Oct 9, 201310:11 AM
Dispatches from a New Orleans Newcomer
Even More Things To Do This Fall
My fiance, Chris, takes in the sights at last year's Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival.
This is my second fall in New Orleans and I'm excited. Last year I was so overwhelmed by the amount of things to do here in October and November. People would ask me, “Are you going to the Po-Boy Festival?” “What about the Blues and BBQ Festival?” “So you'll be at the Gumbo Festival?” “You're not going to the Mirliton Festival???”
I felt inadequate because I only made it to a few of the festivals and other big events. I would think, “Don't you people like to hang out at home sometimes? How do you go to all these festivals? When do you nap?”
I have since learned fall is a busy time for New Orleanians because the cooler temperatures make for perfect weather for festivals and other events. New Orleanians like to seize the season, so there's not a lot of down time in the fall. (I would say New Orleanians can “sleep when they're dead,” but even the cemeteries here are hot spots for tours, so pretty much every inch of New Orleans is hoppin' when the weather is nice.)
This year I feel like I have a better understanding of the events I want to attend this fall. I've decided there is no way I'm going to go to every event, festival or concert because that's nearly impossible in this city.
This year I'm focusing on the events I definitely want to attend and the tasks I definitely want to accomplish, so here are five things I plan to do in the next few weeks:
See a movie at the New Orleans Film Festival.
The New Orleans Film Festival is showing 12 Years a Slave for its opening night Thursday, Oct. 10, which has already been getting lots of Oscar buzz. Director Steve McQueen and some of the cast members will be there for a Q&A after the movie. The movie has a lot of New Orleans connections, too: It was filmed here and it stars locals Dwight Henry and Quvenzhané Wallis (remember them from Beasts of the Southern Wild?) as well as Mad Men star and New Orleans native Bryan Batt, AND the one and only Brad Pitt, another fan of our city.
The festival is also showing August: Osage County, which has a great cast including Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. As you can see, the film festival has a great lineup of screenings. Check out the list here.
Drink some beer at Oktoberfest.
New Orleans' version of Oktoberfest kicks off Friday, Oct. 11, in Kenner. My fiance, Chris, loves German beer and food so he is pumped. There are a lot of intriguing events happening at Oktoberfest, like Dachsund races (!), so I'm quite curious about the whole thing. Read more about Oktoberfest here.
Go to a concert in Lafayette Square.
I still haven't made it to one of the Harvest the Music concerts in Lafayette Square. The concerts are free, but you have to pay for food and drinks. Proceeds go to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana. It's happening every Wednesday until Oct. 30. You can get more details here.
Get a good Halloween costume.
Halloween is intense in New Orleans, so this year I am determined to have a creative costume. Last year I wore a blonde wig and cowboy boots and called myself a cowgirl. It was lame.
This year I want to have a real costume as New Orleanians tend to put a lot of effort into their Halloween ensembles. I'm excited about the Miley Cyrus costumes that are already popping up, but I'm guessing a lot of people will do that, so now I'm thinking about this Google Maps idea I saw on Pinterest:
Do some yoga in the Sculpture Garden.
At 8 a.m. on Saturdays, you can do yoga in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art. I've been wanting to go to this yoga class for a while, so now that the weather is nice I really need to try it. Classes cost $5 if you're not a NOMA member. More details can be found here.