Thursday, March 4, 2010

Living (it up) in the Big Easy

Of all the grand and glorious places Chris and I have traversed over the past five and a half months, nothing can compare to New Orleans. With it's rich history, french architecture, cajun food, warm people, street musicians, cajun dialect, and all-around interesting folks it's unbeatable. (Not to mention the daiquiri shops, Bourbon Street and open container law.) It's a little like Chicago, but without all the snow and frigid temperatures. New Orleans is certainly one-of-a-kind and different from anywhere I've ever been.
One of the "interesting folk" that occupy the streets in the French Quarter. Notice the ladder ends right near the top of the picture. Who knows how long he held that position.

So, about a week ago Chris was browsing and came across some apartments in the French Quarter for a very reasonable monthly rate. We decided, what they heck!, we might as well check a few out. The first apartment we looked it was no bigger than the Dod but it didn't even have an engine! Over the next two days we checked out an apartment with a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. We looked at a huge apartment with a fireplace in the middle of the kitchen. We saw a tiny furnished apartment with a hot tub and murphy bed.

After looking at about a dozen apartments, we eventually came across a clean little apartment smack dab between Bourbon Street and the French Market. It was far enough away from all the noise to be peaceful at night. It had three entry doors and a courtyard with barbecues, tables with umbrellas and a POOL! Best of all, the rent was cheaper than most of the places we looked at - and none of them had a pool.

So, we put in our application but didn't let our hopes get up. Because, really, it seemed too good to be true. But wouldn't you know, as Chris was filling out an application at a restaurant he got a call from the landlord to tell us he approved our application. As we skipped around in Cathedral Square all the fortune tellers and street artists stared as I laughed hysterically and repeatedly yelled "REALLY?! NO! Really?! REALLY?!". After a quick call to Deo and Bob & Jan, we signed the lease and that cute little apartment with the pool we can now call our home!
Right here.

A shot of our building from Chartres Street.

Therefore, kerouaking is on a one-year hiatus. However, we will continue to update the blog with our adventures in the Big Easy and our upcoming trips. The Dod will most likely make her way back to Michigan soon - she's just too big to be parking on these narrow streets. We're thinking about getting a smaller car and/or maybe a scooter.
Our Walmart nights are over... for now.

After only a few days of applying to jobs and passing out resumes, Chris got a job at Marigny Brasserie! It's a restaurant with an impressive menu of po'boys, soup, and seafood. It's just four blocks away so Chris can walk to and from work in under five minutes. He brought home a soft-shell crab po'boy and portabella mushroom bisque last night and it was delish!

Since Chris is working in a restaurant, he trimmed his epic beard and cut his hair. Here's a before and active photo:
Friggin' hippie...

He cleans up good!

I am actively searching for work. I've been applying to hotels in the quarter and I have a second interview as a swim instructor uptown next week. I'm really hoping for a position with AmeriCorps, so keep your fingers crossed.

We can't wait to have visitors so come see us soon! Until you see it in person, here are some photos of the apartment and courtyard to tide you over.
This is the view from the end of our floor, looking out into the courtyard. Michael, our landlord, really keeps up on all the flora and greenery.
This is our view from the balcony. That is the pool at the hotel next door.
Here's a nice shot of our courtyard and pool.
Here's one of the patio tables. There's two barbecues in the courtyard for tenants to use and the landlord provides the propane. There's only about a dozen apartments within the Lanata House so we won't have to worry about waiting in line to go swimming or grill food.
The outside view of our apartment. All the shutters are closed, but they open to a second door with a window. The first door leads into the living room. The second door is the main door and leads into the hallway. The third door leads into the bedroom.
Our bed-less bedroom. Somebody please send us a mattress!
Our living room right after we got done bringing everything up from the Dod.
The living room as it is now. The only furniture we have is two folding chairs and my old wine-tasting table from when I worked at Union Beverage.

Aunt Kiki said we HAD to try some deep fried peanuts and, boy, was she right! They're fantastic. You eat the shell and all! This stand is in the French Market, two blocks southeasterly from our apartment. It's open every day and there are fruit and veggie stands, live bands, jewelry and art tables, tee-shirts, daiquiris and coffee stands, etc.

Love, your favorite kerouakers and newbie Lousianians.


  1. Hey Chris & Nikki,

    Congrats on the cute apt! You'll definitely love the pool this summer. Seems like you're in a great location. We love New Orleans and it sounds like you do too! Did you check out the Famous Door bar yet on Bourbon St (our favorite)? Supposed to be the oldest bar there. Their band, Rockbox plays every Wed-Sun night, starts 8:00 p.m. Lots of 70's classic rock favorites of ours and newer stuff too. One of my most favorite bands ever. Sound like the original bands in whatever they play. Anyway, check it out sometime. Good Luck and we'd love to get together with your mom & dad and come see you sometime. Take care, Karl & Cheri

  2. i think what you guys are doing is great.

  3. The apartment is SO cute. I love it, & I'm jealous. Congratulations guys!
    -Rachel Ritz

  4. hey! i'm gails friend in new orleans. we have a bed for you! email meeeee!