I asked Mike to give you an account of our most recent trip to New Orleans. Here’s Mike Knezovich:
It’s Fat Tuesday, and only a week ago, we were flying home from New Orleans. It feels like it’s been a long time already.
But I do remember…
…catching three or four pre-Mardi Gras parades without even trying. And catching a whole lot of beads.
…a breakfast dish at Lüke restaurant called “eggs in a jar.” Two perfectly poached eggs, floating inside a jar on bernaise, with a fried softshell crab for a lid. Whoa.
…chandeliers and chandeliers and chandeliers and tapestries and extravagant crown molding and…chandeliers at our grand old hotel, Le Pavillon. And the hotel bartender, a German-born woman who landed in New Orleans decades ago and has been there since. And the hotel piano player, resplendent in a purple suit, who sang a lot like Nat King Cole.
…multiply-pierced and tattooed young people playing old-time traditional jazz on the street. Superbly.
…a great band at the Spotted Cat that we enjoyed for the price of a one-drink minimum.
…leaving the Spotted Cat, crossing Frenchmen Street to see John Boutte (Down in the Treme´, just me and my baby…) at DBA.
…Riding the streetcar to the Latter Library, where Beth and Whit held court in front of a terrifyingly energetic group of pre-schoolers.
…dinner at Upperline. Go there.
…gumbo at Herbsaint. Go there.
…a brass band, on our last night, playing just off Canal. They weren’t quite Rebirth Brass band, but they might be soon.
…walking. And walking. And walking. Just enough, the scale tells me, to have balanced off the caloric intake.
…dinner with our friends Seth and Bess, who moved to New Orleans from our Chicago neighborhood almost two years ago now. They are a wonderful young couple, who — it’s somewhat bittersweet to say — are plainly as happy as clams in New Orleans, so much so that it’s hard to imagine them back in Chicago.
So, how was New Orleans?
And I can say, having been there countless times, that while we always leave New Orleans, New Orleans never leaves us.