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My wife and I are in New Orleans for 5 nights, March 28 - April 2, staying in a boutique hotel in the center of the French Quarter. I've spent a lifetime in dive bars til 2:00 in the morning. My wife used to, but we're old now and don't have a lot of stay-out-late stamina. Where's the best places to hear good Nawlins music late afternoon/early evening? My friend (also on SOTW) who was just there was in the clubs on Frenchmen Street. Also, good places to eat in or near the quarter?
 

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Frenchman Street, anywhere...anyone...
Check if Kermit Ruffins is playing, he is generally an early bird (if around).

Everywhere else starts late or is too touristy (Burbon St, etc) although a stop at Preservation Hall, although touristy, is always a good idea.
If you do find yourself with a bit extra energy, go to the Maple Leaf on Tuesday pm for Rebirth (warning, they don't normally start until 10:30pm.
 

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Food....
OF course you have the typical Brennan', Commander's Palace, etc. I prefer NOLA from Emeril over those though.

Mother's for breakfast is a must!
Cochon for dinner is another must.
Make your way to Dooky Chase as well for lunch or dinner.
And of course....Cafe Du Monde for Beignets in between
 

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Thank you. I've been to NOLA before but my wife hasn't, so this little trip is for her bucket list. I figured I'd plop her down right in the middle of the quarter to give her the full immersion treatment. Music, food, architecture, history, cemeteries (she loves old cemeteries).
 

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Thank you. I've been to NOLA before but my wife hasn't, so this little trip is for her bucket list. I figured I'd plop her down right in the middle of the quarter to give her the full immersion treatment. Music, food, architecture, history, cemeteries (she loves old cemeteries).
Plenty of cemetery and “ghost” tours as well.
And not for nothing, but a trolly ridge out to the Audobon zoo is a fun 1/2 a day.
Trolley takes you right through garden district with all the big old homes.
 

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MMM,

I don't know when you last visited N.O., but New Orleans ain't at all what it used to be. Unless you can take a cab, stay well within the boundaries of the French Quarter at night (Decatur, Esplanade Ave, N. Rampart, Canal Street). No lights, no go.

Though Frenchman Street is just outside the Quarter, that area adjacent to the Quarter is okay at night. There are several venues there, but the last time I was there, most were restaurants with musicians playing for fifteen minutes for tips.

As mentioned, the Maple Leaf (on Oak Street) and Tipitina's (Napoleon Avenue and Tchoupitoulas* Avenue (yes, that's the spelling of the street) are both great places with (usually) good music in the Uptown area. Unless things have changed, the Maple Leaf has a really good bar.

In the Quarter, there's The House of Blues. I think it's on Decatur Street. Both local musicians and national names perform there.

In the Quarter on Bourbon Street, there's Fritzel's, possibly the only reliable place in the French Quarter to hear music. It's Dixieland. One drink minimum per set. In the same block, there is Chris Owens' club. If she's still alive and performing, she is living testament to the artistry of plastic surgery, Botox. and silicone. Also on Bourbon Street, there's Maison Bourbon. It features New Orleans swing/Dixieland.

Then there's Pat O'Briens right in the middle of the French Quarter. Live music is featured, but it's better known for its bar. (Skip the Hurricane drink. It's grenadine and god-knows-what served in a glass that's placed in a box so you can go out on the street and circumvent the open container law. (That may have changed). The patio is quite nice.

The Monteleone Hotel usually has local musicians. The Hyatt (near the Superdome) also has national acts in the bars, as does the Hilton on Poydras Street--- near the Mississippi River.

I believe that The Court of Two Sisters may still have a Sunday Jazz brunch. (600 block of Royal Street).

If you're into hoidy toidy tours of old homes, check out Longue Vue Gardens. There are sometimes concerts by local names. I think there are tour buses that will take you there. Tours are cheap.

FOOD

For a nice (but small) lunch, there's Antoine's at 713 St. Louis Street. The lunch there is a small taste of what is considered New Orleans fine dining. (It's nothing exotic). The last time that I was there, you could add a martini to your lunch for 21 cents. (That may have changed). I recommend Antoine's for a good reason. If you ask for a tour of the entire restaurant after lunch, you'll get a good look at what late 1800's to post WWII New Orleans Society was like. You should tip at least $10.00 after the tour).

On Chartres, there's The Napoleon House, a small bistro whose decor hasn't changed one bit in fifty years. (The portrait on the wall is that of the father, not the son who works the bar and looks just like his Dad). Again, this is a place where New Orleanians go for lunch or dinner (mostly sandwiches) and a quiet drink.

On Decatur Street going toward Canal Street, there's Maspero's. The place is mobbed at noon time and around five in the afternoon. There's the original Pierre Maspero's that doesn't seem to draw the mobs, so if you can't get into the Napoleon House,the original Maspero's is a very short walk away.

On Toulouse Street, right off Bourbon Street, There's Molly's Irish Pub (on Toulouse Street). You can get lunch and dinner there. Prices are okay. It's open air. If it's cool outside at night, order an Irish coffee. It's the real thing. If you're lucky, the British navy will be in town, and you may see a good ol' fist fight. Just kidding.

At the other end of Decatur (I think it's 900 block) there's the Central Grocery, the birthplace of the Muffaletta Sandwich (pronounced Muf-fa-lotta). It's a huge sandwich served on round Italian bread. You can order a half and that will feed two people. The place has changed considerably since I was a kid, but you really should at least stick your head in just to say that you've been there.

Not far from there in the -- I think--- 500 block of Governor Nicholls Street is one of the sites of Cosimo Matassa's recording studios (J&M). (There may be a plaque there or on Camp Street--- he had at least three different locations). If you walk in that block, you'll walk in the footsteps of some of New Orleans' best-known recorded musicians.

The Saint Charles Streetcar may be fully connected by now, so you may be able to catch it on Canal Street during the day and ride through the Garden District (pronounced 'da Gahden Districk), and the University district (Univoisity Districk).

I'm unsure if St. Louis Cemetery #1 outside the Quarter still allows tourism, but I highly recommend that you take a short tour of a cemetery during the day. At the end of Canal Street heading toward the lake, is Holt Cemetery #1. It has been cleaned up since Hurricane Katrina (washed away may be a better term), but that is where Buddy Bolden was buried. AFAIK there's no head stone for him. There may be an uptown park dedicated to him, but a more appropriate place for anything dedicated to him would be on Canal Street where he had his last major mental breakdown, or Mandeville mental hospital (where I believe he spent his last years). It's really a pauper's cemetery and there isn't much left to see there. When you fly in, the pilot will probably point out Metairie Cemetery. It's HUGE.

This is really touristy, but you may enjoy it anyway: the Cotton Blossom. You'll get a boat tour up and down the Mississippi. It's smaller than The President, another riverboat.

Anyway, that's what comes to mind.

*I mentioned Tchoupitoulas Street. If you take a cab there to hear music at Tipitina's, tell the driver that you want to go to Tipitina's on "Chop-it-too-las Street".

Here's a little history of that street. The word comes from an 18th century expression that describes that area near the Mississippi River. The name comes from an old map with an inscription that read "[T]Choupique est tous las". It means "Choupique are all there." The choupique was a very common edible (though boney) fish.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it here.
 

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I believe that The Court of Two Sisters may still have a Sunday Jazz brunch. (600 block of Royal Street).
They did as of a year and a half ago. Decent buffet, but get there early while it's still looking fresh.

You gotta go to Commander's Palace for lunch. Sure it's pricey, but lunch less so; and they feature three cent martinis (limit three per person) as well as some of the best food in the world. Though wearing a jacket used to be a requirement for gentlemen, they've relaxed that a bit after Katrina (as did most places). But I'd dress up regardless. Just walk up Bourbon St. to Canal St. and take the trolley to the Garden District. There's also a scenic cemetery right across from Commander's Palace that you can stroll through.
 

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Yes! Aurora Nealand. I'm a fan through the videos. It says on the internet that she was born in Pacifica, CA which is where I live.
 

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+1 for Fritzels.

According to your dates, you can catch the Ellis Marsalis Quintet at Snug Harbor. Doors at 7...cost is $40, but I'd make it a point to go if I were in your shoes. Enjoy!

https://snugjazz.com/calendar/
+1 for Ellis. He'll be accompanied by local monster musicians. For 1/3 of the price, you can see singer Charmain Neville, daughter of Charles Neville, the former saxophonist for the Neville Brothers. She's a wonderful singer and a good representative of the ---ahem--- younger New Orleans musicians.Undoubtedly, she'll be accompanied by other musical monsters as well. There are three families with many notable musicians playing about town. The Batistes (ever watch Late Night with Steven Colbert? Jon Batiste is one of them). Then there's the Marsalis family, and the Lastie family. If you don't recognize the headliner for the show, if any of these last names appear on the roster, take a listen.

Bottom line: Walk around the quarter at night and during the day, go to the River and walk around the Moonwalk (near Jackson Brewery), and then ride the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar. Maybe ride it 2-3 times. If you are so inclined, get off at Loyola University and walk around that campus, then walk a block and walk around Tulane University.

There's a lot to see in New Orleans. Just be careful at night.

Oh, one more eatery: Tujague's 823 Decatur. Lunch and Dinner. It's across the street (or thereabouts) from Cafe Du Monde.
 

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I haven’t been for a few years but I did a couple of stints on the American Queen riverboat and we’d dock right downtown which was nice. One Sunday morning I got off the boat and walked around and probably heard 7 different duos or trios playing brunch and a Zydeco festival.
Who knows if it’s still there, but there was a nice little funky bar/restaurant called Mojitos down by the water. They wheeled a crappy little piano out in the patio and had duos. The trumpet players in the band knew the trumpet player who was playing because he made some popular valve oil. Nice player. We played with his big band the next night.
New Orleans is fun as long as you drink enough. I like the feeling of the city mostly because I’m from the South.
I’d suggest to stay on the beaten paths and watch yourself.
Good food like gator sandwiches and other fried stuff
 

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Yes! Aurora Nealand. I'm a fan through the videos. It says on the internet that she was born in Pacifica, CA which is where I live.
She's interesting. I had never heard of her until I saw the video.

When off-track and Casino gambling arrived in New Orleans, it attracted a lot of west coast and Vegas players. It was quite a boost for the city in some ways. The Contemporary N.O. musicians musicians are much more savvy than the older New Orleans players. Traditional jazz was limited to geezers in the French Quarter, for the most part. The younger players eschewed traditional jazz, preferring to play Rock and Roll R&B, the undefinable Afro Caribbean N'Awlins music, and (believe it or not) country music. There was the mainstream jazz mafia led by SUNO (Southern University of New Orleans) alumni and a few white outsiders.

But Trad Jazz? Not much when I was learning and eventually playing. The influx of outsiders has been quite a boon to the N.O. music business and life blood.

MMM, when you hear music that you like spilling onto the street, go in. Though I grew up in New Orleans, the places that I direct you to constitute just a small part of the contemporary New Orleans music scene. Things have changed so much since Katrina (most of it for the better).

One thing. Leave the umbrellas at home. Bring a light rain jacket and a hat.

Try to find out if The Storyville Stompers are playing in town. I played a few gigs with the trumpet player before he started his own trad band. The guy is a maniac on trumpet and actually plays an excellent flute.
 
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