Unlike many cities, New Orleans has a bewildering array of breakfast choices. While in many cities, the difficulty is in finding a place for breakfast, in New Orleans, the difficulty is in deciding which place to choose. Surrey’s is a juice bar and a cafe, and at first that had me somewhat concerned. Would there be substantial and traditional breakfast items, or would everything be “healthy” or “vegan”? But the place got rave reviews on Yelp, so I gave it a chance and I’m glad I did. Surrey’s Uptown is on Magazine Street, in a charming, fairly-small house. They do indeed have a traditional breakfast menu at exceptionally-reasonable prices. Bacon, eggs, biscuits-all were exquisitely prepared to order, and the roasted potatoes were an outstanding alternative to the usual grits or skillet potatoes. While I was able to get right in on a Tuesday morning, the place seems small and probably fills up quickly on weekends, and it’s a fair distance from the French Quarter. Nevertheless, it’s worth the trip for a breakfast that will leave you and your wallet comfortably full. Visit http://www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com/Surreys-New-Orleans-Restaurant.html for menus and hours.
Industry Influence is a monthly event sponsored by @SESS45 of Nuthin But Fire Records and @wildwayne of Q93 in New Orleans. This month the event was held at the Howlin Wolf in the CBD, and I was invited to be on the panel discussion. Those in attendance were mostly new artists, but Baton Rouge-area rapper Lil Cali was there, as well as the people from Fly Definition clothing.
Back when Jackson Square was the Place d’Armes, the land on either side of the square was also public property, but somehow the land eventually became private property, and owned by a Baroness no less, the Baroness de Pontalba. She chose to erect on her land two apartment buildings which still stand today, and which give New Orleans another claim to fame as the city with the first apartments in America.
In the early afternoon, this traditional brass band was playing in front of the Cabildo at Jackson Sqaure. The song, “Everybody Ought to Know” is a Sunday School song from my youth that I never knew was part of the brass band tradition, but it definitely works.
While enjoying my cafe au lait and beignets at the Cafe du Monde, I thought I heard the satisfying boom of a bass drum. It proved to be coming from the other side of Jackson Square, in front of the Cabildo, where a traditional brass band had set up to play for the handful of tourists out on such a cold, dark and windy day.
The French Market is a familiar tourist attraction in the French Quarter just to the east of Jackson Square in New Orleans. Carefully restored by the Works Project Administration in 1936, it is a fun collection of shops, restaurants, and a flea market. The French Market is the largest of a series of public markets that were built in New Orleans, but sadly the others have not fared as well as the French Market. The St. Bernard Market is adjacent to the Interstate 10 overpass at North Claiborne and Esplanade. It was most recently the Circle Food Store, but has been empty and abandoned since Hurricane Katrina. The St. Roch Market on St. Roch Street just above St. Claude Avenue is also abandoned and looks to be in even worse shape than the St Bernard. These historic markets are just as worthy of restoration as the French Market, but if something isn’t done soon, they will be lost forever.
This beautiful riverfront walkery in New Orleans is called the Moon Walk, not because of lovely lunar vistas over the river at night as one might think, but rather in honor of “Moon” Landrieu, New Orleans’ beloved mayor of the early 1970’s, who was in many ways the first mayor to envision a New Orleans free from racism and segregation. If Landrieu’s first great passion was ending New Orleans’ shameful legacy of racism, his second was redevelopment of the city’s waterfront, and it is for this reason that the name Moon Walk is very appropriate indeed.
A guest drummer takes a solo with the Mainline Brass Band at the Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, January 6, 2013
Mainline Brass Band’s drummer Jermal Watson takes a solo at the Blue Nile in New Orleans, January 6, 2013