Erin’s New Orleans

Hello, city-lovers! Today’s Southern city is New Orleans, which just wrapped up its Mardi Gras celebrations a few weeks ago. Read below to find out Erin Krall’s favorite picks around Crescent City.

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New Orleans is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is the local bar in my neighborhood, The Avenue. It’s my home away from home, and a friendly place that is a great, authentic introduction to our daily life here.

When I crave a perfect New Orleans setting with great food, history, drinks and service I always go to Napoleon House.

To escape the frustrating urban issues that come with city life I head to City Park, an oasis of tropical birds and vegetation.

If I want to relax in the heart of downtown (the CBD) I go to the Piazza D’Italia.

For complete quiet, I can hide away in Crescent City Books, a used bookstore with two floors of great finds to hunt through and relax on a coach over looking Chartres Street in the French Quarter.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen (Paul Prudhomme’s restaurant) it has to be the Shrimp Remoulade and Fried Green Tomatoes appetizer.

Zara’s is my one-stop shop for great local groceries and over-stuffed po’ boys, plate lunches, and other local dishes served at a counter in the back of this small corner grocery.

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For a huge splurge I get a room at the International House Hotel. They have Loa Bar for drinks and Rambla for eats, amazing guest rooms and lobby decor.

If New Orleans were a celebrity it’d be Joaquin Phoenix. Mysterious, good looking, talented, smoldering, and eccentric.

The most random thing about New Orleans is you can bring your pets everywhere. Cats and dogs are lounging in many bars, cafes and small businesses.

In New Orleans, an active day outdoors involves being around water. Surrounded by Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River, and countless swamps and bayous, it’s unavoidable.

New Orleans’s best museum is the National World War II Museum.

My favorite jogging/walking route is through Coliseum Square onto the Camp Street path leading right into the Warehouse/ Arts district.

For a night of live music, check out Circle Bar.

Trolley Stop Cafe is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Gambit.

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You can tell a lot about New Orleans from how many people have returned/moved here after such a terrible storm three years ago. We stay even though the threat is always there that we will lose everything again. That’s true love and dedication to a city.

You can tell someone is from New Orleans if they are comfortable in their own skin and carry themselves with confidence and pride no matter what the situation. You can truly be yourself here and it shows in a way you don’t see anywhere else.

In the spring you should be prepared for a great, free festival every weekend.

In the summer you should find an air conditioned room with cold beverages.

In the fall you should head to the Fair Grounds and watch the horse races. Free admission and cheap beer, a great Southern tradition.

In the winter you should start getting ready for Mardi Gras.

A hidden gem in New Orleans is the Country Club in the Bywater.

For a great breakfast joint try Please-U.

Don’t miss the Crescent City Blues & BBQ festival in October.

Just outside New Orleans, you can visit Grand Isle: beaches and fishing on the Gulf of Mexico.

The best way to see New Orleans is by car. Grab a map, pick a neighborhood and admire the real people, businesses and street scenes that tourists never see.

If New Orleans were a pet it would be a goat. Silly, fun, friendly, quirky, old fashioned, useful, and unique.

If I didn’t live in New Orleans, I’d live in South America.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “I Wish I Was in New Orleans” by Tom Waits.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the Audubon Zoo.

The everyday kindness of strangers to fellow residents and tourists alike could only happen in New Orleans.

New Orleans should be featured on your cover or website because there is so much more to us than the French Quarter, Garden District, and Katrina.

Photos: Erin Krall