I ended being the first one up Monday morning, and it didn’t look like anyone else had intentions of getting up anytime soon so I figured I might as well get up and go see some sights. It was kind of nice waking up and going out on my own to explore around town. Even though it was around 10 or 11 in the morning there were already crowds of people in the streets watching parades on Canal Street and collecting beads on Bourbon Street.
I made my way down Bourbon Street which was still crowded during the day but not nearly as bad as it was durning the night.
The first place I wanted to check out was called Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop which is supposedly the oldest continually running bar in the United States and was once owned by the pirate Jean Lafitte.
I stopped by the bar but didn’t go inside since it was still early and I had other things I wanted to see. I got off Bourbon Street and started walking through the surrounding neighborhood which was quite nice.
I liked walking around checking out the architecture and getting away from the crowds. I made my way towards the Tremé area and eventually found myself in Louis Armstrong Park.
I didn’t intentionally mean to visit the park but it was a nice area with not that many people around so I hung around there for a little bit.
I finally made my way over to Saint Louis Cemetery Number One which I really wanted to check out since it’s like the oldest cemetery in New Orleans.
The cemetery had a few tour groups wandering the grounds; I tried to stay away from the tour groups and just show myself around. It felt more eerie walking around through the maze of above-ground tombs by myself anyway.
While in the cemetery I was able to visit the supposed tomb of Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau which had all types of offerings set around it and the three ‘X’s marked all over it.
I think the three ‘X’s were supposed to symbolize wishes her spirit had granted to people but I’m pretty sure now it’s just a touristy thing to do.
I left the cemetery after spending an ample amount of time there and eventually met up with my friend Arun who was now out and about. Once we met up we decided to cruise over to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop where I had passed by earlier, and this time I actually got a beer.
We met some friendly folks there and chatted, but we started getting hungry for lunch so we headed out. I had looked up a place called 13 which was on Frenchman Street that was supposed to have some vegetarian offerings for us, however when we got there we were informed that they had changed their menu during Mardi Gras to make it easier for their kitchen to get orders out. Luckily for us we saw a Mediterranean place across the street called Mona’s Cafe which wasn’t too busy and also had some pretty excellent food. After we finished eating the rest of our friends had met up with us on Frenchman Street but I was about ready for a nap so I headed back to the hotel for a while. While I was attempting to nap I kept hearing what I thought to be a horrible drummer in the streets below but it turned out to be fireworks that were happening over the Mississippi. I got a pretty awesome view of the show from our hotel window.
After my unsuccessful nap attempt I returned to Frenchman Street to meet up with my friends. They had occupied a spot at a bar called DBA which had a pretty good beer selection and also had live music which people were going nuts over.
We hung out at DBA for a while meeting interesting characters, talking, and drinking before we finally decided to call it a night. I definitely enjoyed hanging out on Frenchman Street that day, it was kind of a different atmosphere than Bourbon Street but still positively festive, as Mardi Gras should be.