Tonight I went down to proper downtown New Orleans (it has a welcome sign and everything!) for a night time river paddleboat cruise on the allegedly famous Creole Queen paddleboat. We’ll, it’s at least famous enough to have a Wikipedia article. There I hoped to knock a bunch of things off my list all at once: seeing downtown, seeing the Mississippi river, eating some creole food, and getting dinner.
Getting there was a bit of a challenge. New Orleans has an absurd love of bridges. And not bridges over water, but bridges over everything! Or over nothing at all! Seriously, the other day I had to take a right to get onto a road. Rather than having my road drive up to an intersection, I had to exit to the right, ascend a two story corkscrew, before descending onto the destination road, which in any other city I would have simply run into.
Anyway, the copious number of bridges leads to an awful lot of frontage roads, roads over roads, and roads under roads, which is quite a challenge for GPS programs that operate in only two dimensions and assume roads are far enough apart to tell which one you’re on.
So several wrong turns and detours later, and 20 minutes in a traffic standstill, later, I arrived at the ticket booth to pick up my reserved tickets. I was afraid with all the detours I was going to be late, because I was told the ticket booth closed at 7:00. Fortunately, there was a whole line of people there, and I was very not late. Yay!
I stepped inside and found a table. a jazz band was playing, and there was a creole buffet. I grabbed a plate and started scooping on everything on the table. Not because I like creole food (I remembered not liking it), but because it was my duty as a New Orleans tourist to try authentic creole food.
Well, I tried it. Jambalaya, gumbo, and more. I can now say I came to the home of creole food, and got it from the Creole Queen, and still didn’t like it enough to go seek it out again. But I will say it was at least better than the creole food I’ve had before.
The jazz band was pretty good, though I was a bit disappointed to hear that they only played easily-recognizable jazz classics, but they played them well.
I felt sorry for the singer/trumpet player, though, because he seemed very sad with his job. Watching his face, you could tell he was sad with wasting his talents on the same 20 songs night after night for a crowd that didn’t even appreciate it. At the end of each song, he would half-heartedly clap for himself because nobody else did :(
I got tired of food and music and went up to the top of the boat to look at the scenery. The paddleboat is three stories tall, with the second story reserved for what looks like a prom. I went up to the third story, which I liked better anyway, because there was almost nobody up there.
I just stood up there and watched the city move away and watched the industrial stuff that lines that shore pass by. Good thing I went on a night cruise; seeing city lights at night is one of my favorite scenes, and it made the industrial stuff much nicer to look at, too.
Sad nighttime photography is sad
Eventually I got tired of even that and went back down in the seating area to start this blog post, putz around the Internet, and listen to the band for the rest of the trip.
There was a woman in one of these windows as I rode past. I waved. She refused to wave back. I know she saw me, I was the only thing to see on the giant boat she was looking right at. How rude! Harrah’s casino, which I’m told I should go visit