New Orleans and Tulane U.

kathwhit(z8, West OR)April 3, 2008

Hi Everyone:

My son and I will be visiting Tulane University in New Orleans next week. Any suggestions of sights we must see, places to go or not to go, or info about Tulane would be appreciated. We are very excited to be taking a trip together.

Thanks so much


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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Tulane is lovely. New Orleans is lovely in places. In some other places it is neither lovely nor safe.
Ask your hotel where not to go. Their info is more up to date than mine.
But I do know some of the good places.
For a view of the swamps: you'll need a car to get to Jean Lafitte National Park on the west bank. The walks through the swamps are memorable and serene.
For history, a quick trip down river to Chalmette Battlefield ("In 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississipp").
I think the St. Charles Street street car is running again; it goes from downtown, down St. Charles, turns at the area next to Tulane called Riverbend and then goes part way out Carroltown. The farther parts out Carrolton are approaching where the flood waters were, but it didn't flood.
Near Tulane, the Camellia Grill is back up although under new management. The Pecan Waffles and any of their omlets are huge ways to start breakfast if you're hungry (and your son probably is). On Oak St, next to Tulane is an Arab restaurant with good cheap food where we always eat when we go down to help a friend with his house (he's about six blocks from Tulane).
There's an exhibit opening next week at the old USMint called Treasures of Napoleon. I think it's a must see (followed by sandwiches at the Napoleon House on Royal St. in the Quarter).
Other museums: Historic New Orleans Collection (on Royal St.), the Cabildo (on Jackson Square) and the New Orleans Museum of Art, out in City Park, for the self satisfied portrait of Marie Antoinette, the glass collection and the Faberge Eggs (especially if you love Lilies of the Valley).
And that's just a starter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Treasures of Napoleon

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:45AM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Ann, thanks so much, that is just the kind of information I am looking for. It is so much better to have info from someone who has been there and know where to go than to rely on guidebooks or websites where whoever advertises gets their recommendation. I wish we could stay longer, but if Max decides to go to Tulane, I will have other chances to visit.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:55AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Kathy, a special trip for you and your son sounds great. Can't tell you anything about Nola but have fun!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 1:52PM
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Some great places to eat:
Port of Call on Esplanade, the Gumbo Shoppe in the French Quarter. Make sure to check out the Farmer's market and grab a muffaletta at the Italian store and deli along the road beside the Farmer's market. A muffaletta is an Italian sandwich that was invented in NO. There's an oyster bar on the same road beside the Farmer's market that has the BEST strawberry daqueris (I'm not even a drinker, but we'll double fist those when we go). Stroll Royale Street and check out all of the antique stores. I always check the House of Blues and see if anything good is playing. There are lots of other places to hear music, you'll see them advertised in the music calendars distributed around town.
Of course you'll want to stroll the Riverwalk and have beignets at the Cafe O Lait ... It might not be Lait, I can't remember.
Take the St. Charles street car to look at all of the old houses along that road. There's a good breakfast place called Mother's. The old cemeteries are cool.

I haven't been to NO since Katrina, but I went to school in Baton Rouge and then lived in south Louisiana for a while. We even tried to buy a house down there back in 2001.
Even before Katrina you had to be careful where you went. Look for other tourists and look for police. The only safe areas are the 'looked after' areas.
Have fun!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:35PM
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Cafe du Monde. You'll have cafe au lait at the cafe du monde. :) You can't miss it, it's on the riverside in Jackson Square.

I'd skip the Gumbo Shop. For the money you'll do far better at an actual restaurant like Mr. B's on Royal for lunch.

I don't see where anyone has metioned the Audubon Zoo. Same general part of town as Tulane. Jump over to Magazine and it's not far at all. It's a wonderful zoo.

If zoos aren't your thing, then there's the OZ niteclub down on Bourbon. It's an alternative lifestyle club and also one of the very best dance clubs in the (probably) world. Non-alternative lifestyle patrons are completely welcome as long as they don't carry on or act ignert.

I was going to mention to Ann that the Faberge eggs have moved to Cleveland or Nashville, and they have, but it appears they've been replaced by an even more extensive collection of Faberge eggs... so that's a good thing. As a bonus, the museum is in City Park with botanical gardens nearby. I have no idea of what kind of shape those gardens are in, they flooded.

I'd let you stay in my condo in the Warehouse district, that I bought sight unseen, but I've sold it already. :):):) (temporary missing new orleans insanity)


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 1:03AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

To see the inside of a manion, on St. Charles, see if the Latter library has reopened. It's maybe six blocks towards the city from Tulane. A big, old masssive craftsman mansion that was turned into a library. But the interior was essentially unchanged. (You can do that when the rooms are tall and BIG.)
One other thing: directions. north south east and west aren't really used.
Up river and down river. Example there's downtown (Canal St and Poydras) Tulane is upriver from there and the airport is farther up river.
The other direction is river side and lake side. Tulane is close to the river, The Museum of Art is towards the lake from most things.
When you look at a map, you'll see radiating streets, streets that end up against others. The streets happened as what passes for civilization spread out from the higher land along the river.

Cookbook to take home as souvenir: if it's been reprinted the Junior League's cookbook.
Rose to take home: Peggy Martin.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 10:50AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

How could I have forgotten:
Last week there was talk of opening the Bonne Carre Spillway.
Doesn't sound like much, but it's a once in a decade happening.
Bonne Carre is a huge and impressive spillway upriver (west of the airport) that lets water flow from the Mississippi (which is in flood) use Lake Pontchartrain as a saftey valve to reduce pressure on the levees that protect New Orleans and the other parishes out on the delta. The old Hammond Highway is also a good place to see the water release.
If you or your son is at all science or engineering oriented, Bonne Carre is a must.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 1:50PM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Thanks so much everyone. I have written down all of your suggestions to take with me. We leave tonight from Portland at 11:45 pm and arrive at 7 am Thurs. My plan is to spend Thursday exploring the area around Tulane including Magazine st., the park and zoo. Our hotel is near the convention center. Friday we have tour of Tulane and will talk to Fin. aide and housing. Saturday we will join the crowds in the French quarter for the French Quarter Festival. I want to eat lots, see lots and hear a lot of music! We leave at 7 am on Sunday. A short visit, but hopefully, Max will see enough to decide for sure that Tulane is where he wants to go to school. They gave him a big scholarship, but it will still be expensive. MAT, I wish you still had that condo--this is going to be an expensive little excursion! Oh well, it will be fun to get away and fun to see NOLA and fun to be with my son. He is a real hoot--always cracking me up!
I'll check in on Monday and let you know how it went.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:08PM
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Kathy, I don't know of any city that is like New Orleans. It is an atmospheric place. Yes, it has it's dangers,
but the good parts about it, are legend. Just don't wander into the city's rundown areas and you should be fine.
I love the Garden District the best. Take pics and post them. Hope you enjoy "The Big Easy". It is a romantic
and yet unsettling place. It is haunting, just haunting.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 5:45PM
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My daughter graduated from Tulane last May with a degree in evolutionary biology and ecology. I think it is an excellent college. The campus is beautiful. You get to eat a lot of crawfish, catfish, boiled potatoes and corn when they graduate. The music at graduation is probably unlike any at any other college in the country.

My daughter came to love the climate there, especially the afternoon thunderstorms. There were many things she loved about New Orleans, especially the food and music. There's a snowball place near Tulane he might check out. Snowballs are like snowcones only with finer ice and better flavors. Good on a hot day.

I sometimes enjoy The Gumbo Shop but breakfast at Brennan's is really great ( $$$$), and Galatoire's is good. The Blue Bird Cafe is cheap and good for breakfast. I can't remember the name of the restaurant I enjoyed most but they had an alligator/sausage cheesecake!

I don't enjoy Bourbon St. Hope you'll have a safe trip. What's he going to major in?

Loveisarose, I grew up in PV. One of your favorite roses wouldn't happen to be Colette is it?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 10:26PM
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Ah, Loveisarose... I hope you're fine.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 8:58AM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Hey everyone:
I had to report on our trip. We had the most wonderful time. I can't believe all we saw in such a short time. We rode the streetcars and busses all over, ate great food, saw wonderful homes and parks and scenery and really got a feeling for the town. Everyone was friendly and helpful and welcoming. Max loved Tulane. We had a nice tour of the campus and he decided to take their financial aide package and start there in August. The French Quarter Festival was wonderful. 15 stages of music, food, drink, art show etc. Most if it was in Jackson Square and down by the river and we just wandered around eating an listening and having a ball. I never felt unsafe or nervous. Of course we were sensible (as we would be in any big city), but there was a vibe of positive energy that was invigorating. Even in Uptown and the Garden Dist. there is evidence of Katrina, but those I talked to who had been through the storm are very upbeat about rebuilding. I am a friendly person who talks to strangers, and I met such nice and helpful people. They would stop and give directions, make recommendations, talk about their experiences during the storm, offer suggestions of places to see. Just such nice people.

Two sterotypes that weren't true were that everyone spoke with an accent (not true, we could understand everyone easily except for the cabdrivers) and that the French quarter and Bourbon street were unsafe and sleazy (definitely safe in the daytime/evening--lots of police patrols and people. Definitely sleazy, but mostly only on Bourbon and nothing I would freak out about). I just loved the architecture, the scenery, the river, the food. I can't wait to go back.

Thanks again for your suggestions. I have so much yet to see.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Congratulations to your son on making his choice. I'm sure you'll get opportunities to visit him in New Orleans. The architecture is amazing isn't it? I am glad you had such a nice trip and liked the city. So much of it is in pretty good shape after Katrina.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 6:54PM
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