At this point in our lives, we are not party animals! Still, we were in New Orleans at night so we thought that we should partake of a little of the city’s party atmosphere. It can’t be all about the food!
After dinner we wandered down Bourbon Street checking out the crowds, street entertainers, strange humanoid apparitions, drunks, strippers, transvestites, etc. We tucked our heads into a few of the clubs and stopped to listen to a bit to the music. Then we stumbled on the best deal on Bourbon Street!
This is Steamboat Willie performing at Café Beignet, in Musical Legends Park. This is basically a peaceful little alcove along Bourbon Street, and a great place to take a break from the weird and wonderful crowds. You can buy colorful daiquiris, snacks, beignets and other beverages but you don’t have to! There aren’t any servers and you place your order at the counter.
Larry Stoops, better known as "Steamboat Willie" (born 1950) is a veteran musician of Dixieland, jazz and ragtime music, specializing in the early twentieth century era of the genres. He and his band perform nightly…7 days a week…at Musical Legends Park. CD’s are offered for sale and of course, there is a tip jar. We bought a CD and gladly dropped a nice tip in the jar. Listening to Steamboat Willie and his band was the ‘real deal’…New Orleans jazz!
Yes, we did order beignets! I was thinking that they’d be the size of those available at Café du Monde, so I ordered 6 of them… They were much larger than expected! We ended up with powdered sugar everywhere. So we enjoyed our beverages and our beignets in relative peace and quiet…all the while enjoying Steamboat Willie and his group.
To learn more about Steamboat Willie and his music, you can go to http://www.steamboatwillie.tv/index.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboat_Willie_(musician). The first site listed includes videos of the band playing in the park as well as a number of recordings for your listening pleasure.
On another night Laurie and Dawn Marie wanted to stop by Pat O’Brien’s for the ambience and the famous Hurricane Drinks. We wandered into the courtyard and got a table.
This is another view of Pat O’Brien’s Courtyard. You can order food here but I didn’t see anyone eating. In addition to this setting, Pat O’Brien’s also has a bar in New Orleans as well as locations in San Antonio and Orlando. For more information about Pat O’Brien’s, just go to http://www.patobriens.com/patobriens/default.asp.
This is one of Pat O’Brien’s famous Hurricane specialty drinks. Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane® consists of 4 oz. of Pat O’Brien’s® Hurricane Rum blended with 4 oz. of Pat O’Brien’s® Hurricane Mix. These big drinks are $8.50 each…but when you get your bill, the charge is $11.50. That is because you are charged for the ‘souvenir’ glasses.
If you don’t want to keep the glass you have to take it over to a service counter and collect your $3.00. They must make a lot of money from people who just leave the glasses behind! As it was, a very nice server replaced one of our cracked glasses and carefully packed the 2 we kept.
Here’s a photo of Laurie and Dawn Marie with their Hurricanes… Dawn Marie rarely drinks alcohol but she finished one and Laurie had two. As you can tell, they were really having a good time! Suprisingly, they were both stone sober before the evening was over…and we had a nice night!
While we were waiting for our drinks, we were asked to sign releases as we might in the background of a reality television show that was being filmed there that night. We learned that this Lifetime series is entitled “Little Women: LA”. To quote…This is “a reality series about the adventures of smart, sexy and funny girlfriends who happen to be little people.”
So much for reality! The table, cameras and crew were readied and then the ‘reality stars’ paraded in and took their seats. A giant ‘Hurricane’ was delivered to the table requiring the ‘performers’ to stand on chairs or the table to drink from it. To be honest, no one paid much attention to this production after about the first 15 minutes. To learn more about this series, you can go to http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/little-women-la.
One of the highly recommended stops for tourists in New Orleans is Preservation Hall! Here's the line of folks patiently waiting for general admission to one of the nightly jazz shows. AAA rates Preservation Hall as a Diamond attraction… There are 3 shows each night with about 50 seats plus the rest standing room only.
General admission is $20.00 per person. Shows are about 40 – 45 minutes long. Show times are at 8PM, 9 PM and 10 PM. “Big Shot” seating reserves a seat for patrons…at $30.00 or $40.00 per person. We took our chances and got in line early enough that even with general admission tickets, we still got seats. It was a Sunday night and the crowds on the streets of the French Quarter were somewhat reduced.
This is definitely a no frills establishment. Seating consists of backless benches. The interior looks like it hasn’t been touched in years. I’d been to Preservation Hall about 37 years earlier… I’d really enjoyed it!
As for this particular performance, we all agreed that we were disappointed. At least 2 members of the group that played (no photos allowed) were just OK…and it was obvious. I’m guessing that if one tracked who was playing on a specific night, they could still score a real winning show! As it was, we preferred Steamboat Willie’s performance at Music Legends Park.
To learn more about Preservation Hall, its history and legendary performers, you can go to http://preservationhall.com/hall/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preservation_Hall.
That’s about it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.
Thanks for stopping by to see what we’ve been up to!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave