Although I often joke that living here is similar to being in a bad relationship, there is no other place I would rather reside.
Sadly, there is a dark underside to this lovely city and at times she is quite dysfunctional. But no matter how often you leave or try to leave, she beckons you back with her charms, her warmth, the food, the music, the architecture and you just can't help yourself, you must return.
She makes you forget your cares, your worries and most of all, your inhibitions.
So from a local standpoint, please allow me to give you a few insider local secrets on places to stay, things to do, where to eat and how to stay safe.
First on the agenda, where should you stay.
Well you could stay at a hotel in the French Quarter or you could stay at a B&B or Guest House in one of our many neighborhoods.
The advantages to staying at a Guest House or B&B is that you will have the opportunity to truly experience the real New Orleans.
Live like a local and mingle with the locals and we do love to mingle. If we see you on the street looking lost we will offer assistance and guide you in the right direction.
You can stay at one of the many licensed Guest Houses and have your very own apartment. Or stay at a B&B and have the host/hostess catering to your needs and providing you with personal recommendations.
And it's QUIET. So after a night out on Bourbon or Frenchmen Street you will return to your quiet space and get a good nights rest. And believe me, you will need it.
One of the great neighborhoods of New Orleans is the Faubourg Marigny. Located just one block from the FQ it's truly an artsy, bohemian neighborhood with houses dating back to the 18th century.
Dauphine House B&B - 1830 Dauphine Street - one block from the FQ.
A Creole Cottage Guest House - 1827 Dauphine Street - one block from FQ
Little Eazy Guest House - 1526 Pauger Street - two blocks from FQ
Be sure to click on links to check out their websites for more info on what they offer.
These establishments are licensed with the city and all offer free parking which is like gold in New Orleans.
Should you decide to stay at any Guest Houses or B&B's always inquire if they are licensed.
And if you still prefer a hotel then check out
LeRichelieu Hotel - 1234 Chartres Street - Great place, excellent staff, swimming pool, cafe/lounge, parking lot.
Ok, so now you have arrived, you are all settled in and ready to try out some New Orleans FOOD !!!!
Oh how we love to eat.
There are Po Boys, Gumbo, Beignets, Oysters, Red Beans & Rice, Etouffees, Jambalaya, there is Creole, Cajun and so much more.
Coops - 1109 Decatur Street - Its a dive bar with some of the finest and cheapest New Orleans style food.
Adolfo's - 611 Frenchmen Street - A tiny little restaurant that sits atop the Apple Barrel Bar with the most amazing food.
Felix's - 739 Iberville Street - Oysters, Oysters, Oysters !!!!! Eat them raw but try some char-grilled.
Johnny's Po-Boys - 511 St. Louis Street - Best Po-Boys in towns. When they ask if you want it dressed, just say yes.
GW Fins - 808 Bienville Street - When its time to dress up and enjoy a slightly more expensive taste of Nola, this is it.
Well you now have a great place to stay, your enjoying some great New Orleans food, what to do next.
There are so many strange but true tales that a great way to hear about many of them is take the
Strange True Tour where you can learn some of the more bizaare history of our city. Scandal, intrigue, mayhem and mystery. Learn about Slavery and the Code Noir, Prostitution and Storyville, Oswald/JFK/New Orleans connection.
StrangeTrueTours - Departs daily at 7pm - 513 Royal Street - Reservations Recommended - 504-258-0760.
Or visit one of our Cemeteries where you can see the final resting place of Marie Laveau, see where Easy Rider was filmed, learn why we have above ground burials and the history of Jazz Funerals.
Stroll along the River, visit the French Market for souvenirs, walk thru Jackson Square where local artist show off their work, and musicians play for tips. Check out the antique shops and art galleries on Royal Street. the vintage shops on Decatur Street , and all around you will see some of the most beautiful French and Spanish architechture that will take you back in time.
And when your feet get tired because New Orleans is a walking city, rest awhile at Cafe Du Monde where you can sip chicory coffee with some beignets as you watch a melting pot of characters pass by.
Take a walk down Bourbon Street but when you are ready for the real music of New Orleans, then its time to hit Frenchmen Street where you can hear some of the finest local musicians.
Its a 24/7 town, some bars never close. Dont rush to finish that drink, just ask for a Geaux Cup (pronounced GO)
You are allowed to walk the streets with a drink providing its in a plastic geaux cup. No glass bottles.
And if anyone wants to bet that they can tell you "where you got dem shoes"
Just smile and reply, "I got dem on my feet"
Also please remember we do have a slight crime problem so be alert and aware of your surroundings.
Dont talk on your I-phone and not pay attention to what is happening around you because that fancy phone will be snatched from your hands. Ladies, please try not to carry big purses.
Stay from Bourbon St. to the River and dont wander off the beaten path.
We love our city, we hope you do to. Just respect it, dont piss on our streets, yes people really do that when they get drunk.
And quite honestly we got pissed on enough to last a lifetime when the levees broke.
Le Bon Temps Roule !!!!!!!!