New Orleans is a city of indulgence and celebration. Bourbon Street is a touristy extreme, but the same feel, perhaps slightly more restrained, can be felt throughout the city. Perhaps it’s the French roots, or the tropical climate, but whatever the reason most who live or visit here embrace it.
Every event demands a parade. If someone gets married, or dies, if a baby is born; apparently these all are marked by a walking band.
This whole-hearted enjoyment of life is seen in what they eat and drink. Fine dining and creative cocktails in elegant bars, or sloppy sandwiches and booze in take-out cups; at either end the same expectation and enjoyment of excellence exists.
And of course, everything must be accompanied by music.
At first, I tried for a modicum of restraint and healthy eating. I don’t eat fried food at home, but how could I resist the best fried chicken in the city, the country, and perhaps the world? (I was sceptical. I’m not anymore. Go to Willie Mae’s.)
A friend tried to find a juice bar. Getting no response, he downgraded to asking for a fruit smoothie.
“Without alcohol?” He was asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
“No,” was the answer.
I left N’awlins satiated, smiling, and with clothes that had inexplicably shrunk in the week I was there. I couldn’t eat like that all the time, but I look forward to my next visit to the this crazy city.
Sometimes my brave travels are easy.