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Goings on at the Because We Cannery

New Orleans Halloween

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I love New Orleans. The history, architecture, culture, art, and food are simply stunning. I honestly believe that you can't really understand this great land of ours without at least visiting once. For when you're in New Orleans, you see that the very melting-pot ideas that founded America, as well as all it's pain and troubles therein, were here well before we were even a glimmer of a nation.

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I love New Orleans. The history, architecture, culture, art, and food are simply stunning. I honestly believe that you can't really understand this great land of ours without at least visiting once. For when you're in New Orleans, you see that the very melting-pot ideas that founded America, as well as all it's pain and troubles therein, were here well before we were even a glimmer of a nation.

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We rented an old firehouse-turned-B&B in the Margeny district along with Daniel of Three Rings & Eunice of Hello!Lucky, and Eric & Christy of the Instructables. Halloween is a great time to be down here, with endless parties, spontaneous neighborhood parades, and a street scene every bit as fun and wild as the Castro Halloween back home. We're so lucky to be able to share that with some great people!

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The food gives S.F. a serious run for it's money, and is cheaper to boot. I'm already missing The Praline Connection's fried chicken & ribs! Commander's Palace for lunch, Brennan's for Brunch (where the whole idea of brunch was frickin' invented), Arnauld's for dessert and drinks (Cafe Brulot FTW!)...

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The music is incredible as well. We spent Halloween night rocking out with the delightful Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat, who rocked 'till dawn! Make: should really do a feature on these two, Mr. Quintron makes his own drum machines (DRUM BUDDY!) and Miss Pussycat her own charming puppet shows.

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The stores there are fun and funky. The greatest wig shop in America, Fifi Mahoneys, rocks Royal street with it's affordable-but-amazing custom costume wigs. And just a little farther down Royal you've got the antique stores. Which in a city as old as this means that they are full of honest-to-god dabloons from sunken treasure, furniture older than America, and the weapons and money of the civil war (and earlier).

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New Orleans also has some amazing Art, and it wasn't just for Halloween that we came down. The Prospect One biennial, the world's largest and best modern art show, choose New Orleans to host it this year. From the neat Contemporary Arts Center to installations in small remote houses to pieces set in the stunning devastation of the lower ninth ward, all forms of media and moments were on display from ground-breaking artists around the world.

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And yes, this was in part to help out post-Katrina. Contrary to popular belief, New Orleans wasn't destroyed by Katrina. While some major parts of it were flooded, and are sadly likely to not be resettled again, the historic parts as well as most of downtown is, and always has been, well above sea level and other than some broken windows wasn't really touched by the storm. However, when half the people leave a city, it's an impact that can't be denied. Add to that the fact that a major element of New Orlean's economy is tourism and conventions, both spooked away by Katrina, and the fair city needs help.

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Which is why you should go there. It's affordable, heck the food, even the high end, was cheaper than back home. The music and art is amazing. It's stunningly beautiful, and has way more to offer than a foul-smelling street named after a certain booze. You can walk almost everywhere, it's flat for biking, and the streetcars are darling. It's the birthplace of whole movements of American art and culture. And once you get off Bourbon street, everyone is nice, friendly, & fun!

See Jillian's Flickr Set Here!

Jeffrey McGrew