Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why we love this place.

OK so after the world's best check in with Lola and Vincent at Jazz Quarters in Treme and some great conversation about the city and what was new and their recommendations, national politics, music, etc., we unpacked and took off in search of oysters. This is our tradition. It cannot be toyed with! So we wandered into a bar called Desire (in the Sonesta Hotel) in the Quarter. This spot was recommended by our hosts. We usually go to Acme as soon as we land. Desire has a lovely raw bar with bar stools - oh yeah, perfect. We pulled up to the raw bar, announce the fact that we just got into town and that we need to slurp some oysters. We started with one dozen, ice cold, on the half shell and two Sazeracs. Paper is put on the bar top; lemon quarters are added, along with hot horseradish, cocktail sauce and hot sauce and a basket of Saltines. Our Shucker, Anthony, puts up the oysters as he shucks them - he gets it. The crackers could have been gold flecked - I ain't seeing them. In about five minutes we do away with the first dozen oysters and the first two Sazeracs. We catch our breath, order a dozen more, two more drinks, fried pickles with remoulade and onion rings. We move a bit slower on these. We are in Heaven.

Then Rodney, another professional shucker, starts chatting with us. We tell him it's the first time we've stayed in the Treme - and for the next fifteen minutes he explains to us, while filling other oyster orders, the history of Treme, the slave trade here, and the way things eventually changed. He also proudly tells us how well the public schools are doing test score and graduation wise. We have an interesting discussion about how 80,000 people left here after The Storm and never returned - BUT how about 50,000 new people moved here and stayed - and in Rodney's opinion, that is an excellent thing. Rodney grew up in Treme and lives in the 9th Ward. He stayed in '05. He's proud of that.

In five hours, we've had wonderful talks with folks, good wine, great drinks and outstanding oysters. You can't beat this!

We're tired. We stop and pick up a half of a Muffaletta, a bottle of wine, some other snacks and drinks and make our way back to our suite. We have a little 'fridge and figure later- we'll need a snack.

We're sitting here now, planning tomorrow's activities. Just relaxing and figuring out where we'll wander but being guided by what we always know is true: the only way to really get to know a place is to eat the real food of the area and to talk to the locals - really talk to them. There's no where better to do that than in New Orleans. Don't be in a rush because when you ask, you will get an answer!

Yes . . . We made a big mess!

No comments:

Post a Comment