New Orleans – Crescent City – The Big Easy

This is a busy city when it comes to commerce. Most visitors only see the commercial side of town, so they do it well. The large chain hotels have situated themselves effectively to host huge conferences all week long. The small, private hotels are prepared to host families and small events. All of this brings in folks flowing at a steady pace.

our bikes

Our bikes locked to a post in downtown New Orleans.

We did not stay at either of those traditional types of lodging- of course. We rented a private camping space just on the edge of the French Quarter and camped on a piece of property right next to the trains!

Camp NOLA

Camp NOLA

This acre of land is owned by a young, college grad from the East Coast who has decided to try to make a go of natural farming and self-sufficiency in the city. He “rents” tent space in exchange for cash or work. He has a hand-built structure with tarp walls, a tin roof and open beam walls. He recycles pallets and scrap wood from neighborhood businesses and construction sites. He takes fill dirt and compostable materials from workers in the area. His vision is that all of this will develop into a garden with harvested rainwater. In the meantime it is a rough version of camping. Including a poo-bucket with sawdust and no running water. But it offered us a perfect place to put the van for the past few days. The dogs could hang out and watch trains while we rode our bikes the ½ mile to the French Quarter.

Our bikes, chained to a post in the French Quarter.

Our bikes, chained to a post in the French Quarter.

Just for comparison sake, the nearest RV Park is about 8 miles away and charges $96.00 per night plus taxes. While we are not on a tight budget, it always helps to save a little money. So here we are, camped on St. Ferdinand Street and the train tracks.

 

camp NOLA

Camp NOLA

 

There is a large population of people in this city that are living in a nomadic, alternative or homeless lifestyle. no neutral ground in the universe?We have met quite a few on the property.   Actually, this land was the site of a warehouse fire a few years ago. This article discusses the fire, the kids that died in it and the “gutter punks” that live this lifestyle.   http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/those_who_died_in_warehouse_fi.html

But besides our walk on the “other side of the tracks” we enjoyed some typical tourist experiences. We looked at the ships on the Mississippi River.  ship on the mississipriver view NOLA

 

 

 

 

 

 

We strolled around town to look at statues and listen to street music. This was our favorite.

street music NOLA1street music NOLAwe met up with an AZ friend We even met up with a friend from Arizona and grabbed a geocache together!

 

But the highlight of this visit was the food tour. Our tour guide was very kind and very knowledgeable about the city and the restaurants. Clearly a connoisseur of food, food tour guidehe shared stories of restaurateur’s and history with us for four hours. We sampled muffaleta,  gumbo, jambalaya jambalayaand pralines. We had a roast beef po-boy and ended it with chicory coffee and a beignet beignet. What a fun way to learn about a city, their history and their food traditions.

NOLA we have enjoyed our time. Mississippi, here we come! public park, live music

By the way- the title refers to the historied nicknames of the city. Crescent City because the river flows North and then South here, as it turns a sharp corner which forms a crescent. And The Big Easy supposedly because it is easy to get by, easy to get drunk, easy to get in trouble and easy to enjoy this town.

statue shadow

8 responses to “New Orleans – Crescent City – The Big Easy

  1. Like others , sure enjoy seeing these pictures,since I will never get there to enjoy the food,people and music .We always planned on traveling after retirement,but sometimes plans don’t work out. “Eat desert first,nothing is sure about later ”
    🙂 vic

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  2. Thanks Ken! We found that unusual spot through AirBandB but we have an arsenal of apps to search for options.
    Mike says that those are called threaded rivets and come from hardware stores. They require a hole drilled and then a riveting tool to insert. Try an Internet search or send us an email for more info.

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  3. I love how that guy has a vision and a dream, and that it also helped you to save some money! I was going to say, as I saw what food you were eating, you HAVE to eat the beignets!!! Oh my god, so good!

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  4. How did you guys find this out of the way place.?? Seams like only locals would know this guy. Interesting.
    Also a question for Mike, he was telling me about those threaded inserts he uses to attach “stuff” to the outside of the van, but I’m not having any luck finding them. Can l get a name / what they are called, and where he found them. Thanks, Ken (Dripping Springs)

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