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37 Hours in New Orleans

Sarah and Geoff Kinsey, Sky's design director.

You go to New Orleans in the summer, and it’s going to be hot and humid—and if you’re wandering around the French Quarter, chances are good that the odor of stale beer will occasionally waft your way. But we lucked out. I was there with a camera crew and Sky’s design director, Geoff Kinsey, to interview and shoot our August cover subject (I’ll keep him a surprise, except to say that I’d be willing to bet my house that you’ve seen him in a movie). And the weather was lovely, mid-80s with a steady breeze and the occasional cloud to provide a respite from the sun. Unfortunately, the camera crew was stuck inside much of the time (at least they were shooting at the lovely, ornate Windsor Court Hotel), but I wasn’t!

We checked in at The Saint Hotel, a new hotel from Marriott’s Autograph Collection that features a soaring, minimalist lobby punctuated by black and white photographs and chic, oversized décor. I was happy to see that our rooms combined a touch of the historical (exposed brick walls) with modern details such as a bright blue and white palette, with ceilings painted indigo blue, white lacquer furniture and blue and white Moroccan-inspired carpet. It was a welcome scene after a few hours of pounding the pavement.

To fuel up for the next day, we skipped the carbs and went right for the oysters at Acme Oyster House; there was a line, but it went quickly, helped along by the Abita beers we bought and drank out of plastic cups as we stood outside. Order a little cup of horseradish to go with your raw oysters and cocktail sauce, but be forewarned that it will clear your sinuses in a minute flat. The red beans and rice with sausage is also a must, and I think I could have eaten a dozen of the chargrilled oysters by myself.

The Pharmacy Museum.

The next day, while the rest of our group headed for the Windsor Court, I set off to explore. It had been years since I’d been in New Orleans, and even if I only had a day, I was going to make the most of it. I walked to Café du Monde and sat at a table listening to the street musicians and savoring my iced coffee and plate of beignets. There were three beignets and I told myself I didn’t need to eat all of them myself. But, of course, I did. When in Rome. Afterward, hoping to work off some of the delicious fried dough and powdered sugar, I wandered to the waterfront and then around the Quarter, past the stalls at the French Market and the boutiques and bars lining Chartres Street. I stopped into the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum to cool off, and learned some fascinating facts about the history of medicine in the 1800s and early 1900s—like the widespread use of opium as a general cure-all.

Later, I walked over to the Warehouse/Arts District, which on a Wednesday afternoon was much quieter than Canal Street and the Quarter. Funky signs hang from the streetlamps (“Get caught in our Brain Storms”), and cool, historical spaces have been coopted for galleries and studios. I made my way to Cochon Butcher, a Donald Link hot spot that has gathered a devoted following of locals. Which was clear the minute I stepped from the hot, quiet street into the buzzing, crowded butcher shop-cum-restaurant. My muffaletta sandwich, with meats and cheeses and some kind of green olive salsa/tapenade, was absolutely delicious. And I vowed yet again to hit the gym the minute I got home.


After our photo shoot and interview at the Windsor Court, we agreed it was time for a cocktail at The Saint’s Burgundy Bar, which, true to its name, is all rich burgundy, with a bordello-like vibe. From there, it was on to dinner at Sylvain, Seth McCusker’s hip little bistro in the Quarter. The music is loud, the décor is historic yet edgy Americana and the food is uniformly good, from the heavenly fried eggplant to buttery beef tongue and pork shoulder hash (yum!). The drinks are pretty stellar, too, whether enjoyed at the copper-topped bar or on the back patio—I recommend the surprisingly refreshing Superfly Snuka, with Wasamund’s rye spirit, green chartreuse and ginger.

As if to confirm our choice, also hanging out at Sylvain was Sue Zemanick, the chef of Gautreau’s who was picked as a top toque by Andrew Zimmern in the June issue of Sky. Oh, for another night—or four, or five—in New Orleans … there are so many places yet to try.


As a trip adviser working at Anamaya Yoga, I just love New Orleans in the summer.And newly built The Saint Hotel is awesome.Love that post.

Anamaya Yoga on 7/17/2012 3:54:21 AM
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About Sarah Elbert

Sarah Elbert

As executive editor of Delta Sky, Sarah Elbert lassos the best writers she can find to cover the world—as well as contributing some prose of her own. Before coming to Sky, Sarah was editorial director of magazines including Northwest WorldTraveler and Carlson Wagonlit Travel's Postcards. She has been a newspaper editor, a freelance writer and an Associated Press reporter, riding with the White House travel pool (back in the Clinton days) and covering everything from natural disasters to a cat kidney transplant. Sarah has written for The New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Sun—but not the NY Daily News. She now lives in Minneapolis, which she finds lovely and underrated, but does occasionally miss Manhattan and the Staten Island Ferry. Sarah would like to think she could again go backpacking across Europe, and she still loves to travel, but she knows that train has left the station. It's just so much quicker to fly.

About Deborah Caulfield Rybak

Deborah Caulfield Rybak

Senior editor Deborah Caulfield Rybak interviewed the Who’s Who of Hollywood during her years as an entertainment industry reporter at the Los Angeles Times. She still prefers writing about the arts to almost any other journalistic activity, so it’s a good thing we’ve got her on that beat at Sky. She’s pocketed numerous journalism awards and co-written three books.

But that’s just her journalistic cred: she’s also worked as an FM deejay in Aspen, a speechwriter in Washington and an environmental film festival director in Colorado. She considers herself happiest when she’s out of town—and out of cellphone range. She’s hitchhiked across Kenya, spent the night atop a pyramid in Central America, hovered face-to-mandible with giant manta rays during a night dive in Hawaii and hiked the High Atlas mountains in Morocco. Still left on her to do list: Bhutan and marlin fishing.

About Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle

After a few years navigating the trenches of New York's fashion scene as a stylist assistant at Harpers Bazaar, fashion editor Liz Doyle is excited to be back in her childhood hometown of Minneapolis. When she isn't scouting the latest trends in fashion and travel, she moonlights at a local Parisian brasserie where she says "welcome" and "enjoy" a lot and occasionally tries to improve her French. Though her foray to the editorial side of the magazine industry is a new one, she welcomes the challenge and can't wait to see what this new adventure holds.

About Amanda Welshons

Amanda Hoffstrom

Associate online editor Amanda Welshons maintains the web and social media presence of Delta Sky. She enjoys using new media and exploring how different platforms enhance the reader experience. Based in Minneapolis, Amanda has several destinations on her bucket list including London, Paris and Sydney. She just spent a blissful week in St. Lucia for her honeymoon, and can't wait for upcoming trips to Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver and New York. When she’s not in the office, she's a pop culture junkie, soaking up as many movies, television shows and magazines as possible.