I’ve Got the Ways and Means to New Orleans

Where I will eat naught but beignets and po’ boys. Or so I have been told to do. I may not follow that one exactly.

To those of you folks at ALA this year: See you soon.

To those of you not at ALA: Well, try to have fun this weekend anyway, you poor benighted souls.

30 thoughts on “I’ve Got the Ways and Means to New Orleans

  1. If I’d realized you would be there I might have gone even tho I’m “only” a paraprofessional and not a real librarian. Have a good trip!

  2. Are these oyster po-boys? If not, you gotta fit in some oysters!! I am envious….And I highly recommend Tujague’s and Galatoires if you can fit them into your busy schedule.

  3. For the best po’boy, you need to head to Mother’s over at 401 Poydras. Make sure to ask for your roast beef “with debris” (that’s all the yummy bits down in the pan gravy at the bottom of the roasting pan :)

    Oh man…I just ate breakfast and the thought is still making me hungry!

  4. If you get the chance, find a lunch truck that serves BLTs on fresh french bread. Years ago that became my breakfast of choice in Nawlings…

  5. I cannot recommend Stella’s (in Chartres Street) highly enough; the food is simply stupendous. Well worth the visit– it’s pricey, but you’ll have the memory for a long, long time.

  6. If you really want a muffaletta, go to Serio’s on St Charles, right off of Canal. Its a place we always stop to eat at whenever we get to New Orleans. Its only open for lunch during the week, they are on the edge of the business district and they serve the business crowd. Have lots of fun for me!

  7. Will you be doing any book signings in the area, or just the ALA? Figures you come to my town, and I’ve no means to bask in the awesomeness that is Scalzi. ;)

    Enjoy your trip!

  8. I know I shouldn’t comment, but the Serio’s muffaletta is too messy and insufficiently meated for my tastes. I think Central Grocery still does the best classic muff, but Cochon Butcher and Steins Deli do a very nice take as well.

    Mothers does not have a great reputation around town these days. Either Parasol’s or Tracey’s (I won’t go into the history between these two) in the Irish Channel (my neighborhood, thank you very much) do superb roast beef po-boys. Parkway in Mid-City does a creditable job with pretty much all of their po-boys.

    Feast is a relatively new restaurant near the convention center that does “Rustic European Fare”. That means it’s yummy. I don’t care for Cochon (also fairly close to convention center), but my wife and everybody else I know loves it. Cochon Butcher around the corner is much more to my taste.

  9. Which is to say, of course, welcome to New Orleans! I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous time.

  10. I see everyone else has covered the Usual Suspects as far as food, so let me suggest an unusual one: The Green Goddess, on Exchange Alley a block-and-a-half south of Bourbon (and thus far enough away from *that* madness that a person can relax.) You may have to wait for a table – it’s an eensy little place, and at this time of year I recommend dining in the alley – but my god, the food is *astonishing*. And the chef is married to Poppy Z. Brite, so you’d be helping to support a terrific NOLA writer while you feast.

    Enjoy. Last time I visited, I came back five pounds heavier!

  11. I’d be curious to know what the ALA’s plans are to adapt libraries to the digital age. How do they avoid going the way of Tower Records, Blockbuster, and Borders? I like going to libraries just to *be* there, but these days I’m more likely to slip out my Kindle than check out a book. I hope libraries can find a way to remain vital in their communities.

  12. Tim H #17: Trust me, they’re on it. I recommend not thinking of a library as a collection of books, but a collection of information, and professional to help you navigate that information. The spaces themselves still house print materials, yes, but they also tend to have plentiful internet access, for those who can’t afford it, or who don’t carry it around.
    Also, plenty of public libraries offer electronic materials, so you could probably check out books on your Kindle.
    And finally, libraries go far beyond the public library you’re thinking of. There are academic libraries (where I work), private collections, business libraries, legal libraries, school libraries, etc.

    To John: I won’t be in NO, but my lovely wife is attending her first ALA conference. She’s already sending me food pics. Yes, I’m jealous.

    Jon (not a librarian, just married to one-in-training)

  13. Jon #18, that’s good to hear, but I’m still concerned. I know that the bigger libraries in large cities do a lot more than just lend books, but I worry about the smaller libraries.

    My local library in Gilbert, AZ doubles as a High School library, with an emphasis on computer terminals and DVDs rather than books (there are no stacks, just smallish bookshelves linking the outer walls — the fantasy sci-fi section is smaller than my modest collection at home). The place actually depresses me somewhat because the vibe is more internet cafe / DVD rental / kids play area — the books are very much an afterthought. And if libraries really are just a collection of information, are we going to continue to needs buildings to house that information, or will we just need a bunch of server arrays? I would like for libraries to somehow remain a sanctuary for reading and learning, but my library seems to be moving more toward entertainment and internet provider (and I suppose they don’t have much choice).

  14. I’ll be at ALA Saturday to check out the exhibits and hope to bring home lots of swag, plus an autographed book or two–yes, Fuzzy Nation will be one of them.

    My choice for po-boys would be Guy’s on Magazine Street. It’s not very close to the Convention Center; but oh my, do they make good po-boys!

  15. If you want a real New Orleans experience, eat a Deanie’s. Not the one in the French Quarter, but the one in Bucktown (Northeast Metairie). Get away from the CBD and French Quarter and you will save a great deal on meals. Mother’s po-boys are good, but the great ones are in Chalmette and Gretna.

    As a local, I say Welcome to the city. Enjoy your stay.

  16. Be aware that not all library downloads play well with all e-readers. Our Overdrive software accommodates almost any format — except Kindle, the current leader. Go figure. The current problem is trying to determine which way technology is going to jump, then apply our mostly nonexistent budgets to the next Big Idea. When you win, you can win big, but make the wrong guess, and you are hamstrung until you can scrape together more money. It’s nice to think about libraries able to loan out Kindles or Nooks, but very few libraries have that type of free cash. At least dead tree versions don’t require more than a light source, and the ability to read. No one really wants to hear my diatribe on the shift towards libraries becoming regarded as little more than Internet cafes.

  17. +10 on the Central Grocery muffaletta, but you’d better get a half muff unless you want to share.

  18. I do have a necessity to put in a plug for my friend Chris Cormack who is flying to ALA all the way from glorious Wellington, New Zealand to talk about the fantastic Koha freeware library management system (software) which he is the original developer of.

  19. SO sorry that most of us who live here aren’t allowed into the ALA events. (I definitely think an exception should be made for me since I’m in my local library no fewer than three times a week!) Oh, well, have a great visit, eat lots of good food –and, since no one seems to have mentioned the music, check out the jazz shows at Preservation Hall.

  20. Thanks for the Concrete Blonde. One of my favorites. Saw them two nights in a row once in college in Orlando and then in South Florida.

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