It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was absolute insanity. This year I got to spend an ample amount of time in New Orleans. I was absolutely psyched to finally be spending some time in one of my bucket list cities. I hadn’t specifically planned to be in NOLA for Carnivale Season and was ecstatic about my good timing.
Things started out rocky. I made a verbal agreement over the phone to work 20-25 hours a week in exchange for room/board and breakfast at Madame Isabelle’s Hostel.
Though I now think the owner is a great guy and have a lot of love for this hostel I almost left as soon as I arrived. To say the owner did not have the best conversational skills would have been understatement. He improved a lot during my stay but when I first started he kept panicking because he thought I wasn’t going to show up or stay. When I arrived he left to go shopping instead of showing me to my sleeping quarters and the co-worker on duty hadn’t been informed where I should go. My co-worker was also super baked and kept telling me there were cockroaches everywhere. There weren’t, well at least not at the hostel. But where some of the guys had to live there was a small infestation. I was one of the lucky/unlucky ones who lived on site. Within minutes I was laughing in the kitchen because the same guy had just overloaded dish detergent in the dishwasher. And there I met another co-worker who was shaking her head but appeared amused. The manager didn’t think it was that funny when he arrived. I should have taken that as an indicator that we weren’t going to get along. That same manager ending up robbing the cash drawer, stealing the business credit card, renting a porsche, and bouncing. I think it was all the cocaine. But that’s another story.
Somerville, Massachusetts. A city with an entire day devoted to Marshmallow Fluff. Population 81,322. Hipster Population? Too goddamn many. Every block in Somerville has its own name so you better start getting acquainted with all of them. Somerville is a city with major quirks. Guerilla Art is nestled into even the tiniest of cracks, there’s a mural on every corner, and yetti’s can be found roaming the streets. Davis Square being the second to last stop on the Red Line tends to have the most action but there’s a lot more to Somerville than a T stop. By the way, it’s the T. Not the subway, the T.
The locals don’t want you there. Really. Asheville, NC is one of the many cities on the rise. And though it’s mostly managed to keep it’s odd hippie vibe strong the hipsters are coming. Oh wait, they’re already there.
Asheville has been attracting visitors for decades. Known for its sprawling music scene where local and traveling musicians come to perform at The Grey Eagle or Asheville Music Hall. If you’re looking for a show you can watch a burlesque performance on most weekends at The Crow & Quill or hit up an alternative night at the Odditorium.
The good news about the Garden District is that there are way less people starting fights and falling over drunk. The bad news is if you were wondering where all the hipsters were. They’re here. Don’t worry you can walk around them while checking out these six must do’s.
1. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is one of the only cemeteries that is free and open to the public year round (barring Mardi-Gras). For those who would prefer a tour there is no need to book in advance. Gabrielle Richard is one of the many city approved tour guides who can be found at the gate offering free tours with a tipping option. In just thirty minutes she can educate you on a range of subjects including burial methods, religious traditions, and pop culture references.
My latest adventure has not been one of mountains or waterfalls but revolves around a four letter word that my non existent boyfriend doesn’t want to hear come out of my mouth. Baby. As in one of those things you have to feed and nurse and shit. I hope someone can learn from my Hell Week.