Two weeks as ago a friend and I were stranded on the streets of the French Quarters without shelter and dwindling funds. Bourbon Street got old after the first night and after witnessing a sloshed spring breaker nearly fall to his death from a balcony the night before, we were ready for a tame night. We managed to kill a few hours on 2 cent slots at Harrah's casino, but eventually decided to make the trek up Dacateur Street for a late night snack.
We walked toward the world famous Cafe Du Monde without a clue if they were open. The streets were empty and if not for the faint drum and bass of Lil' Wayne blasting from clubs on Bourbon St. they were also quiet. I didn't know the streets well so I found myself peering around every corner trying to catch a glimpse of the large open air patio and green and white awning hoping that the lights would be on.
Moments later we were sitting inside the cafe (the patio was closed) ordering what would be my first* beignet ever. The menu was simple and the food was cheap... really cheap. I began to realize how this place became so popular. I noticed immediately however this place was nothing like I imagined. When I heard about the world famous cafe in the French Quarters renowned for their beignets I pictured a dim, cozy Victorian style building with balconies and cast iron corinthian style patio seats. At least that's what New Orleans looks like at Disneyland. Instead I was sitting in a cafe crammed with seats, the floors were sticky, the water warm and our waitress was sitting down having a midnight snack two table away from us. To cap off the whole experience she scoffed at our 2 dollar tip (for 2.00 beignets!) and at no point did her actions even slightly come close to customer service.
The beignets were excellent but I hate when famous places think they don't have to pay attention to details. They become complacent and feel like their product alone does service to the customers. You see this at Lucky Boys (Pasadena) and Buffalo Wild Wings (Brooklyn), don't even get me started on "street wear" and their so called "boutiques" (aka Supreme, Union, Wesc etc.) They just bring customer service down to a whole new low.
I realize that 30 minutes before closing isn't the best time to come into a place and expect excellent service, however it isn't hard to greet a customer with a smile or just greet them at all. Cafe Du Monde did boast some pretty delicious pastries but the service was borderline insulting.
*Truth be told, my first beignet was consumed earlier in the day from a friend who had just come from the Cafe.
If you are my age or older than you might find this next list amusing.
During my travels last week for spring break I frequented various different bars, clubs and lounges etc. in and around New Orleans, Los Angeles and New York. Being the observant blogger that I am, I took note of specific characteristics that I always notice when going into a place I won't enjoy.
Since I promised two lists this week I have made one multifaceted list.
The Top Ten Signs You Need to Leave a Bar/Club
The Top Ten Signs You are at the Best High School Party Ever
10. Beers and cocktails are being served in plastic Solo cups
9. By cocktails they strictly mean either vodka and orange juice or vodka and cranberry
8. There is a lady selling flowers on the dance floor (I think this is an LA thing)
7. They played the "Superman" song twice
6. There are 18 year old girls riding a mechanical bull
5. They played the "Superman" song once
4. It is located in a strip mall (unless the strip mall has a 24 hour Taco Bell)
3. After you get passed the bouncer you are approached by a scrawny frat boy asking for a $10 dollar cover charge
2. There is an obnoxious emcee on stage screaming obnoxious things like "Wanna take it back to the 80s ladies?!" and belting the lyrics to every song.
1. The DJ is using his iTunes to play music
* Note: There are definitely exceptions to some of these rules. I have definitely been to fun places with plastic cups... and I even know of a cool place that happens to be in a strip mall. I also don't believe there is a place that possess all 10 of these characteristics and if it does exist then I'm glad I am not aware of it.
This is the song I hope to be partying to in a few months...
It's been a while since my last post.. quite possibly the longest time without a new post this year. I have been all over NOLA and LA over spring break and have plenty of new food reviews as well as some funny stories that I'll be sure to post about in the next month.. I missed a wednesday top ten list this week but I'll make up for it this week with two top ten lists or even better... A top 20 List!!!
As promised here is this week's Top Ten. In light of recent scandals involving Governor Spitzer and a 5"4' brunette named Kristen.. I wanted to feature a list of our "favorite" (aka those that are most comically offensive) R&B lyrics. You know the ones I'm talking about... "Feelin' on yo booty".... "Feel a lil' poke coming through"... etc... but then I realized Jodeci and Joe dominated half that list... So that category will have to be put on hold until I have the time to do some research...
As for right now it has just come to my attention that my blog is now being read in 14 different countries! So in honor of the international subscribers out there, here is a list of top ten countries I would like to visit among the 14 countries that have visited me.
10 to 1, last to first.
10. Canada- Sorry eh.
8. Norway- way too cold.. and I wouldn't be able to handle all those hours of night,
This March, instead of joining in on all the traditional spring break festivities (a.k.a. navigating overcrowded multilevel clubs in Mexico that are overflowing with dudes and on a good day, peppered with girls that are way overdressed for a place with sand dance floors and who all think they're classy by double fisting plastic cups of moonshine and blue food coloring) I'll be in New Orleans developing a my commitment to action.
What do I mean by commitment to action? About a month ago I, and over a thousand other college students from around the globe proposed commitments that would address the most pressing global issues of today.These commitments address four focus areas (global health, energy & climate change, human rights, poverty alleviation). Around 500 of these students were selected to participate in the latest project of the Clinton Global Initiative, CGIU- a conference that will bring together students, university presidents and their commitments and help put them into action.
I won't disclose the full details of my commitment here since it is not a finished product and is at a point where it can go in one of two very different directions. However, what I will say is that my commitment is to energy and the climate crisis. I would like to collaborate with an existing organization to reach out to middle schools students and create a school wide program aimed at finding simple energy saving and environmentally friendly solutions in schools. I've got great ideas and will surely share them with my loyal readership as they slowly become a reality in the next few months.
I'm really excited to kick off spring break in New Orleans and be a part of a project that has already proven to be a huge success in engaging young people and shedding light on global issues that our generation must begin to act upon. As if the star studded guest list were not enough the great music, cajun food, Southern belles, mint juleps and "Hurricanes" can only make it better ... I can hear the trumpets blaring now.
This week I have some serious midterms so I'll get back to you on Wed. for a half-assed Top Ten list. And to that I will say, in the words of my favorite Cajun cartoon character, Leatherhead.... "I GUA-RAN-TEE!!"
I've been contemplating this all day and I decided to rank my top 10 teachers (K-12). Unlike Ratemyprofessor.com I ranked these instructors based on personality, raw teaching ability and the ex-factor... (as always)... corniness.
Since most people have no idea who these people are I have included a tag line that explains what earned them their spot among this special group.
Ascending from great to greatest:
1. Mrs. Steben (1st Grade)- Eucharistic minister who taught me how to tie my shoes
2. Mr. Nielsen (5th Grade)- The stereotypical "cool" teacher at every school.
3. Dr. Hatch (6th Grade Math) - Took me out of a traditional math courses
4. Mr. Luce (7th Grade History)- Main vocalist of the all-teacher cover band, Teacher's Pet.
5. Mrs. Porner (4th Grade)- Took me to Huntington Gardens 3 times.
6. Mr. Nitzani (7th Grade P.E.)- SPMS P.E. legend and inventor of 'Nitzani Ball'.
7. Ms. Fieblekorn (6th Grade P.E.)- She made me want to be an athlete.
8. Mrs. Bran (K)- All kindergarten teachers are nice, but not all of them can wear bell bottoms and sport an afro in '94!
9. Mrs. Fullinwider (Math 9th/10th)- Spent her weekends on a touring motorcycle. She was one of those teachers you hated for pushing you.
10. Mr. Ring (12th Bio)- I got a 'D' in his class and an 'A' in college level biology. He is a all around a great guy. Not to mention extremely corny.
I realize this list is completely useless and not entertaining for readers outside of the South Pasadena Unified School District loop... but my hope is that after reading this you think back to your Top Ten Teachers and the funny catch phrases and memories you've shared with them.
Lastly, to express my gratitude for these teachers here is a hit from my elementary school days. And yes, those are khaki shorts, plaid vests and ties.
At work, when you get bored of reading blogs or hunting down videos of fighting giraffes on Youtube you should check out "Over Heard In New York", a website where New Yorkers post things they over hear everyday in the city. The website is a hit. I love people watching, and I am guilty of eavesdropping on occasion... Just a few moments ago I overheard a girl standing on a corner explaining how horrible her date was and that she was desperately trying to fake sick.
One of my all time favorite things over heard was couple's conversation in Central Park playing Scrabble...
(Girl just wins)
Girl: Yay!... Wait,hey hon, does your butt hurt?
Guy: Haha no. Why?
Girl: Oh because that's where I just raped you!
Guy: God I love you.
The site is really addicting and gives you a glimpse of the thousands of the stupid, funny and terrifying things we say to each other everyday. At the very least you'll learn to watch what you say the next time your on the phone or think no one is listening.