3rd day in New Orleans; today we decided to revisit some of the spots we found on the tours. First was "Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World". Our bus tour guide had said that there are tours here but that it's also OK to walk through a lot of it for free. There was a big parking lot outside, so we drove the Jeep down there instead of walking from Basin street. When we arrived we discovered there is a $10 parking fee. Before committing to that, Randy parked around the corner and we looked inside. The short Entrance hall is full of big, colorful statues from past floats.
But that's all. Everything else is part of the $20 tour. I just didn't feel like paying to see more of these, so we left. It was time for an early lunch, anyway. We went to Felix's on Iberville Street. We have eaten at Acme in the past, but it's gotten so famous that it's outrageously expensive and the quality seems to be suffering. Felix, which is right across the street, has better oysters and because it isn't burdened with a famous reputation, it's easier to get in and it's a little more affordable. As we came up to the door, a group of four young people walked by, saying "Acme, that's where you get the best oysters". So we told them to go to Felix. Inside we ordered a dozen raw, and got a baker's dozen of fresh, delicious oysters.
I scooped some horseradish on one and ate it. Then I got a reminder that the horseradish here is very, very hot! I gasped for breath, took off my glasses to wipe my eyes, and when I finally recovered, I ate a lot more, but skipped the horseradish. Randy, however, piled it on. The quartet who came in behind us had ordered full dinners, and told us it was outstanding! Outside, the crowds were still in line for Acme. Silly tourists.
We walked around the area until I was hungry again (oysters aren't very filling). This time we went to the Croissant d'or, on Ursulines Avenue.
Our walking tour guide had recommended this place. We both ordered the Royal Brioche. And it was great. This is now on my list of places to eat, when I want something besides a full meal.
Time to walk around again. This time our feet led us to a store of dog stuff. Randy noticed that this place is affiliated with "Pitbulls and Parolees". We think highly of the effort to save dogs, so we left a donation before leaving.
Along the street, occasionally we saw chalk-drawn koi. Someone is doing these during the night. It's graffiti, but people don't remove them. They are so cute.
Next we walked along Frenchman street. The walking guide said this is becoming the new music scene. But I think it comes alive during the night, because it was quiet today. So we went back down (excuse me, riverside) to the French Marketplace, where we tried "Alligator on a Stick". It's alligator meat in what looks and tastes like a mild polish sausage; not bad, but nothing I'm going crave. We nibbled on it as we walked throught the market. Lots of things for sale here, but all we got were a couple of paperbacks. As we left we a group of young people doing an awesome job with horns and a drum. These kids were really enthusiastic and really, really good. They got tips from most of the crowd, including us - the earned it!
At the edge of the market we passed Jude Acers, a Chess Master who spends his time here, playing and teaching chess to tourists.
Then we went back to Bourbon street. We enjoy the fun of this place but we don't love the drunkenness of it. But Bourbon calls everyone, somehow. We walked a bit, then headed home.