I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on work and email. For dinner, I decided to try Café Amelie. The place was nice enough, but the set up was more designed for a couple on a romantic date than for a solo traveler. In other words, I think people like the place more for the ambiance than for the food on the plate. The meal was nice enough, but not especially memorable.
As I wandered around the Quarter after dinner, I reflected on this trip. I had come to New Orleans unsure of the city's recovery from Katrina. I discovered a town full of life, fantastic music, and amazing food, but still feeling the scars from that storm. I discovered that as famous as the French Quarter might be, New Orleans has much more to offer visitors who dared venture a bit, just a bit, off the common beaten path. This trip confirmed what I had long felt: New Orleans is a city with a unique culture and vibe that can’t be found anywhere else.
I must have taken a thousand photos on this trip. It would take a long time to go through them, but each of them would bring back some sort of memory. As I wandered the Quarter for the last time snapping photos, I felt sorry for the visitors who never saw the city beyond this neighborhood.
I decided to head on over to Frenchman’s Street for my last nightcap. As I walked over, Armstrong Park’s sign called to me, as if to remind me to come back to the Big Easy soon. I didn't hear any music playing on the street just then, but looking at the sign, I felt as if some kind of soft jazz sound track should be playing in the background.
I spent most of that last evening at the Blue Nile, listening to an oh-so-cool female lead singer take the audience on a mellow trip with a Sade-like grace. It felt like a right way to end my trip.