I am the lizard king. I can do anything.
—- Jim Morrison
“At noon in the desert a panting lizard
waited for history, its elbows tense,
watching the curve of a particular road
as if something might happen.”
More fundamentally, it is a dream that does not die with the onset of manhood: the dream is to play endlessly, past the time when you are called home for dinner, past the time of doing chores, past the time when your body betrays you past time itself.
New Orleans is over a hundred miles from the ocean, but it is barely dry. Rain comes quickly and unexpectedly… except it is always expected.
Luckily, there is a source of refuge in the Big Easy – whenever the skies open up, there is always a bar handy to seek shelter and good cheer.
The Avenue Pub is beer heaven. Open 24hrs. 7Days (never know when it’s going to rain). Their list of beers on tap is three pages long.
The Beer Buddha says:
“Honestly this category really isn’t fair; but why punish one bar because all the others can’t hold it’s jockstrap? We all know The Avenue Pub is THE beer bar in not only New Orleans but in Louisiana. Nothing against all the other bars in the state but you ALL know you have a long way to go to be mentioned in the same sentence with AP.”
Draft Magazine lists it as one of the 100 best beer bars in the country. They say:
“Only in New Orleans will you find a beer bar open 24/7. The staff is militant about clean beer lines and proper glassware, so even when you stumble in at 4 a.m. you get the best pint in the city. Choose from more than 47 rotating taps and about as many bottles, all focusing on American beer. Go for an exhaustive introduction to local NOLA Brewing or to people-watch from the balcony.”
The Complex City Guide has it at 12 in the 25 best Beer Bars in the country. They say,
“Louisiana may not be the first state you think of when you think of beer (sure, they’ve got Abita), but when you change state to city and beer to drunk, it’s no wonder that New Orleans has one of the best beer spots in the country. Avenue Pub features a rotating 47 taps on two floors (so you can get your exercise in between rounds) and once you mix that with some amazing Louisiana cuisine, you won’t be thinking about Bourbon Street no more. And the most important part, here in the land of to-go cups, the Avenue is open 24 hours a day. Yup.”
And all this is right there, right on the Streetcar Line, right when it starts to rain.
My only complaint – they don’t have Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s Pollinator on tap. Maybe I can send them an email.
When you visit New Orleans for the first time, you can’t help but notice the cemeteries. Because the city is built on a swamp below sea level, you can’t bury anything underground. The cemeteries consist of cities of elaborate above ground crypts and mausoleums instead of grids of tombstones.
Right in the middle of the Garden District, one block off the St. Charles streetcar line is Lafayette Cemetery #1. It was established in 1833, when that part of the city was called Lafayette. I had wanted to take a tour of the cemetery but I wasn’t able to get away until Sunday – and the cemetery was closed on Sunday.
Something to do on my the next trip.
The Lafayette Cemetery #1 was closed, but I still could take pictures from the gate.
Across the street from the cemetery is Commander’s Palace, one of New Orleans’ best and most famous restaurants.
Ferns grow from the ancient wall around the cemetery across the street from Commander’s Palace.
The crypts are elaborate and showing their age. You can see how the legends of ghosts and supernatural come from places like this.
The elaborate vegetation-covered tombs stick up over the wall surrounding the cemetery.
In art – in the life worth living – there is always a struggle between beauty and functionality. I love finding examples that combine the two.
In the Lower Garden District – St. Andrews and Chestnut – Someone is using a beautiful old wrought iron balcony to store a couple of kayaks. I’m not sure why, but I really like that.
The Garden District in New Orleans is one place where time has ceased to exist. The ancient, worn mansions, massive greenery, and unique architecture keeps sitting there in the humid gulf air, sticking a middle finger at floods, storms, and modernity itself. The best place for a peaceful afternoon walk. It’s no wonder so many rich and famous end up there.
The Garden District is famous for its collection of giant stately mansions. But I like some of the little details the best. Look at this beautiful little curved porch off a bedroom overlooking Magazine Street. I would like to have a morning coffee on a balcony like this at every dawn for the rest of my life.
Look at the iron railings and the colors on this building. I love the lime green on the underside of the porch overhangs. All through New Orleans you see the little round punched tin lights like you see here – they are beautiful at night.
Another cool overhang. this one is painted sky blue and you can clearly see the round lights.
The trees and the porches – they seem to be growing together.
I never get tired of looking at the intricate and beautiful details on the wooden overhang bracing.