Po’boys and Naughty Girls in N’Awlins
October 7-14, 2014 with Lisa Pasold and Ann Kirkland in New Orleans.
I’ve been working with Ann since 2002, when she began planning the first Classical Pursuits voyage to Paris. Ever since our initial meeting over hot chocolate at the Café des Deux Magots on the Left Bank, Ann and I have spent delightful hours discussing art and life, books and travel.
Recently, we’ve been talking about a whole new city: New Orleans, because for several years now, I’ve been splitting my year between Paris and the magical Crescent City. I’ve fallen in love with New Orleans and now I’m inviting you to my new home.
New Orleans has countless monikers: the City That Care Forgot, the Crescent City (logical—look at a map as it curves around the Mississippi!) and—intriguingly—the Big Easy, which might be the name of an old jazz club but only became popular in 1970, with James Conaway’s Big Easy noir novel.
The city has inspired writers from Kate Chopin and Tennessee Williams to Anne Rice and Dave Eggers. Alongside its amazing literary impact, the city is deservedly famed for its phenomenal music and architecture, not to mention its food—New Orleans even invented the concept of “brunch”, back in 1863 in the French Quarter!
Why come to New Orleans this October?
• The weather: October is my favourite month in New Orleans. Monarch butterflies perch on milkweed flowers, and the heat of the summer relaxes into a pleasant mild glow, perfect for strolling under the giant Live Oaks that line our boulevards.
• Jazz: we’ll visit the birthplace of Jazz: Congo Square, where African slaves once danced to the rhythms of their homeland. We’ll listen to great local musicians & get a personal guided tour of the city’s legendary music archive (which includes Louis Armstrong’s first cornet!)
• Literature and History: we’ll meet local writers and bookshop owners, and we’ll wander the historical French Quarter with knowledgeable resident guides.
• Historic cocktail culture: we’ll indulge in literary conversation over mint juleps at the famous Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue.
• Reading: our books will be Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby,” Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying, and Julie Smith’s Loot – all guaranteed to plunge you into the heart of New Orleans’ many stories.
“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” – Tennessee Williams
Make it a date: New Orleans, October 7 – 14, 2014. Let me introduce you to the resilient historical city that I’ve found so inspiring.