29 January 2015

New Orleans addendum

When I wrote the piece that I posted last night, about our January trip to New Orleans, there were a few details I neglected to include.

Fleur de Lys – You see it everywhere in the city. I’ve always known that it’s a common symbol of the city and that it traces back to the city’s French roots. But we had one local tell us that since Hurricane Katrina, it’s also become a symbol of the city’s determination to overcome the hurricane’s impact and rebuild.

Men’s fashion – We packed casual for this trip. We didn’t intend to go to any high class restaurants (I know that some require a jacket and tie). But I was kind of surprised to see many men wearing formal business suits even walking the streets of the French Quarter. And when I was shopping with my wife, I was excited that many of the boutiques sold bow ties and many jewelry and antique stores included cuff links and tuxedo sets for men.

As I mentioned in my original post, I did buy a bow tie. I saw it at NOLA Couture in the French Quarter. I was admiring the bow ties; I appreciated the styling and the fact that they are locally made. (Most ties I see are made in China. I don’t object to clothes made in China. I do object to paying a premium price for the ‘style’ knowing that it’s made with low-paid labor in China.) However the print I wanted wasn’t available as a bow tie. ‘No problem,’ said helpful clerk. He called the factory, determined that the they had silk in stock with the print I wanted. So they custom-made my bow tie and shipped it to me. Yeah!

I saw lots of fleur de lys cufflinks, and at one store I saw a set of cufflinks and fleur de lys tuxedo shirt studs. I was sorely tempted to buy them. I didn’t because I’m not sure where I’d ever wear them. However, if I ever get invited to a New Orleans Carnival ball, I’m gonna get them!

Sazarac – I’ve read that the sazarac cocktail was invented in New Orleans and was the first cocktail invented in America. It’s one of my favorite cocktails, and I make a pretty good one myself. Still, I did sample several during our trip to New Orleans.


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