One of things I love the most about blogs, as opposed to, for example, something more permanent like a book or a newspaper, is that it can serve as a malleable, working document. I can post something I’m struggling with, and then hopefully I can get feedback and ideas from anyone who happens to be reading. (Mom? Grandma?)
And this is good news, because I’m struggling and I need your help! It’s two days until my first adventure — can you help me by posting your ideas for New Orleans-based adventures in the comments section, below?
In my first post, I introduced what I imagine the blog will encompass. Yesterday, I went into a little more detail on the blog’s main component: my 2018 quest to go on 365 New Orleans adventures in one year. One local adventure each day!
Today I’m going to post my running list of potential adventures. There are probably some good ideas in here. Some most definitely suck. But the most important thing, for now, is there just aren’t enough ideas on the list yet. I am sure there are 365 fun and interesting adventures to go on in New Orleans. I have no doubt about that. I need to think them up and write them down.
Here are some things I’m shooting for on an adventure:
- An activity (this can be a restaurant, a bar, a music venue, a museum, a park, a walk…an anything).
- Combining like things. If I go to the World War II Museum, maybe I also go to a location where ships were produced for our navy during the war. If I am looking into the history of Sicilians in New Orleans, I’m probably doing some research to find a couple of places owned and operated (currently or formerly) by Sicilian immigrants.
- I like diversity. German-Americans in New Orleans congregate at Deutsches Haus? I want to learn that history and I want to visit. Many South Africans go to Finn McCools for New Years Eve? When did that start? And, of course, this city is full of Creole history, of which I have barely scratched the surface.
- History. One reason this project is so appealing to me is because I get to learn something (many things) new every day. Today, I got the nicest message from an employee at The Historic New Orleans Collection, who offered to help me with research on my adventures. Whether the adventure is going on a walk in a park, or learning who used to live in a certain neighborhood, every inch of this city is an onion with layers and layers of history to discover.
- Talk to people. Chefs, museum curators, residents, neighborhood leaders, business operators, etc. What makes your taco unique from these three other taco shops within two blocks? Why did your Dad decide to set up a shop here? I’m looking forward to having those conversations.
Okay! I’m now going to list my running tally of possible adventures. Please leave me a comment with your ideas for possible adventures. They can be as built out, or as a raw, as you want or have time for. This is a brainstorm. There are no bad ideas, but I am desperate for your ideas! Thanks in advance!
- The history of the area that is now Crescent Park. All docks? Rail lines?
- Walk up Laborde Mountain in City Park (Highest point in New Orleans? How’d it get there?)
- Walk through Couturie Forest in City Park (its history — maybe check with City Park on that)
- The “Barmuda Triangle” in the Bywater (J and Js, Vaughans, BJs, Bar Redux, Parleaux Beer Lab — so many neighborhood bars in a very small area. That’s unique. How’d it happen? Have they been bars for that long?)
- Bouligny Tavern (old plantation dividing line)
- St. Claude Avenue used to be Good Children Street (find remnants of the old name and learn about reason for change)
- Burgundy St used to be Craps St (made the change because all of those churches didn’t want to be on a street named, “Craps”?)
- Did Babe Ruth really go to the bar that is currently 12 Mile Limit? (can also include history of the old baseball team here and/or history of the building in which 12 Mile Limit is)
- I want an excuse to go to that new milkshake/hot dog place in Carrollton neighborhood
- Plessy v. Ferguson site, and the rope-making factory that was there years before it.
- Biking to the end of the Mississippi River levee trail. Where does that end?
- Biking along lake trail. Maybe include stop in Bucktown? (History of Bucktown?)
- Food/bar crawl around Bucktown? And history.
- Food/bar crawl along Harrison Avenue? And history.
- Walk Bayou St. John. With history. Or, better yet, walk/bike ride from lake entrance of Bayou St. John, trace it to Grand Route St. John, and then along Bayou Rd into the French Market. I believe that used to be the route French settlers took to bring goods into the city.
- Three ponds at the Old Metairie Cemetery. (I believe those are remnants of Bayou Metairie.)
- History of specific food items. Try some of the best of that item. With history and evolution of that item. (King cakes, for example)
- Biking from Slidell to Covington along the Tammany Trace. (History of the old rail line that was converted, as well as the breweries at which we stop.)
- Camping in Fountainbleau State Park
- Hiking in Fountainbleau State Park.
- Biking all the way around Lake Pontchartrain?
- The four taco spots near Carrollton and Canal.
- St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans.
- The Fly
- Dutch Alley
- History of Dutch Alley
- A.P. Tureaud Statue/Outdoor Museum
- O.C. Haley and its evolution over time.
- Angles in the street and the history of arpents and the dividing lines between plantations
- Competing buttermilk drop shops on St. Bernard Avenue
- Old street car lines that were paved over. Is the one on France Street, and then up Royal Street, what cracks the pavement so often?
- Monkey Hill (in Audubon Park?)
- Frenchmen Street (the name and the history at the US Mint?)
- Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar (history)
- Was there a Chinatown in New Orleans? Where? What’s left?
- Where did the Jewish population used to congregate? I think I read O.C. Haley was a big spot?
- History of Sicilians in New Orleans. A few locations.
- History of Germans in New Orleans. Deutsche Haus and other locations.
- History of Irish in New Orleans. Irish Channel and history.
- History of Vietnamese in New Orleans. Should be several adventures to several communities. New Orleans East (maybe not only during New Years celebration), and also in Algiers.
- Algiers Point has great bars and a really interesting history.
- Incorporate a school building or several, and their immediate surroundings. How that has evolved over time.
- Candlelight Lounge and the Treme Brass Band
- Bourbon Street (the A-rated bars in that old Nola.com article, as well as the history — see Richard Campanella’s book)
- Old movie theaters. What’s left? (Operational and just old buildings)
- Old places of worship. Different denominations in different neighborhoods can be several adventures. (Tours of churches, interview with heads, etc)
- Build an adventure around the archery spot in Algiers!
Alright! What else do you have? Post away in the comments section. Again, it’s just a brainstorm, so send as many or as few as you’d like, and as built out or as raw as you have them. What about this city do you want to learn?
Thanks so much!