Feb 27, 201309:42 AM
Dispatches from a New Orleans Newcomer
What To Do When You're Bored in New Orleans
Stopping by Jackson Square for a photo opp on the jogging tour.
New Orleans Jogging Tour
After almost seven months in New Orleans, I feel less like a “newbie” and more like a resident. In many ways this is a good thing; I have friends to introduce me to new restaurants and bars, and friends to invite me to their son’s first birthday party, all things I did this past weekend.
But I have also been worrying about my newness wearing off because A) this blog is about my newbie adventures and B) I fear I'm losing my zest to try new things. All the things I wanted to do when I first moved here, such as shopping on Magazine Street, checking out Bourbon Street and listening to jazz on Frenchmen Street, I have already done and I’ve been trying to think of other just-as-new-and-cool experiences.
But yesterday I found a cure for my rut: a morning with New Orleans Jogging Tours. New Orleans Jogging Tours is exactly what it sounds like: a tour of New Orleans while jogging. And while I’m not going to tell you everything because I did the tour for an article in New Orleans Magazine’s April issue (look for it April 1!), I will tell you that the tour was a great way to see the city. We started in the French Quarter, then went to the CBD, wandered through the Garden District and came back. We jogged by the typical landmarks like Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and Lee’s Circle, but we also passed by where the Mannings live and where the "Real World New Orleans" was filmed.
The tour helped me with my “I need something exciting” problem because it made me feel like a newbie again. At the beginning of the tour I felt cool because I was a resident and I knew a lot more about the city compared to the tourists from Pennsylvania in my running group. But as the tour went on and our tour guide started pointing out and recommending restaurants, museums and landmarks, I immediately felt like an out-of-towner again. No, I have not been to Commander’s Palace. No, I have not been to a cemetery. No, I have not been to the Civil War Museum. No, I have not been an extra in a film. No, I have not been to the new exhibit at the National World War II Museum. There was so much I hadn’t done and I suddenly felt like the worst New Orleans resident ever.
Not to sound too dramatic, but the tour made me notice that it is impossible to be bored in New Orleans. There is always an exhibit you haven't seen or a restaurant you haven't tried or a band you haven't heard. Thinking that you've seen enough or saying that you're bored happens to everyone everywhere, but in New Orleans there's really no excuse.
So to make sure I never get in a rut again, I have included a list of New Orleans experiences I would like to accomplish in the near future. Obviously this is not the conclusive list and I’m sure I will think of more things as soon as I publish this blog, but these are the ideas I have come up with since my jogging tour:
Have a really nice meal at Commander’s Palace
Visit the New Orleans Museum of Art
Visit the Civil War Museum
Take the ferry to Algiers Point
See the new US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center at the National World War II Museum
Get a New Orleans library card
Learn about the city's history at the Historic New Orleans Collection
Go on a swamp tour
Be an extra in a film
Have a breakfast picnic on the levee at Lake Pontchartrain
Sail around Lake Pontchartrain
Volunteer for a New Orleans organization
Attend the Tennesee Williams Literary Festival
Go to Ogden After Hours at the Ogden Museum of Art
Join the Alliance Française
See a musical at the Mahalia Jackson Theater
Have a Dégas Day : Visit the Dégas House and eat at Café Dégas
See Dr. John in concert
Go to Jazz Fest
Like I said, there are probably a million other things to do in New Orleans, but that is my list for now. Feel free to recommend your favorite things to do in New Orleans.