For our second day in NOLA we began with a fortifying HUGE bottle of water and a smoothie each. One must hydrate! And fruitrate!
Then we went across the streetÂ from the WÂ to this adorable cafe , where we had coffee and I had a bran muffin. It was quite a bran muffin; one of those rare muffins where you feel like it’s decadent even though it’s basically woodshavings. More on this bakery later. But what a bran muffin!
Rootie also claims to have had THE BEST CUP OF COFFEE IN HER ENTIRE LIFE. It was chicory, needless to say.
After breakfast we decided to hit the shops right around the W. And when I say “hit,” I mean like a ton of lead bricks. For almost immediately we walked into one of THE cutest shops I’ve ever been in, called Oonkas Boonkas, at 230 Chartres. The lady who runs it is called Dianne Harris, and she’s the most adorable thing we’ve imported from Australia since Kylie. Here’s her shop:
Every square inch was COVERED with the coolest merchandise. There was a lot of the kind of thing I love: really girlie things that shouldn’t be girlie at all. Like kicky skirts made of camo with flowers embroidered up the side. Â But there was something in there so special I nearly wept when I saw it. It was so simple….so understated….so SKULL WITH BLING:
Ohhhhh helllllllllll yeeeeeaaaaaah. This thing is the coolest belt I’ve EVER SEEN. It’s a diamante encrusted One Eyed Willie belt. It’s AMAZING. It’s so heavy that I could use it as a bolo. Here’s me buying it from Dianne. Note the shit eating grin I’m sporting. I could not be happier:
Dianne is also the tiniest woman alive, and I may look like an elephant next to her. But that’s fine, because SHE is huge of spirit. She survived hurricane Katrina, rebuilding her destroyed shop to open it again. Not something to be sniffed at, obviously, and I really admire the tenacity and bravery that people like Dianne have exhibited rebuilding NOLA. I don’t know if I could have done gone back after losing so much and I applaud you!
After the belt, Rootie and I did some serious wandering. I won’t bore you with all the pictures, but she took some real beauties. This one, however, is priceless and it embodies why I love this city. Ya gotta love a little public napping:
After tourism, we ate a really quick lunch at Margaritaville, where we had the Largest Pile of Nachos, ever. We realized much later that, as I’m always sitting across from Ruth when she photographs the food, she’s always getting my boobs in the picture. So now we just call it a “food and boobs shot.”Â
After dinner we had a date with Weston, or Irish, who sold me the skull fascinator from Roadkill (on Decataur) the night before. We’d struck up a conversation and he volunteered to serve as our tour guide the following day. So we met at Cafe du Monde, where Rootie ate her first beignets. And I doused myself in powdered sugar.
Weston is amazing! He’s a huge Irishman who moved to Boston when he was a teenager, so he has an awesome Boston accent that gets subtly more broguey as he drinks. He also knows a plethora of UK jokes, with which he was happy to regale us with, and so we laughed a lot. Although if any sheep had been in hearing distance, their ears would be burning. Yay Weston!
Not that Irish people drink. Ever. But if they did…..
Anyway, Weston took us all over, but he made a special effort to make sure we got lots of pictures with large, absurd statues. Which I find highly entertaining, on a number of levels:
We also had SNOW BALLS!!!!! As I’ve already blogged about my love of the snowball, I’ll just show you the money:
Many hijinks ensued on our little walkies, one of the funniest being when Rootie became convinced that instead of the riverboat Natchez, Weston was pointing out the River Nazis. She became quite alarmed. But it was really just a lovely riverboat paddling lazily down the Mississippi:
Soon enough Rootie and I needed a little lie down, and to get out of the very hot sun. So we made plans to meet up with Weston later on in the evening, after dindin. I’d already made the executive decision that fried chicken was on the menu, which can mean only one thing: Fiorelli’s. There are now two locations, one oppostie Coop’s where we ate the night before, and one right round the corner from the W. We chose the latter, as we were lazy. The chicken there is lovely. Really spicy and crispy and after a long day of sweating you need something salty to replenish your supplies. It’s also a great representative of typical NOLA fare: totally unpretentious but really well made. You order at the bar, and you eat with a spork (which Rootie found challenging), but you eat some really, really amazing fried chicken:
After dinner, we went to get ready to go out. I wore a dress that ended up looking rather gladitorial when paired with my ENORMOUS DIAMANTE SKULL BELT. I did have a bit of a fashion crisis when I looked at Rootie, and held up the gold butterfly skull fascinator I’d bought the night before, and said, “Is this too much?” Keeping in mind the belt, and the fact my sandals ALSO sport diamante encrusted skulls, Rootie just giggled and said, “Really? Is anything too much when you’re wearing that?”:
She had a point. I went with the fascinator. And I think we both ended up looking pretty hawt:
That’s us in front of Roadkill, perambulating between bars. We met Weston outside of Coops, then walk down the street to Turtle Bay, which has an awesome beer selection. Then Weston told us he’d take us to one of his favorite places … where he works security during festivals …. it’s great, an awesome place … it’s right down here…. in PIRATE’S ALLEY! Yes, folks, it’s my favorite place in NOLA, the place we’d drank the night before.Â
So that was awesome, but the best part was that everyone knows Weston,who they call Irish. Everyone would just yell, “Hey! Irish!” Rootie’s second favorite comment of the evening, after my asking “is this too much?”, was when Weston looked at us and said, “They call me Irish.”
Yeah, we kinda figured. 🙂
So we hung out with a bunch of really cool peeps, and drank a few more Sailor Jerry and Cokes. Because obviously you have to drink rum at a pirate bar, right?
Here we are hanging out:
Oh wait! No! That’s the Jesus, and Shadow. Loverly! HERE we are hanging out:
The guy on the right was very excited. I’m not sure how Rootie felt about it, really, from her face.
Eventually we wound up the evening, because we had to get up early to go on a tour the next morning. But upon entering the hotel room, we were struck by a furious bout of narcissism (plus the people next door were having absurdly loud sex), so we decided to be Supermodels. Watch out Tyra! Here’s your next top models!!!!
I know, I look a bit like an extra from Xena. But I secretly love it. 😉
We finally went to bed, giggling at the orchestral moaning from next door, for tomorrow was another day in NOLA. This time with touring! Yay!
Find out just what we saw, right here, on the morrow!