Monthly Archives: February 2014

New Orleans Attractions New Orleans Events New Orleans Traditions

Best Spots to Catch Mardi Gras Parades

mardi gras4 (2)The Mardi Gras parade routes are long, and you can find plenty of places to stand—some more crowded than others. Depending on your age, whether or not you have kids and your parade-watching preferences, there are various parts of the route that might be best suited for you. Here are a few of the best spots you can try on your visit.

Grandstands on St. Charles Ave

Depending on the parade, tickets to the grandstands on St. Charles Ave can be fairly cheap and absolutely worth it. When the floats pass, they are just a few feet from where you can stand. And instead of competing with huge crowds on the ground, you can have a place to sit and be more comfortable. Just bring a huge bag for all the beads and trinkets you’re likely to get! Prices range from as low as $5 to $50 a pop depending on the parade, and they can be purchased at https://www.neworleansparadetickets.com/.

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New Orleans Attractions New Orleans Events New Orleans Traditions

History of Mardi Gras

MardiGras2smWhile Mardi Gras has become a fixture of New Orleans culture, the holiday does not have its earliest roots in the city. The Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday tradition began centuries before in Rome as a religious holiday that marked the last day before Lent, or Ash Wednesday.

The custom spread to France where it then traveled to the French American colonies at the tail end of the 17th century. On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville set up camp about 60 miles south of New Orleans. Knowing that March 3 was being celebrated as a major holiday back in France, Bienville named the spot “Pointe du Mardi Gras.”

In 1703, the first Mardi Gras in America was celebrated in what is now Mobile. In 1704, the secret society Masque de la Mobile was founded as a precursor to today’s Mardi Gras krewes. In 1710, the Boeuf Gras Society was established and paraded from 1711 through 1861.

New Orleans was founded in 1718, and by the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in the form of elegant society balls, which became the basis of today’s Mardi Gras ball tradition. In 1781, the Perseverance Benevolent & Mutual Aid Association was the first of hundreds of New Orleans’ carnival organizations.

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New Orleans Dining

5 Most Romantic Spots in New Orleans for Valentine’s Day

bigstock-Red-rose-closeup-isolated-on-w-16085681New Orleans has often been named one of the most romantic cities in the country—and for good reason. The city has endless restaurants, bars, historic locales and scenery to take in—so much of which is perfect for a romantic evening like Valentine’s Day. Here are a few of the best spots you can try this year.

Columns Hotel (Uptown – 3811 St. Charles Ave)

With the Columns Hotel, you have two options for enjoying each other’s company and the atmosphere around you. Outside is an expansive, picturesque porch that overlooks St. Charles Ave, and you can enjoy not only each other but the quaint scenery and sound of the streetcar as it whirrs by. Inside is a dimly lit bar and room of candlelit tables perfect for cozying up and feeling the intimate vibes passing between you both. Either setting you choose, you can enjoy decadent classic New Orleans cocktails, such as a fantastic Pimm’s Cup or to-die-for Sazerac, and a delightful bistro menu with tasty options that are perfect for sharing.

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New Orleans Dining

New Restaurants in New Orleans for 2014

John Besh Pizza

 

 

 

New restaurants are constantly opening up throughout New Orleans. In 2011, 89 restaurants opened in the city, and in 2012, there were 43 grand openings. This year, at least 25 new restaurants already have planned openings. Here are a few exciting choices.

Mopho (514 City Park Ave)

Just opened in January, Mopho is the creation of former August chef Michael Gulotta. This greatly anticipated spot for “Vietnamese meets Louisiana cuisine” has a wide variety of foods on its menu, including appetizers like Banh Xeo Battered Shrimp and Grilled Shrimp or Pork Shoulder Spring Roll, specials like Pepper Jelly Braised Cedar Key Clams and Slow Roast Lamb Neck and Beet in Green Curry, customizable vermicelli, po-boys and, of course, pho. The opening was a great success, and this restaurant has significant potential to provide quality Vietnamese food to both New Orleans’ Vietnamese population and fans of Southeast Asian cuisine. read more »