Words: Nicolas and Micaela
Nico: It never ceases to amaze me how down our folks are. Down for the cause, down for running, down for whatever. Call me out in the comments if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that this whole Idea of a winter running getaway started upon our return from last Spring's Nike Women's Half in DC. Our homie Crystal (Pistol Crystal if you will) sparked the conversation, did the initial legwork then let the crew run wild with it. Ultimately, it was a toss-up between New Orleans and Austin- The Big Easy won by a landslide. Flights were booked, accommodations were made and races were registered for.
Personally, I was on the fence until about month out, then came to my senses and decided to pull the trigger. My reasoning for almost foregoing this trip was lame at best. I've still been running since the Chicago Marathon, however it's been more so as exercise rather than training. My base mileage has been solid, but I haven't hit the track nor run a tempo since October. I typically don't enter races unless I have a shot at bettering a previous performance, so I was reluctant.
Luckily, I realized that sometimes, it's bigger than hip hop, I mean running. Sometimes, you gots to chill and just go with the flow. Truthfully speaking, I wasn't about to live vicariously through the peeps below and decided to experience everything that NOLA had to offer first hand.
A number of us stayed at the Olivier House Hotel in the French Quarter. The hospitality was second to none and the rooms were unique to say the least. Also of note- Word on the street was that a few guests may have been that of the spirit world, but you didn't hear that from me.
Mica: The city's architecture was that of no other place I've ever visited: African, French, Spanish and Native American influenced.
Albeit a little chilly, the weather was perfect. Would I have wanted it a little warmer? Sure, but considering that I'm writing from a city that recently endured the 5th largest blizzard in its history, I can't complain. Clear skies enabled me to capture some great shots as well.
The highlight of this trip for me belonged to Basquiat- A few of us made it in time for closing weekend of Basquiat and the Bayou, among other great exhibits that were on display at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
New Orleans is said to be the birthplace of Jazz, sometime around the beginning of the 1900's. To read that statement is one thing, to hear music around all parts of the city and feel the truth of that statement is another. Below- Live jazz in Jackson Square, Toulouse and Royal and lastly, a concert with Hot 8 Brass Band at The Howlin' Wolf.
It's difficult to talk about this city without mentioning St. Louis Cemetery I, the oldest (and creepiest, in my opinion) cemetery in the city. I walked over (sans tour guide, but with a few people from the crew) to observe the above-ground vaults and pay homage to NOLA's queen chick, supreme chick- Voodoo Priestess, Marie Laveau.
Sidebar: Nico did not attend. If you scared, say you scared.
This was my first trip to New Orleans, but definitely not the last. There's something about this city and its streets that make it feel familiar- A home away from home.
Nico: So there ya have it. Please keep in mind that there's no words or pics that could ever truly do the great city of New Orleans justice. You really need to go and check it out for yourself- I'll definitely be back. And next time, I'll make sure to snap some pics of all the local cuisine and drinks that we consumed too fast to document. Peace!
What are some of your favorite spots in NOLA? Comment below or shoot us an email.