Some friends and I celebrated New Year’s Eve in New Orleans this year. We stayed in the French Quarter and did nothing productive, which is about as nicely as I can put it for us.
Thursday (New Year’s Eve)
I arrived at Louis Armstrong International Airport and took a cab to our Airbnb, a one-bedroom apartment on Esplanade Avenue. The owner had decorated it with beautiful art. I think you can now pin this image to Pinterest, if you like. There would be seven of us staying there.
The Airbnb actually worked out just fine. The location was great (we didn’t have to take a cab the entire time), my share worked out to less than $60 a night, and there was absolutely nothing of value that we could ruin. This guy had like ten pieces of rusted silverware total and no microwave.
We walked to lunch at the Gazebo Cafe on Decatur Street, which serves classic Cajun and Creole food – jambalaya, fried alligator, gumbo, etc. It tasted good but I would not recommend eating this type of food if you plan to drink heavily.
We sat outside watching football fans head to the Sugar Bowl parade for a while, then moved to another bar. I dug into a giant piece of chocolate cake and my second Hurricane of the day, which put me in a great mood. My friend Denny told me, “You’re eating chocolate cake like an animal, I love it.”
Later, we spent New Year’s Eve at Pat O’Brien’s, a big, old building with a few different courtyards and bars. A very kind, very drunk bartender poured me shots that included sixty-five different types of liquor in all. We went home and ate pizza from a convenience store across the street from the apartment.
Friday (New Year’s Day)
We watched bowl games at The American Sports Saloon, then ate at a chain blues place called BB King’s. New Orleans is known for jazz but I guess they figured all the visiting drunks wouldn’t realize the difference. I didn’t until someone pointed it out to me.
We spent Friday night at Ticklers Dueling Piano Bar. Dan made a show of moving a fake wedding ring he’d worn from his left hand to his right in the middle of a dance with one of our friends, much to the delight of a couple Alabama football fans.
Kyle and Stasi went out and returned with beignets from Cafe du Monde, which were delicious, and eventually we left the apartment to walk around and try to watch some live music. “Walking around and catching some live music” is the kind of activity lazy introverts like me really dislike, so I was secretly glad when we settled at a quiet table in the back of a restaurant called Maison on Frenchman Street to hang out. After dinner, we headed home to pack and clean.
I spent the entire day at the airport because for some reason I selected a 7pm flight and went to the airport in the morning with the idea that I could just switch it to an earlier one for like 50 bucks. Obviously I ended up roaming the terminal for nine hours and spent $85 on sit-down meals, magazines, and M&M’s.
It was a very happy new year and I was grateful to see my friends. I hope you had a good one as well!