I’ve recently become enamored with the literary tours around the country that delve deep into the writing history of the city you are visiting. I thought I would share with you, my readers, some of the cities that I’d like to visit and what you can do there, if you are a bibliophile like I am.
I’ve visited New Orleans while driving across country from New York to California, and had a wonderful time. It is one of those places on my bucket list to go back and spend some serious time exploring. The literary history just calls to me, so if you are nearby, please take advantage of it and let me know what you think.
Without further ado, come with me as we stroll Crescent City.
214 Royal St., between Bienville and Iberville Streets
Photo courtesy of The Hotel Monteleone
Hotel Monteleone, a historic New Orleans hotel, has long been a favorite haunt of distinguished Southern authors. Many of them immortalized the Grand Dame of the French Quarter in their works. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner always made 214 Royal Street their address while in the Crescent City.
In 1999, the hotel was designated an official literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association. (The Plaza and Algonquin in New York are the only other hotels in the United States that share this honor.)
Did you know… You can request the Literary Suites at the Hotel Monteleone, and stay in William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, or the Eudora Welty Suite.
Tennessee Williams Home – A Streetcar Named Desire
1014 Dumaine Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
“Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour – but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands – and who knows what to do with it?”
If you’re planning a trip, there’s the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival. being held March 24 – March 28, 2021 (hopefully!).
The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival was founded in 1986 by a group of local citizens who shared a common desire to celebrate the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Don’t forget the Stella and Stanley Shouting Contest!
William Faulkner House
624 Pirate’s Alley, around the corner from St. Louis Cathedral
A little byway to get to the Faulkner House Books
Food and Drink…
Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House
240 Bourbon Street, corner of Bourbon and Bienville
Be sure to stop for a drink at the Old Absinthe House, where P.T. Barnum, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, General Robert E. Lee, Frank Sinatra, and Enrico Caruso have come through the doors. The story goes, that Pirate Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson planned the Battle of New Orleans there.
Try the Absinthe Frappe (Herbsaint, Anisette, soda water) invented there by Cayetano Ferrer!
713 St. Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Open since 1840, Antoine’s Restaurant has been part of Crescent City history. Franklin Roosevelt, Pope John Paul II, The Rolling Stones, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby have all dined at Antoine’s. Be sure to have the Oysters Rockefeller, try the Baked Alaska, and have a drink at the Hermes Bar (725 St. Louis St.).
Finish off your days of wandering with some Coffee !
French Truck Coffee
217 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
This coffee is so good, (my daughter had it while she was performing with her high school jazz band on their NOLA trip right before the coronavirus hit), that we have it shipped to us! When the ROUGAROU coffee comes back in season, I recommend that. One can’t go wrong with LE GRAND COQ ROUGE and LA BELLE NOIR.
PJ’s Coffee – Lower Garden District
2140 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
For cold drinks, try the Original Cold Brew Iced Coffee or the Velvet Ice Frozen Blended in either Mocha or Vanilla.
PS: If you want to delve into local history, let me introduce you to my very good friend, and client, Edward Branley. He is a font of knowledge, having written five books on NOLA history, as well as fiction novels.