New Orleans gave me an amazing first impression before I even left the airport.
We flew in from Pittsburgh via Houston and had one carry-on which was a tad too heavy for me to lift up and put into an overhead compartment on a plane. Having located my seat, I stood in the hallway, waiting for my sister to give me a hand. “Do you need help?” A gentleman two rows behind me asked. As he helped me with my bag, he jokingly said, “You packed too much!” Once the plane landed, even before anyone got off the plane, this lady who traveled in the same group motioned to my bag, pulled it out from the overhead compartment, and told this other guy, “Get this bag for her.” No need to ask or to appear that I was having trouble. That never happened before. Later we found out that they were locals. Wherever they go, they said, they are told that people from New Orleans are very nice. This was proven to be so true during our four-day trip.
我們從匹茲堡經過休士頓飛到紐奧良，我的登機箱有那麼一點點太重，需要我妹幫忙才有辦法順利把行李放進飛機上的客艙行李置物櫃，在休士頓登機之後，我站在走道等我妹來幫我，這時候兩排後的一位大叔站起來說，Do you need help? 一邊幫我把行李放上去一邊開玩笑說，你帶太多東西了！飛機到了紐奧良，才剛在登機門口停下來，旅客都還沒下機，我還坐在我的靠窗位子上，跟大叔同行的一位阿姨伸手從頭頂的置物櫃拉出我的小藍登機箱，示意身旁的壯漢幫我把行李拿下來給我，我連開口或者演一下我有困難都不用！後來發現他們三個是當地人，說不管到哪裡大家都跟他們說紐奧良人很好，這四天證明大家說人好真的沒在開玩笑。
Trip Planning 行程規劃
Day 1 (Fri): Oceana Grill in French Quarter
Day 3 (Sun): Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery → Cochon Butcher → Warehouse District (Julia St.) → Magazine Street → (Snug Harbor on Frenchmen Street)
In my trip planning, Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral was one highlight. Street artists around the square seemed fascinating. Getting some beignets at Cafe du Monde was what I had been looking forward to. Walking around Royal Street and Bourbon Street was a must. Taking the St. Charles Streetcar and touring a cemetery would be like walking in movie scenes. Live music on Frenchmen Street sounded like a lot of fun as an addition to the touristy Preservation Hall. And having Cajun food and lots of oysters was certainly one of the best parts about visiting NOLA.
Be sure you check hours of restaurants and stores. I was stupid enough to assume that in such a touristy city things should stay open. However for example, Johnny’s Po-Boy closes at 4:30 p.m.; Cochon is closed on Sundays.
We were happy with most of our planning except for the farmers market. Crescent City farmers market on Saturday morning was actually a dozen of stands in a tiny parking lot ── not worth going. We did enjoy seeing a different section of the city though (lower part of CBD.) But it’s not the type of concentrated local produce happiness like the Union Square farmers market in New York City. You won’t get to see a ton of local produce and food lined up. However, this was just the Saturday morning one. This farmers market on other days of a week in other locations may be different.
去之前有好好做功課，Jackson Square和教堂是重點；我一直很期待去Cafe du Monde吃糖粉雙胞胎；逛Royal Street和波本街是必要行程；除了觀光客必訪的Preservation Hall之外，晚上Frenchmen Street的現場音樂酒吧聽起來很不錯；街車和公墓是電影場景；可以大吃Cajun食物和生蠔讓我十分開心。
Airport Transportation 機場交通
It seemed that booking an airport shuttle is the best way to get to and from the hotel. Our flight arrived at about 6 p.m. on a Friday. Anthony Bourdain Layover said it costs about $33 to take a cab. At the ground transportation taxi stop, about 20 people were in line waiting for cabs and not a single taxi was available. We opted for a shuttle service. This airport shuttle cost $76 round-trip for the two of us. We did not have to wait at all. The staff was extremely nice and clear about services and directions.
If budget allows, some boutique hotels in the French Quarter seem very cute. We stayed in downtown to avoid late night craziness and overpriced hotel rooms in the Quarter. This small suite in the Quality Inn on O’keefe Ave was $103 per night. I have seen chocolate, flowers, candies on hotel beds, but a bag of welcome potato chips was a first for me. Some of the hotel staff was very proactive and helpful, showing us restaurants and sightseeing routes on a walking map.
如果預算多的話，法國區有些精品旅館看起來很不錯。為了避開波本街法國區晚上酒醉的瘋子還有為了便宜旅館，我們都是找市中心的飯店，我們住的Quality Inn小套房一個晚上$103。這輩子還真沒看過床上放迎賓洋芋片的。大廳的工作人員很親切，會主動幫我們在walking map上面指路。
Getting Around 當地交通
If you stay in the French Quarter or CBD, most of the touristy destinations are walkable. We stayed near the upper right corner of CBD, at O’keefe Avenue and Common Street, one block away from the main road, Canal Street. On Canal Street there are CVS and Walgreen that are open 24 hours. From there to Jackson Square is less than 20 minutes in walking distance. You can take the Decatur Street and walk to the St. Louis Cathedral and then explorer places you’d like to go near Jackson Square, French Market and Frenchmen Street. Most of the interesting shops and galleries are on Royal Street, between Esplanade Avenue and Canal Street.
如果住在法國區或市中心，大部分的景點和餐廳都可以走得到。我們住在市中心淺橘色這塊的右上角，在O’Keefe Ave和Common Street，離主要幹道Canal Street只有一個街區，Canal Street上面有24小時營業的CVS和Walgreen可以買水，從飯店不到20分鐘就可以走到 Jackson Square，可以沿著Decatur Street走到聖路易教堂然後邊走邊玩，有趣的畫廊和商店都在Royal Street上面、Esplanade Avenue和Canal Street之間。
On days that you visit the Garden District, Warehouse District, cemeteries and more, buying a RTA day pass at $3 allows you to take all the buses and streetcars. You will need exact change and you can buy these passes on any bus or streetcar.
Public safety rangers gave us this map on the streets in the Warehouse District. The map is downloadable online. Those safety tips are quite funny.
要去Garden District和公墓等等的幾天，買三塊美金的日票很划算，日票可以用來搭所有的公車和街車，上車就可以買票，不用特地跑去哪買，要準備好三塊的小鈔或零錢。我們在Warehouse District的時候路邊的ranger給了我們這張地圖，注意事項好好笑，網路上可以下載PDF地圖。