Yankee Meets the South: Exploring New Orleans
Hey, my name's Greg Larnerd and this is my southern story.
Six months ago I picked up and moved away from the life I had know my entire life, the only way of life I had ever known living in the Northeast. I got one of the greatest opportunities I've ever had, a chance to host a sports talk radio show on ESPN 1420. So, it was settled, at the tender age of 27 I embarked on a journey from Sandy Hook, Connecticut/New York City down to Lafayette, Louisiana to start my new life.
I wanted to chronicle my journey through getting accustomed to southern living, exploring new things, and the crazy good experiences the south has to offer.
I had never visited New Orleans until I moved to Lafayette. The very first Nola experience I had was, of course, a Saints game where my friend Heather invited me to go to a game. And what an experience it was....
I had never been to a dome stadium before and I swear to you that it was the loudest sporting event I had ever been to. Of course, the Saints completing the comeback and winning in overtime against the Washington Redskins that day didn't hurt, well maybe except for my ears.
After the game we had explored Bourbon street a bit, bar hoping around and basking in the afterglow of the Saints OT win.
Fast-forward to this past Monday, February 26th, one of my best friends, Alex Read, who I played college baseball with at SUNY Plattsburgh in upstate New York came to visit. He was the first visitor I've had since I've made the quantum leap to southern lifestyle.
He flew into New Orleans and we spent the entire day exploring with our excellent tour guide, my friend Dee, a women who's spent her entire life in the city, and who loves the role of Big Easy Ambassador.
First, we started with the stunning view of the St. Louis Cathedral.
From there we made our way over to the Napoleon House to cool off from the surprising heat with a famous, Pimm's Cup.
Those things were freaking delicious, citrusy, sweet, and refreshing, perfect for a hot day.
In addition, we also made stops at the home of the Hurricane, Pat O'Brien's, hung out in the courtyard, unfortunately it wasn't night time so the fountain wasn't lit up and glowing with its usual flames. We had a southern staple for lunch, gumbo from the Gumbo Shop. Alex and I had split alligator sausage and then Dee got blackened fish nuggets that we all split. As a main course I got a traditional cup of sausage and chicken gumbo which was a great treat, I've really come to enjoy gumbo and jambalaya since I've relocated.
After a quick pit-stop to a voodoo shop, just to check it out, we didn't actually go in just passed it by, we made our way to Port of Call. Here's my warning label for this place, be careful if you get caught up in a monsoon there, those things are powerful, to say the least.
After that strong concoction of a drink we were all in desperate need of some refueling and what better way to do so and end the night with a sweet treat at Cafe Du Monde getting up close and personal with some beignets.
Talk about a sweet treat, those beignets were an incredible work of culinary art, I was a little surprised that they didn't have any other food items on the menu other than beignets. Nevertheless, when you've got beignets, coffee, and hot chocolate what else do you really need?
New Orleans is a terrific city with tons of culture, great food, signature drinks, cool people, excellent music, and much more. If you haven't gotten a chance to experience what Nola is all about, get there as soon as you can.
I still haven't been to Bourbon or in the French Quarter on a weekend night, that's next on the bucket list.
What else around the boot do I NEED to experience? Comment on this article or on any of my various social media platforms and let me know! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and follow along with me and my adventures as I explore all of what Louisiana has to offer.
Also, don't forget to check out my local sports talk radio show, The Word With G: 6p-7p Monday-Friday on ESPN1420.
Coming up next, I'll share my first craw-fish experience!