Archive for January 10th, 2012

January 10, 2012

New Orleans is Rising

[Heading back to the Big Easy in a couple of days and thought I’d publish this story that first appeared last February in the Toronto Star.]

dwayne dopsie new orleans

Accordionist Dwayne Dopsie plays rock classics at Krazy Korner down on Bourbon Street. (Julia Pelish photo)



NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — Krista Schuster sits at a bar in Pirate’s Alley, her fiancé beside her, a well drink in her hand, the thump of a tuba in her ear and beignets on her mind.

“The best travel deal going is New Orleans,” she declares.

In December, Schuster, a Pittsburgh resident who has worked as a travel agent, made her fourth visit to the Big Easy since 2006. New Orleans has taken its punches, as everyone knows, but you can’t beat the spirit of this place, or its citizens. Mardi Gras starts March 8 here, but this is a rollicking city any time of year.

“People are so much fun, it’s cheap and the food and music are amazing,” she says.

The food and the music.

They are the hallmarks of this town, what keep people coming and what makes you entice others to visit once you’ve returned home.

Bourbon Street is a blast, but it’s not where you should spend most of your time. It’s a spot for tourists and college kids looking for debauchery. There are things to enjoy, for sure. Great music can be found in a number of places on the street and those looking to splurge should drop in on Arnaud’s for a meal. The historic restaurant, which has a small Mardi Gras museum on its second floor, is an icon of the food scene and deserves the laurels it has received through the years.

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