NCA 2011: Eating my way through the Big Easy

I'm in New Orleans this week for the National Communication Association annual convention. It's just terrible. There are all these charming buildings and art galleries, and all this amazing food to eat, and all these fun people to see. I really don't know how I'm going to make it two more days. Truly, see what I mean:
If you are ever in the vicinity of New Orleans, go to Cafe Du Monde. This is a command, not a suggestion. You MUST have beignets and coffee.

J'adore les hanging baskets. ;)

Beignets overlooking Jackson Square. Beignets are French doughnuts... crispy outside, dense hot middles with the aura of funnel cake. Mmmm.

Wearing the powdered sugar doesn't seem to be optional.

Tonight I took a "spirit tour" and saw all of the major haunted locales in the French Quarter. New Orleans is the most haunted city in the world apparently!

I do believe this was one of the haunts, but I can't recall the story. I know, lame. I did, however, see a house that Angelina and Brad Pitt own. Apparently it's next door to a haunted house so creepy Angelina refuses to stay there and it's been empty for years, including when Brad filmed a movie here last year. They stayed in a hotel!

On the tour we learned about the French and Spanish colonial periods and how slavery was cultivated differently in Louisiana than in other parts of the South.

What I love second to the baskets is the FOOD. I am trying all sorts of things I've never experienced like grits (yessss!), bread pudding (ick), catfish, jambalaya (eww), croquettes, and hopefully tomorrow, gumbo!

Several have said to try the alligator but I don't think they mean the canned varietal. Ick.

A quiet afternoon on Bourbon Street. It is a den of iniquity, for true.

Jackson Square. Apparently they used to have public executions in the square and on the other side of the cathedral, men would fight duels.

Love the architecture and colors everywhere.

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