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My Own Personal Interview: The Whys and Wherefores of My Bestselling New Orleans Travel Guide

OK. So here we go. I’ve interviewed people over the years about what they’ve been doing for this blog about New Orleans so I thought what the heck, I’ll just interview myself about my bestselling travel guide: Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour. Instead of doing it all at once, which would make it really long, I thought I’d do it in installments.

My Own Personal Interview: The Whys and Wherefores of My Bestselling New Orleans Travel Guide – Part One

Here's my New Orleans travel guide. Notice how slim and light it is.

Here’s my bestselling New Orleans travel guide. Notice how slim and light it is.

There are so many other travel guides to New Orleans why did you decide to write another one?

I felt that what was missing was a guide actually written by someone from here, who lives here and loves the place. You know most travel guides are not written from a native’s eye view because they are compiled by people who are just visitors. And the guides are usually huge with small print, just too much to filter through.

I remember years ago I took a trip to Greece and I had one of those huge travel books, I think it was the Lonely Planet.

OK, in some ways it’s good to have such a book, I think, it’s thick and chock full of information about things to see, places to stay and eat and all of that. But I think the problem with such huge books is an overabundance of information. It’s just too much.

Good Luck and the Tourist Police
That big, clunky book did kind of help me out in another way, though. When I got off the place at Athens I headed to the tourist office where you could talk to the tourist police. Yes, they called them tourist police, they even had uniforms and badges. There you could get ideas and advice on places to stay and things to see.

I walked into the office and a couple minutes later in come these two young good-looking women from Chicago, one white one black, the beset of friends and they’d been on a massive tour traveling in one direction around the world. They had started west and were just coming from China, where they said was really hard finding that country really dirty where most of the men, as they told me, were pigs.

I was holding in my hand this big Lonely Planet guide book and asked if they could borrow it for a bit. So as they were standing there eagerly paging through it we got to talking and decided we’d all take the bus to the center of Athens and look for a pension.

We found a pension right in the heart of the city, and got a room with three beds. That afternoon we walked to the Parthenon and had a great Greek dinner that night. The next day we left before sunrise and took the subway train all the way to the port and hopped a giant 5 decker ferry out to the islands.

An Unexpected Adventure
So that began my three week vacation with these incredibly smart, very nice and very fun girls. We made it to the island of Santorini, found a place to stay for one night with three beds, busted our guts telling Seinfeld stories, as that show was very popular at the time, and went out to eat that night.

Then the next day we gathered our stuff and took a bus out to Oia which is on the western most point of the island. We found a big one room apartment with a balcony and stayed there for a week doing almost nothing but reading, doing a little walking and exploring and drinking grapefruit juice and vodka on the balcony each afternoon as we watched the stream of people come from miles around to see the sunset at the western most point of the island.

So, had it not been for that big bulky Lonely Planet travel guide we would never have met. So something good and unexpected came of that.

My take away from that is remembering how big and bulky that travel guide was and how the book was not written by natives at all but by travelers. This gave me the idea of writing my own travel guide about New Orleans. What you want is something from a native, someone who knows a place inside and out and can really recommend that best places to go, the best restaurants, the kind of stuff natives enjoy. That’s really how you can learn a city.

Of course, I have nothing against these big bulky books, now with the advent of digital books it makes it no big deal to carry around of these big guides in your smart phone. But there is still the challenge of too many choices. And I like the feel of a book anyway, which is why I turned my New Orleans travel guide Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour into a paperback.

End Part One of Interview

Posted in New Orleans Books, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life.

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The Wild Food and Abundant Altars of St. Joseph in New Orleans – Video

If you ever thought that New Orleans living was a world apart from the rest of humanity then all you have to do is see how we celebrate two Saints this time of year to prove you are right. We got your St. Patrick’s day where we have marching groups and parades when cabbage and veggies enough to make a soup are tossed from floats.

Wild Food and Abundant Altars of St. Joseph in New Orleans

Then followed closely on it’s heels is St Joseph’s day, March 19th, where all over New Orleans churches and homes sponsor elaborate altars chock full of all kinds of artistically designed and edible foodstuffs. These offerings are in honor of St. Joseph who Sicilians believe rescued Italy from a terrible famine.

Days and days and thousands of man/woman hours (I would guess mostly woman) are spent in preparing and setting up these over-the-top culinary tributes.

These alters remain up for many days so the populace can come and pray, gawk and take ganders of the wild and reverent nourishments.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Festivals, New Orleans Food, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Videos.

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New Orleans Saints Trade of Jimmy Graham to Seattle Devastates These Kids – Video

Beloved New Orleans Saints star Jimmy Graham just got traded to Seattle. And these kids just don’t like it. In fact it appears to completely run their day.

New Orleans Saints Trade of Jimmy Graham to Seattle Devastates These Kids – Video

As reported on The Blaze:

In a move that shocked the sports world on Tuesday, the New Orleans Saints sent all-star tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle for a first-round draft pick and veteran center Max Unger.

Given the fact that Graham regularly outperforms many starting wide receivers on the field, many Saints fans were upset to see him go.

The way these kids react is indicative to how much the New Orleans Saints means to the Crescent City.

Now that we’ve lost one of our stars and one of the best in the NFL what does that portend for the Saints upcoming season?

 

Posted in New Orleans Business, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Videos.

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Is New Orleans Pelicans Mascot Pierre the Scariest One in Sports?

I thought it was a mistake to change the name of the New Orleans Hornets to the New Orleans Pelicans. I think there is something to the importance of the team names to how successful they are. Think about it, when they were the Hornets they were a great team. Hornets fly around, zoom in and sting. I mean who isn’t afraid of a hornet?

Is New Orleans Pelicans Mascot Pierre the Scariest One in Sports?

Now we got the Pelicans. Those big lumbering birds are not scary at all. I mean who wouldn’t want to have one of those land in your back yard. But their original mascot was really scary looking and creepy. As the video above shows.

So bowing under supposed intense pressure from the news media and fans they came up with a redesign.

The upgraded version of New Orleans Pelicans Supposedly Less Scary Mascot Pierre.

The upgraded version of New Orleans Pelicans Supposedly Less Scary Mascot Pierre.

Really? Do you see much of an improvement here? Well, I guess it is a little better.

Posted in New Orleans Life.


An Upbeat Gunshot Victim: New Orleans EMS in Spotlight in A&E Show

Everyone knows that crime has been on the upswing in New Orleans recently. Even though murders are down all kinds of other crimes are up. The excellent A&E show Nightwatch shows the good and dedicated men and women of our emergency services with that unique New Orleans twist that we seem to put on everything.

An Upbeat Gunshot Victim: New Orleans EMS in Spotlight in A&E Show

This clip shows a guy who could have been another murder victim but fortunately his wound was not life-threatening. Warning: this clip is a little bloody.

Here’s hoping that one day these shootings and murders will be a thing of the past.

 

Posted in New Orleans Life, New Orleans News, New Orleans Videos.

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