Everyone plays Music in New Orleans

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Living in NYC for 7+ years, and studying acting, I was always surrounded by music.  There are always people playing music on subway platforms; and I sometimes go to Jazz bars…

But, New Orleans? It’s on completely another level. Literally everyone – I mean anyone – plays music and jazz… even some people who you wouldn’t expect to play by looking at them. (Ummm hmm don’t judge a book by its cover…)

First night:

I had fun drinking Old Fashioned on Bourbon Street, (Bourbon on Bourbon. Yes, that makes me happy. I’m simple like that. 😂 )

The musicians at the bar I went – Bourbon Street Drinkery – they were so energetic and upbeat like a marching band. It made me feel so excited and sing all out with them (yep I did not care.)

Second night:

New friends I made from the Ultimate Swamp Adventure – a couple from Toronto who play music – asked me if I wanna join them in the evening to go listen to Jazz on Frenchmen Street.

And that’s the place to be for jazz – so I said heck yeah!!

The show they wanted to see at Snug Harbor was sold out; so we just found a restaurant down the street that had plenty of room and jazz that sounded pretty good. 🙂

They also had Warriors game on the TV screen – what more can I ask for? What a perfect night!! Lol had some steak and totally pampered myself…

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We step outside, and see a group of people playing jazz in front of a cafe that’s closed for the day. They had this gipsy-like feeling (not in the racial context but more like nomad, wanderer sense). Suddenly my mind was transported to Berlin… it was so magical.

We keep on walking and we see a group of guys and a couple is dancing to their music.

And we walk further down, and we see another group of people playing music. One of them was playing only 3-4 notes whole time… he gave me a feeling like I could pick up an instrument and play music instantly!! 😂 yay!!  They look like punk rockers but then they play jazz… interesting, eh?

New Orleans is truly a unique, culturally rich and fun city that became my most favorite tourist destination in the U.S. ☺️

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗

Love,

Erina

I tried Alligator meat in New Orleans

I finally did it!! Visiting NOLA had always been on my bucket list… but eating Alligator meat?  That wasn’t always so.

I normally hate some reptiles and snails, frogs – anything slimy – not that Allgator is slimy – (I found out later,) so of course I didn’t dream of trying it before.

But last year, on my friend’s farewell dinner – my Korean and Thai friends encouraged me to eat fried frog leg. They said “taste like chicken” and that it “tastes goooooddd!!” Now, I have already mentioned that I hate frogs – and I mean it. I ab-so-fu&@ing-lutely hate it. I rather be chased by 3-5 roaches than one frog.

But it was my friend’s farewell party, and I was tipsy. I also felt adventurous in the moment. (Some just call it liquid courage.) So I did it – and it was soooo chewy I can just imagine the frog while swallowing it.

After that one mistake I will never repeat again – I have gained some courage to try some peculiar food. After all, alligator meat isn’t that rare – especially in the south. Some people eat it all the time. (Oh and they love frogs too in some part of swamps – according to the TV show “Chasing Monsters” with Cyril Chauquet.

I yelped some places in NOLA that has gator meat. But they looked too touristy – I don’t wanna go eat at a tourist trap. So I walked around, found some nice looking restaurant called “Kingfish” and checked their menu. Voila!! There it was – “braised Louisiana alligator meat.” It’s a fresh local meat. Scoreeee!!

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I walk up to the bar, see some friendly bartenders and order it. I order Pinot Grigio, my go-to white wine with seafood. Gator meat, is… seafood, right? Or is it meat? Because it is gator “meat”? Either way Pinot Grigio should do just fine.

I was getting tipsy just from half the glass, the liquid courage is sneaking up on me again. The food runner brings me a big plate.

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It looks yummy, and smells good – now dig that fork in – forkyeah- and I shake it a little on the fork. It’s meaty and jiggly. (Yes, I am still talking about the food.)

And I take a bite. Oh. Hmmm. It’s texture is sort of like, a hard fish. It’s not hard at all, but does not easily break apart like regular fish.

It is kind of like between fish and chicken.

I hear fried gator feels more like chicken, but this was braised. So that must be the reason why it’s so tender and fish-like.

It tasted good, and I did it. I wouldn’t always order this, but it was good enough so I can try again.

I learned from true Louisiana swamp guys that they fry their seafood with corn meal – not with flour.

Next time I’m back in Louisiana, I would love to try the seafood and gator meat they cook. That shall be on my next adventure when I’m back in New Orleans!!

 

 

Next day, I took “Ultimate Swamp Tour” and held a baby alligator. His skin felt so soft like leather – and he was such a sweetheart!! He will one day make a great meat! Just kidding, haha 😆

I’ll write about Street art and Jazz in New Orleans for my next post.

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗

Love,

Erina

About Me:

E3BA61B9-33FF-4D31-A4C4-AEC28D50BF1EHello everyone, my name is Erina. I’m from Okinawa, Japan – a tropical island with clear water, white sand, unique melting pot culture that has one of the nicest people on earth… ☀️🤗

I’ve lived in the United States for 12 years: – a year in Collegeville Minnesota when I was an exchange student in high school,

– half a year in San Francisco for a semester in college,

– 3.5 years in Santa Monica (Los Angeles,CA)

and 7+ years in a Big Apple!!

I studied Acting in Santa Monica and then graduated with BFA Acting from a college that has one of the most competitive acting programs in New York… (some of the most notable alumni are Laverne Cox (OITNB) Melissa Benoist (Glee, Supergirl), etc.

While I was doing a Shakespeare summer intensive program by BADA and Yale Drama, which took place in Oxford, England, I have awaken my inner traveller inside me – because we have limited time on this beautiful planet, so why not explore it as much as we can??

During that summer I took trains and travelled London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Istanbul. (The trip between Prague to Istanbul was 48hrs 😳)

95E8ACBE-B7DB-457B-B67E-1081323BD8CBI’ve visited  55 cities in 16 countries so far that I can think of on top of my head… and many more to come!!

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗

Love,

Erina