I talked to a lady in Lake Charles today who said July is a great time to come down. Especially for seeing gator tours and things.
I feel sorry for people down there. I think they are really desparate for people to come back and spend money if they ever want to recover from the hurricanes. They have to encorage people to visit if they are ever going to get back on their feet.
...and encourage some folks to go ahead and get on their feet back to work. In Lake Charles (in particular) many service industry positions are available since SO MANY Rita "victims" applied for FEMA and received aid. Granted, MANY residents in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes deserved the aid -- been there -- seen it. But there were some that abused the benefit. And to this day, some of those folks are milking it while local business are offering upfront bonuses just to get people back to work. Other businesses have simply tossed in the towel and closed doors.
...and guess what? It's almost Hurricane Season 2006.
In the Lake Charles area, If you want to see some gators, go to Rockefeller State Wildlife Area (you'll need a boat) but when you get back into the marshes, they're thicker than flies (and so are the mosquitos.) Nice fat blue crabs this time of year.
If you're in the Lafayette area, head down to Lake Fausse Point State Park on the Atchafalaya Basin. It's a zig-zag drive southeast out of New Iberia -- though Coteau Holmes and out to the levee road. When you're there, rent a boat for a few hours. Fun time. Gators... snakes... wasps... large ape-like bipedal monsters.
Also, if you're in the Breaux Bridge area, just to the south is Lake Martin. Lots of gators there. Grab a bag-full of fresh boiled crawish at the fruit stand in Breaux Bridge on your way out there. Don't forget the cooler.
Wow Rick...sounds pretty cool actually. I raise some endangered alligator snappers that originally came from Louisiana. ( My big guy is 110 pounds now)I've also raised a few gators here in Chicago believe it or not.
I don't know if I would feel confident taking out a boat on my own. Not a deliverance-type problem...just not that experience with boats.
So Rick...your opinion of going in July?
July? Sun glasses, tank top, short-sleeve button cover shirt, cargo shorts, ball cap, Catahoula Reeboks, bug spray, sunscreen, and a cooler. Don't forget the cooler. Make sure the cooler is full of beer, bottled water, tequila, and ice. Lot's of ice. It's gonna melt quick. Get the block if you can find it or stop at Herbert's, Delchamp's, Market Basket -- wherever and get some dry ice. While you are there, get some more of those little 10oz Budweisers. They make your hand look big and they get cold quick. Get some cracklins, too. And ice... you're gonna need more ice. And don't forget the snake bite kit.
Ya better bring some sun screen. The best UV protection you can find. If not you are gona burn.
Perfect advise Rick. I would add the heat doesnt seem as bad if you stay out in it for longer periods. Going in and out from air conditioned places makes the heat seem worse than just opening another beer and staying with it. I also prefer the 10 ouncers in the heat, I have never seen them anywhere else.
There are several jam spots that you can catch some really good informal (my favorite kind) music, though I am not sure how much there is for zydeco.
I suggest not going with too many preconcieved ideas about anything, just soak it all in with an open mind.
September would definately be a little better. More things going on then also. The first weekend of Sept usually has the Cajun Music Festival in Mamou also.
Rick, can you get boiled crawfish in July? Must be imported.
So, the Louisiana State fruit is the crawfish?
No, the state fruit is Little Richard.
hey now - little richard is from macon georgia
what he macon over there?
I think Louisiana can claim David Ferry as the state fruit. It works on so many levels.
For those of you from outside of Louisiana, this is a name that popped up in the Kennedy Assassination investigation by New Orleans DA Jim Garrison.
Naw, the state fruit of Louisiana is back fin of blue crab. I could see how you might've thought from my rambling about crawfish that I referred to them as fruit from the fruit stand! "The Fruit Stand" is *literally a veggie market* on Main St. in Breaux Bridge, right down the road from Mulate's. They also have crawfish (in season) and will sell you however many you want, boiled and seasoned however you like. I've had lots of crawfish from many spots down there, including some from several gas stations, and drive-thru boiling pots, but the Fruit Stand in Breaux Bridge boils the best. But that's just my opinion! That one could start a new thread. Remember the boudin thread? BTW, The Best Stop in Cankton sells the best Boudin.
Dwight, I really appreciate your sense of humor!!!
Hey rick! No offence but you don't seem to know anything about boudin. That stuff at Best Stop is only passable at best.
I live there so if you have a low tolorance for heat and humidity come prepared for it. June through Sept. is hot and humid. People do survive though.
I've visited Louisiana in January, February, March, April, August, September, October and December. On average, October is the driest month of the year. And high temps are in the mid eighties. The one time we visited in August, we experienced record heat (103 Fahrenheit). We had the entire French Quarter to ourselves. No problem getting into any restaurant. We had a great time. But the heat doesn't bother a skinny guy like me much. Steve in Omaha
I quit running marathons about 4 years ago.
I passed up being skinny a long time ago.
Thanks for the help guys. I guess I just can't decide if I should go in July or wait till fall.
My wife and I were just in the quarter last week. Had a great time...and shes so cool ( a keeper!) she doesn't mind if I go on my own little road trip exploring. Maybe she secretly hopes I end up inside a gator! Road trips just arent her thing and neither are swamps. I could drive around in a car and explore all day.
Anyway, we never really ventured out of the quarter. Man that place is so messed up outside the tourist areas....and the sad part is...no-one up here really seems to care anymore. It dropped-off everyones radar here. Its never on the news.
I told people that I work with, to go down... and they look at me like I'm crazy. Like "Why on earth would you want to go there ?"
The sad part is...for years everyone has been going down to NO and using it like a little playground. Now what they really need, is everyone to back and spend money and get the city back on its feet.
And people up here act like they won't go back because its not what it used to be.
Everyone we talked to had a story about what it was like. Every waitress...bartender or whatever. They just wanted to talk about it because they had been through so much.
I get embarrassed sometimes being a human.
Hey Hey!! Those people asking why you would want to go to the French Quarter are the same ones who used to come down to get good food which they are not used to. Then they would get drunk at Pat O's on hurricanes, puke in the streets, through the cup in the gutter, show their tit's then go home and complain how dirty the Quarter is. Get some real culture. Go where the locals go.
Using N.O. as a playground (?) eh. I suppose that concept generated a bunch of $ over the shelf life of the good times rolling. Perhaps a tourist concept of some shag nasty reason to play in a sand pile filled with out of state cat feses, as long as it is considered and programmed to be "Fun". A friend (Mark St. Mary), told me recently, that if ya poke the eye of the Lord with a gob stick of vileness, you liable to get a wall of watery tears reaping devistation. He can be pretty profound at times (for those that know him)for a Zydeco man.
The crown jewel of tourism? Perhaps.
I don't meen anything harsh by this mind you. Camille that hit Biloxi in 69, should have sparked changes in N.O. Folks love the area and live to love inspite of inherant danger (and there is and was continued danger). Had it been any other place, would it have been less? Galveston? Biloxi? Mobile? Just a question.
New Orleans is not a fair representation of Lousiana as a state (IMHO). It is certainly not compareable to Cajun Region, which has a fair share of econ. dispare as well. I am not opposed to a person seeing devistation, or poverty, or any form of dispare, if a humbleness emerges, and, a person is able to look beyond the white wash of certain personal or media realities for what life is about. Consequently, it does not take a hurricane in a tourist playground to appreciate and come to grips with such humbling dispare. Another dear friend and I had talked several days ago... Freida Fusilier (orig. frm. Ville Platte)living in Sacramento. She does well and has fine accordions (and gig gear), She does play when she can, but she can't due to bad arthritus now (falling apart like many of us), though she lives well and laughs well. Life and times, she still remembers well... So what's it all about?
When I buy a hand made accordion, it is possible that it helps somebody in some small way (I suppose it could happen). When I buy an accordion, I also know there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) within the confines of Louisiana (and beyond) that wish they could afford to have such a luxury item.
Yet the many may never have what we have, I (for one) am fortunate (as well as everyone on this board). Sound too depressing? Let's thank our stars. Yep, toys!
Regardless of the stature of folks within Louisiana (and beyond), there is still one thing that I do understand (glad for it), and, hope others may come to understand ... Pride (not false pride), and, what it is to be proud, with or without. Some eat crow (figuratively speaking)and others eat crow to sustain life... strange as it may sound.
Perception is funny stuff, somewhat like a wide variety of snakes, it leaves ya wondering if it is lethal or just a play thing to dilly dally around with and poke with a stick. As for N.O. ? It is a portal, some place to fly into in order to get to the real deal, just a road trip away in any weather. A good sweat flushes out the aluminum oxides from the clogged pores
I just can't believe sometimes how short peoples attentions spans are...their lack of caring about anything outside their little worlds...and lack of wanting to find anything further out.
A couple months after the storms...the news never mentioned it anymore. And if they did run something, they always mentioned that "the french quarter has been saved" or something like that.
Like if you wiped away the whole rest of the state(s)...as long as the quarter survived....we can all breathe easier.
It was really sad.
They actually did a pole on CNN around December I think. It said basically that people around the country were tired of hearing about Katrina. They didn't feel they could keep viewers if they kept showing hurricane stories. They NEVER mentioned the rest of LA or hardly made a mention of Mississippi at all.
When I told people here ( Chicago ) I was going to New Orleans and when I've mentioned this week that I'd really like to go to Louisiana this summer....
No-one can understand why.
When I also mentioned I'd like to see some of the hard-hit areas...I get these bewildered looks.
I can tell people think its a waste of money to go down somewhere where they can't get the maximum enjoyment for their buck.
I just don't understand people anymore.
Mike, if you are buying stock in the perception of others lack of simply being human, you will wind up a misfortunate soul.
You may not change the world... you may continue to wonder about your place among a haywire for how people think... but, if you dwell on these matters too greatly, you'll diminish your opportunity to do good things in your own growth as a person and a friend to many others. I will even bet you can be creative enough to include your Lady and get her to grinning with matters (far from wanting you eaten by a gator).
As you have posted many questions regarding Accordion ,and, Music and other things as well; I see the newness of your excitement. Fishing with no bait on your hook just yet.... that's ok bud... you'll get to that one soon enough.
Your leap into "I want Zydeco for my preferance" still leaves a big hole in your overall growth.
I wonder if you have sensed that yet(?). Some have come to understand there is much more than just the accordion. Some have chosen to bale out when it came time to recconcile that there is a large "other learning process segment" that exists.
Perhaps others will not tell you of such things because they are aprehensive to being up-front. Could be perhaps they too, do not fully know themselves or about the growth segments.
For the greater part of jumping into this music, there is the appreciation and emersion into the cultural side for what and why it is, what it is ment to be. You can't get that greater element without understanding why a culture can laugh when things are sad, or continue surviving when things seem dismal. It doesn't happen unless you are content to sit on the porches of life and smile at the simplicity of bird tugging a worm out of the ground for a meal and making a song out of it (no matter how good or bad you play).
Mike you and I are simply guests to this cultural thing. It takes some humble re-programming of how we think to appreciate the little things that serve as a good purpose. In time you will play from the Heart. It may not be studio quality.
It may be riddled with errors that cause folks to laugh; But when you reach a point where you laugh with them knowing it sucks, then you are where you need to be (you're on track),and, it just gets better from there on out. Like ole Burbon street, there is far more to this music and culture than what you sip within the tourist traps, venture out and grow.
Place stock in developing your heart for the culture and music with the right passion, you will be the better person no matter where you reside or how well you play accordion.
Best...... Nonc D
I listen to NPR at breakfast as well as on my 30-45 minute drive to and from work every day. There has hardly been a day when Katrina wasn't mentioned -- they are constantly running stories about people's individual stories, too, which has kept it really "human" for me even though I'm so far away (VT). There have been some cases over the last few months where NPR news reunited people who had been separated through evacuation. I'm with you 100% on being frustrated with that CNN poll, but to me it also shows that you are in poor company indeed with CNN viewers. It's not just the Katrina business, whenever I watch CNN (admittedly probably a year ago now) I get the impression that it is news for the instant gratification crowd, and that's depressing. So try a different news source, maybe something that isn't as slick. NPR is certainly for people with longer attention spans -- no pretty pictures!
For the record, since Mardi Gras 2006 at least 9 more Hurricane Katrina victims bodies have been recovered in New Orleans. Now Jazz Fest is here. Disgusting. The plan now is to look for bodies in the process of demolition. Welcome to the great state of Louisiana tourists. A better place to visit than New Orleans would be Opelousas, Breaux Bridge, Mcgees Landing in Henderson and Eunice. www.mcgeeslanding.com
Well yea,! I agree. But, if you live here you hope that the rest of the country doesn't forget about you. Right now it ain't all fun. After 9 months things are still pretty devestated. It ain't back to normal fur sure. So you'll come down and enjoy what you can. CDM is open and the coffee is hot. The few bucks you spend will help.