The first time I visited New Orleans was in October, 2001, a month after 9-1-1. Our Continental Jet from Oakland had literally less than 20 passengers! We were able to book for the week night portion of our stay, normally $400.00 a night rooms in ROYAL SONESTA, for $99.00 per night! Situated right on BOURBON STREET, little did I imagine that a few years later i would be spending so many evenings there. Principally, IRVIN MAYFIELD’S JAZZ PLAYHOUSE is an elegant room with some of the top local talent with no cover or minimum. I always try to see my friend, GERALD FRENCH’S MONDAY NIGHT SHOW. This place is always comfortable and classy. Also, a couple years ago, Jenae and I attended the invite only, soft opening night of CHEFS JOHN FOLSE and RICK TRAMONTO’S new RESTAURANT R’EVOLUTION. Jenae is on some hot list and got invited. It was a fun night, and I shared it with several friends. We stayed late, and were treated to a personal tour of CHEF JOHN FOLSE’s immense kitchen, wine collection, meat storage, and his crows’ nest office, offering both a view of his workers, and large private dining table for special guests! Still later, we simply walked a few feet to IRVIN MAYFIELD’S JAZZ PLAYHOUSE to see our friends perform! Many of my Posts will direct you to the grittier areas of New Orleans; this suggestion leaves the grit on the feverish and fervent BOUBON STREET outside!!