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Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Orleans Post 2 - The Shopping

When it comes to shopping, you only need to be in one area... The French Quarter.  Everything and anything you need is in this area.  What do many people (mystic or otherwise) look for when on vacation?  The answer is Souvenirs (of course).  The best way to find something is right down Bourbon Street.  Down here if you are looking for just your typical T-Shirt or an atypical piece of art, this is the place and for really good prices.  My favorite store down this street is a small shop called Yesteryears.  This cool little shop is run by a cool, friendly local who has everything here from beautiful jewelry to gorgeous local artwork. 
  I could not help but buy a gorgeous painting made by a woman named Marrus.  She has quite the gift of making these beautiful, otherworldly pictures that not only scream out to you but somehow bring a little magic into your life.  I recommend you check out her website:  www.MarrusArt.com.  Now back to Yesteryears, you will find the unique and wonderful.  A gift from this place will make anyone in your circle smile.  The owner is a very interesting lady herself.  She is very knowledgeable and willing to help out a customer looking for a special something.  Plus she is a hoot, she knows some really funny stories so be sure to listen to a few.
 
Now if you want to get something really unusual, go to a voodoo shop.  You will find things there that you will not find in too many places. 
 <-----This one I thought was the best one.  It has all things Voodoo and then some.  There are books, sachet bags and yes Voodoo dolls.  All of these I am told can be used but I recommend to use with discretion.  If you don't know what you are doing, lets just say it could create a mess.  Still to any person or someone in your life who likes skulls this is the store for you. 
 
One of the top stores that people want to visit are the antique, jewelry and vintage stores.  There are many good ones but I have to admit that my favorite one was Trashy Diva.
  Locally designed retro clothing at Trashy Diva on Royal Street. Image courtesy trashydiva.com 
Not only is it a store filled with Vintage clothing, it is a store that captures your imagination.  Each article of clothing is waiting for someone to take it to an exciting New Orleans event like a Jazz club or a fancy Mardi Gras Ball.  These are outfits meant to create memories.  It's not everybody's style to do vintage but it is in everybody's interest to have some fun and this store is. 
 
If you prefer something a little more high class and sophisticated, check out Violet's NOLA.This store has some beautiful dresses that screams movie star and posh.  So don't wait for your dream dress, get it here. 
 
Now sometimes there are people who don't want clothes of any kind or who are just hard to shop for.  There is a really nice place to go that sells crystals, aromatherapy and fossils.  This store is called Earth Odyssey.  You'll find some lovely all natural gifts that are both unique and thoughtful.  The idea of bringing nature and magic together is a Mystic's way of life.  Now this place will bring our old home of the Netherworld into this world.  And if you feel the need.  They have some very good psychic readings here.  After all, you can't come to New Orleans without considering getting a tarot card reading. 
 
So yes.  Shopping is a good way to spend at least one day of vacation on especially when you want to bring some of your experiences home with you and to share with the ones you love.  This city is a good place to shop no matter what your style, tastes or interests. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

New Orleans Post 1: The Food

New Orleans:  Now this is one of the most talked about cities in North America especially when it comes to food.  Now as I am sure you all know I am a vegetarian who still eats eggs and dairy.  In New Orleans the food here will mainly consists of seafood.  Though I do not eat that, I still pay attention to what people like.  So yes in terms of food this is probably more of a Siren Clan place but the Undead Clan (See previous post) will argue that this city is their domain. 

Despite the love of fish that this place has it is not impossible for a vegetarian to eat here.  The problem is that this city is busy this time of year so good luck finding a place that's available.  But here is a guide that I hope you will all try when you go on your culinary adventure in New Orleans.

Breakfast
The Most important meal of the day starts at the restaurant in my hotel, the Astor Crown Plaza.  This restaurant is called : The Bourbon House.  The menu is small but varied.  I decided to order the two egg breakfast.

Now this is a seemingly typical breakfast with the eggs and fruit cup but it is fresh, delicious and unforgettable.  What is unique is you get a really good taste of Cajun and Creole cooking starting with those potatoes as you see in the picture to the left.  These potatoes are my dream potatoes with those awesome spices.  I have to admit that I kept asking for these every breakfast that I had here. And of course, breakfast just isn't breakfast without a cup of (green) tea and an orange juice (not pictured here).  

Highly recommend this place for breakfast and yes my meat eaters and fish lovers.  You can get meat with these.  For us Veggie people we just ask for no meat.  (It's just that easy  :P)  This meal will keep you from being hungry for a long time.  It's not too large of a meal as you can see but it's a perfect size.  There is a niceness in knowing that you can finish your meal instead of having to box it up every single time.

The staff is very good here too.  Very friendly and ready to give you any suggestions or answer your questions.  If they don't have something they will find it for you.  When it comes to breakfast, go to the Bourbon House.

Lunch


Do you want the best burger of your whole exsistance?  The Bayou Burger is the place to go for a burger like you have never had in your life.  At this place you can choose all of your ingredients you want on your special burger (my favorites included the beer mustard, avocados and sautéed mushrooms) and even get to choose which patty would like.  It can be a veggie patty, chicken, beef or even fish.  Oh how wonderful is it to have these kinds of choices?  Even just writing about it now makes my mouth water like crazy.  Have a burger here and you will not be sorry.


Desserts and Treats
 
 


 No matter where you go, some day you will just want something sweet and tasty.  Go to the Café Beignet because this sweet French inspired coffee shop has a selection of lovely little desserts, pastries and fruit to satisfy a persons need for sugar.  As you can see I ordered the key line tart and was not sorry at all.  It was a combination of sweet and sour that satisfied every crazing craving that a lady can get.













Next in our culinary adventure is a pastry that New Orleans is really famous for which is sold at the incredibly famous Café Du Monde.  Now this is where these deep fried pastries called Beignets are. It is a very popular spot and always very busy no matter what time you go.  I myself have spent a few hours there waiting for these pastries.  So to say its busy is an understatement but worth it to try something new.  These pastries are just covered in a small mountain of icing sugar so they can be very sweet.  I myself am not a fan of deep fried stuff but this was worth trying.  So if you like these kinds of foods try them out.  What have you got to lose?
 
Supper
 
Now for dinner you are always wanting something that is perhaps not too heavy but satisfying.  My suggestion is going one of these places on Jackson Square like the Chartres House.  This is an outdoor meets indoor kind of restaurant.  The food is good, flavorful and fast while the staff is friendly, helpful and informative.  They are very good with directions and places to see. 
 I decided to have an appetizer since I wasn't that hungry.  This is the Spinach and Artichoke dip with fried bow tie pasta.  This was a dish that is a bit on the salty side but the dip is to die for.  now you may find this dip in many places but a true foodie will tell you that no recipe is exactly the same.  It is yummy and if you eat here, you are dining in a piece of history.
 
The Chartres House had everything.  It is a grocery store in 1873 that later becomes a favorite café for bohemian artists and writers (Tennessee Williams is a prime example).  It is a good place to enjoy some local flavor.  So check it out.
 
  
 Now if you really want to go to a fancy place where they make their staple; the Banana Foster then you want to go to Brennan's .  This isn't one of those hoity-toity places.  The people here are wonderful and really take care of you.  Myself and my companions have a very strict diets and nothing on the menu really appealed to us.  So we asked our waiter what he recommended and he helped us out big time and made sure that our food was exceptional.  You can't get treatment like that anywhere.  And the way they make your dessert right in front of you.  It was like you had a pyro-themed show in front of you. There we felt like queens so go there to feel like royalty yourselves.

Fast Food

Tracey's in the Garden District is said to have the best poi-boys that could be enjoyed.  After a long albeit good tour (See later post), a friend and I stopped at this place and got a look at where many locals like to hang out and have a beer.

  This place has the answer.  It is like one of those old fashioned hotdog stands.  A fun place to be with a really lax atmosphere.










 Now I have to admit I wasn't very adventurous today (at least I thought)  I just ordered some fried mushrooms and a salad.  It was very satisfying and it certainly does the job of filling you up.  A companion of mine had one of those famous poi-boys.  This is like a sub sandwich with lots of meat and flavorings.  So as he is a total guy, it is a safe bet that he enjoyed his meal too.

Conclusion

New Orleans is a place of culinary delights.  Their unique culture is certainly shown in this food.  There really isn't one meal I can say anything bad about.  You get introduced to new yet homey flavors, everything is cooked well and there is a lot of attention to detail in everything you get.  However, as I have said previously that it is a busy time when I went so you have to expect that is going to be hard to get into certain restaurants.  It is also hard to find vegetarian dishes so you do have to look but luckily the people are good and will help you find a place or make a dish in which your needs are met.  So I have to say that just eating here is an adventure all in itself.  Definitely come for the food.  
 

 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A shout out to the undead clan!

 On my trip to New Orleans, one of the biggest supernatural centres of this realm and you guys are sure making a name for yourselves here.  Some of you are praised and some of you are feared but one thing you all have in common in this neck of the swamps is that you make things interesting.

  

Now as all you know, the undead clan consists of vampires, ghosts, zombies and the many more beings that fill that list.  This is the clan that very few understand and that most humans over exaggerate with their stories.  I have taken a tour that describes some of what happened in New Orleans. (Details will be described in a later blog).  And you guys gave these poor souls a really big scare especially if they are talking about it a couple centuries later.  

Most of us mystics know that this clan is the most mysterious and misunderstood clans of them all.  You'll bump into these people now again and often times they do not attack you.  They are people just like anybody else.  the vampire (for example) needs blood to live just like humans need food but often times, the blood is collected in a way that no one dies nor are they harmed.  Places like blood donations for example is one way they collect it.  Sometimes they will have animal blood or tomato juice (the later is usually a diet drink for them).  



Ghosts are humans who are just stuck in a certain surreal immortality that can leave them lost or confused.  Sometimes not though. Those that know they are ghosts and wish to stay that way can "live" very happy and productive existences as  we see in the nether realm.  They mean no harm or I'll will just let them be.  

So yes,  many are quick to judge them without really talking to them or getting to know them.  Granted some are @$$#0|€£ but just like humans and other Mystics that's not all of them.  Many of them are good kind souls that wish no one any harm.  But keep up the good ghost stories guys we need the entertainment.  And please keep it fictional.  


Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Love Potions


Valentine's Day is coming and everyone will tell you that this is the day of romance.  We love that sort of thing don't we mystics?  I mean we celebrate it quite differently than the humans.  Where we have flower eruption festival, Valentine's feast for love, and dancing in the street; humans have flower giving, going out to dinner at a restaurant and dancing in a night club.  Sometimes they will throw in a movie too. 



Now back to the romance.  People really misinterpret a lot with this holiday.  It's not just for couples and for the flower and candy companies.  Any mystic will tell you that it is a day for love.  If you are single, it is a good day to get out, have fun and meet new people.  It's a good day for new beginnings (because New Years was right before it and the Chinese New Year is right after, I have to say that's a strong indication that Valentine's is about new beginnings.).  And if you happen to be in a couple it's a good way feed the spark that brought you two together. 

So because this is a day for love, I wanted to talk about love potions.  Not love potion #9 because I got to tell you that just takes it overboard.  Love potions are everywhere this time of year but I do have to warn you that some do not work the way they say they will.  It's a hard lesson but its true.  So if you are hunting for a love potion you need to find these ingredients:

Ingredients:

Jasmine: This lovely flower will create an erotic euphoria in both men and women.  It has been used for centuries to create a spiritual bond between lovers.

Rose:  This is a little more for women than men but sometimes they will need it too.  This plant will boost confidence and reduce arousal blocking anxiety.

Vanilla:  This is a wonderful flower that is popular with South and Central America.  Legend has it that a fertility goddess fell in love with a mortal man and they longed to get married.  Now unfortunately back in that time mortals and immortals were not allowed to marry.  That broke her heart but the good news is that she turns herself into a field of this aromatic flowers to help other lovers get together.  So instead of turning bitter she decides to help others.  It's a truly wonderful story and for that reason vanilla will help with love.

Cinnamon: Aye Caramba!  It's getting spicy here folks.  This will blend and balance the above ingredients.  It also creates a burst of fiery passion and energy that will knock your lover's socks off. So yes it increases sex drive.

So there you have it.  The right love potion with these ingredients will help you attract, spark or tantalize your mate.  So have a lovely time on this day and remember to show the ones you love how much you love them.

 St. Valentine's Rule!  ;)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Answer to a Question...It's just not what you think

Sometimes you feel like there is so many profound questions in your life.  Such as what am I going to eat for supper? I don't know about the rest of you but I can't help but think of this question everyday.  Here is a suggestion for all those who want something but don't know what the hell it is.

Chili Salad.



Its awesome and its easy!

Take some lettuce, cut up some tomatoes, onions, etc.  Grate some cheese, cook some canned chili (It can be all meat or vegetarian.  The choice is yours but I prefer the vegetarian).  You can basically put whatever you want in it (I have a friend who suggests putting in taco chips and crushed chocolate chip cookies but I think he has masochistic tendencies) but I will say that it is imperative to add avocado and salsa.  It's the best ever.

So I hope this answers the one question that probably plagues your minds all day except the vamps, you guys have a pretty limited food intake.  :)  Until the next time everybody. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Socrates Says

"The secret of change is to focus on all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building on the new"

Wise words from a man in ancient Greece who told stories for a living.  So why does that sound familiar? 

Anyway, this is a good quote to remember if you are having a hard time adjusting to this world.  I can understand that.  It was an adjustment for me too but it helps to remember that what you had already faced is the end of a long lesson and it is better to focus on what you are making for the future.  Because I'll tell you, everything I learned from the nether world and this world has made me stronger, more confident and now more comfortable.  It's not easy and there is no denying that there is going to be many obstacles but perseverance and determination will win in the end. 




Keep up the good work Mystics!!