Summer Summary – Festivals, Music, World Cup

Second in my series of my summer experience posts is about New Orleans festivals and the World Cup! The best part about the city was the continuous stream of things to do. It never ends and I absolutely love it. I live in Uptown and it was a perfect location. Ten minutes to Audubon Park, ten minutes to the French Quarter, easy access to the bus and street car. Couldn’t have asked for anything more. Having close public transportation is so important. It makes travelling around the city more convenient and more enjoyable because you don’t have to worry about your car.

May and June were all about the festivals! Jared and I went to four major festivals – Greek Festival, Oyster Festival, Tomato Festival, and the Zydeco Festival. We may go to the Satchmo SummerFest this weekend! Out of the four I’ve attended, I enjoyed the Oyster Festival the most. We ate really amazing charbroiled oysters from Dragos, watched the oyster eating contest, and got DRENCHED in the rain! It was a blast. That same day we encountered a random orchestra concert in the St. Louis Cathedral. Love finding random things like that in the city just by walking around! I didn’t enjoy the Zydeco or Tomato festival… not my kind of music and the tomato festival really didn’t have much going on. The Greek Festival had really good food and the cathedral was interesting to tour. We sat in on a Greek Orthodox service before the tour. Listening to the chants and monologues was a very educational experience. All the church services I’ve been to before were nothing like the Greek Orthodox service.

Other than the major festivals, the World Cup was a huge part of my time down here. Got to experience a more local culture through that. I hung around Dat Dog pretty frequently to watch the games. The environment was an energizing experience. When everyone cheers or moans at the same time it makes me smile. Dat Dog is ALWAYS a great time. Seriously, its my favorite place to hang out. I went out with coworkers to a local place near the refinery on our lunch breaks as well. Same energizing atmosphere. Sports bond people in such a unique way. Its that competitive spirit in all of us… even if we aren’t directly playing the game.

Besides the orchestra, I attended a small guitar concert by Samir Belkacemi. His guitar technique is some serious stuff. His fingers moved so fast! Last weekend, I was at Dat Dog on Frenchmen St. and there was a brass band playing below us. I’m telling you, Dat Dog is where stuff happens. I have seen the same brass band playing outside of the St. Louis Cathedral some afternoons. They’re really entertaining and the music makes me wanna dance! One evening I went to Maison and the Smokey Band (or something to that nature) was playing. The instrumental parts were really good. Vocals really threw everything off. Music is everywhere in the city and it makes strolling around much more pleasant. Especially in the French Quarter. There’s a violin/guitar duo who play on Royal St. every weekend. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I could listen to them for hours without getting bored. Definitely my favorite music act in NOLA. In a previous post I mentioned the piano man on Royal St. If I haven’t said this yet, Royal St. is my favorite street in the French Quarter. I could write a whole post on Royal St. In fact, I think I’ll do just that.

Whew… can you digest all of my rambling?