Other excursions deserve your time: the Garden District, the Tulane campus, the old Charity Hospital (now being redeveloped for Tulane University and housing/shopping) and the Ninth Ward. Several famous Florence surgeons trained at the old Charity Hospital.
My favorite New Orleans restaurants include Antons, the Court of Two Sisters, Brennans (actually, several of the Brennan Family restaurants), Arnouds, K-Pauls, Galatoires, Muriels, Commanders Palace, the Acme Oyster Bar and the Red Fish Grill. In addition to Preservation Hall, I have attended concerts by Benny Goodman and Al Hirt. I do not know the ghostly or Voodoo side of New Orleans aside from novels, particularly those by Anne Rice.
Some amusing stories: 1) slipping the floor managers at Preservation Hall one night an extra $50, we were able to sit for hours, but no drinks allowed – Shirley has a set of wooden statues of some Preservation Hall greats; 2) I have yet to figure out how to manage the powdered sugar at DuMonde; 3) once in 1972, having lunch at Brennans, in comes Vice President Agnew and entourage – the restaurant was emptied while he ate, but on return our food was, of course, cold, so we got a new meal; 3) I was once the SCMA restaurant expert, once arranging a last-minute downstairs private room at Antons for our South Carolina group. I convinced the manager to reject Bill Mahon’s credit card, forcing him to use Walt Robert’s card (about a $2,000 bill). It took him about six months to figure out; 4) I watched Canada defeat the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team (I was “pulling” for the United States) on an amazing Sidney Crosby backwards goal, through his own skates, on a TV set in a New Orleans hotel room; 5) on a business trip with Gerald Harmon to meet with Bill McDade, recently moved from Chicago to New Orleans, I was amazed when a table of musicians, at Antons, stood up to enthusiastically greet McDade, but he was in turn surprised when several random couples came to greet me as we left the restaurant; I just winked at Bill; and 6) the famous airplane story, flying in 1973 from San Francisco to New Orleans with a touchdown in Dallas … oh, no, I’m out of space. Maybe the next time I see you.
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