wasn't about to bring our fancy camera out with me! Can you say, "please steal me" in a more blatant way?
I needed a picture of music. Taken at Jackson Square where artists of all kinds congregate... if one would consider tarot card readers to be "artists" anyhow.
Inside the St. Louis Cathedral. Yes, this one.
Jackson Square Park shot in front of the St. Louis Cathedral.
More incredible art from some talented folks...
Sarcasm alert. How is it that in the 3 days we spent here and walked past this shop at least three times, no one noticed that their employee clearly spelled the name of their restaurant wrong and never bothered to change it? Pat Sajak, I'd like to buy a "c" and place it between the "s" and "e" letters.
Didn't eat there, but it seemed packed!
I did eat this, though. Felipe's Taqueria. Mmmm. In all honesty, Chicago is pretty lame in the Mexican food category. Whenever I find a place in another city that looks promising, I try it. When you grow up 2 hours from Mexico, burritos run in your bloodstream. It was just a promising as I'd hoped.
As I was walking past these buildings, I met a woman who walked with me the majority of the way back to my hotel. She was a lawyer in town from St. Louis and asked for directions. Being the savvy traveler that I am, I was able to answer with promising results! I noticed she had an Anthropologie bag and we had a nice conversation about our favorite store.
...this post wouldn't be complete without more airplane diaries... so to end our trip, here's the scoop:

I wasn't originally scheduled to visit New Orleans, but after Ray being gone for too many days this month, we decided to purchase me a plane ticket about 2 weeks ago. We saved $80 by booking ourselves on two different airlines. Our planes were leaving within 20 minutes of one another and arriving at O'Hare within 10 minutes of one another. The $80 extra bucks in our pockets meant we'd be flying alone and would therefore have different seat partners than if we were flying together. I took a United Express flight on one of those small airplanes (Embraer) that sat 2-2 on each side. The man I had the pleasure of sitting next to seemed nice but surely took both armrests. Can you tell I hate flying? I hate the claustrophobia, discomfort, and potential death time spent in the air on any given flight.

Back to the seat partner. Once we achieved a safe altitude, the 40-year old man switched on his electronic device, iPhone, to listen to some tunes. Except, he apparently did not understand that the entire plane of people did not have an interest in listening to his selection.

I was busy reading Elizabeth McCracken's sad memoir about her dead baby and needed silence to really soak in the weight of a life I parallel.

There were a number of songs I could literally sing along to... Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, and his favorite selection, Muse's Uprising. But every time he came to Muse in his playlist (twice), he would shoot the volume up tenfold. It was entertaining to watch this man get so excited about this song. Fingers tapping, legs moving, head bobbing. And my goodness... eardrums busting. Just on this song though. I almost asked him why he hates authorities so much, but carried on with my dead baby book. Here's the video for your listening & viewing pleasure:

Or maybe he just likes American Idol and James Durbin got him excited about the song? I'm quite the people-watcher. It makes me think of what people say about me when they watch me do idiosyncratic things like apply lip balm every 15 minutes despite my reapplication being completely unnecessary.


LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Girl, you are brave. I am way too scared of flying to go alone!

Molly said... [Reply to comment]

Thought of you yesterday... we were at a 3-yr-old's bday party, and someone gave him a 4-pack of... you guessed it--FINGER SKATEBOARDS! I was LMAO! :)

Arnold Party of 5 said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so impressed with your el cheapo! You do great things with it!!!