Beyond the landmarks and the sights, and even the cuisine, it’s the fleeting, unexpected parts of travel that can be the most memorable.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar in New Orleans is said to be the oldest bar in the United States. Today, it seems to run on barely any electricity – it’s lit only by candles and lanterns even when the sun goes down. The walls are a rustic brick and the front opens up to the street like the rest of the bars dotting Bourbon Street.
It’s quite a place, but it gets really special when you walk deeper into the darkened cave to find a huge piano surrounded by bar stools, draped with subtle candlelight and a place to rest your beer as a local musician bangs on its keys. Most nights I assume they play jazz, but if you were there the night I was, you would have had the pleasure of listening to a talented woman with a raspy voice sing the likes of Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens.
It was one of those nights that made you forget how late it was, that earlier you were exhausted from exploring the city and from sampling New Orleans beer, and that you may just be getting too old to party all night long, and you wish it could have gone on forever.
Do you know what I mean? When’s the last time you had a night like that?