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Jude Allen: Christmas in New Orleans

Editor’s Note: GoNOLA teamed up with photographer Jude Allen to bring you an inside look at his recent visit to New Orleans to experience the Holidays New Orleans style.

Prior to my recent holiday visit to New Orleans, I reflected on what I currently knew about the city most well known for its nightlife and party attitude. What I had experienced in the past was nothing like this visit. I set out to explore the food and culture this time and I came away with a rich and fulfilling experience that now places New Orleans as one of my favorite cities to visit.

It started raining early so we decided to grab some umbrellas and head out to the French Quarter. Rain didn’t seem to stop people from moving around the city and going about their business. There are so many walks of life all with their different purposes. After playing around in puddles, checking out all the architecture and snapping some shots, I stopped for at Cafe Beignet for some warm beignets and some coffee with a hint of chicory that was quite the treat.

As the sun went down, the Christmas lights lit the city in a warm glow. People bustling around shopping and enjoying the night.  Street cars stopped and picked up groups of people – some coming and some going. It was hard not to notice a holiday vibe pulsing throughout the city.

We decided to stop at Mother’s, a well-known local restaurant, to see what southern food was all about. We ordered everything from fried chicken to the combo platter which contained collard greens, grits, jambalaya,red  beans and rice, gumbo and last but not least a buttermilk biscuit. All points hit for the first spot. We left feeling satisfied and in disbelief of how good our meal had been.

The Garden District was another must-see neighborhood on our list, and after taking the streetcar there, it was not difficult to easy to see why. Walking around the vibrant neighborhood,  almost every house made us stop and stare. Everything had such character and individuality – it was as if the houses were a depiction of the people of New Orleans.

We strolled through streets filled with giant live oak trees, and ended up at the Lafayette Cemetery. It felt as though we went back in time while looking at the unique and artistic tombstones. I could have spent hours there.

My visit to New Orleans was short, but I do know that I will be back. The southern hospitality was everywhere we went, and the food was simply amazing. Everyone had a positive attitude and was more than happy to stop and help when we needed it. It was warm and welcoming. I definitely felt that the Christmas spirit was alive and well in NOLA.

Visit New Orleans and leave with more than just a souvenir. #OneTimeinNola

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