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Biking in the City of New Orleans (Illinois Central, Monday Morning Rail)

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  • Biking in the City of New Orleans (Illinois Central, Monday Morning Rail)

    As I've posted elsewhere, I "temporarily permanently" live in Abu Dhabi, so I'm not able to spend as much time in NOLA as I have in recent years. But I've been here for the past week and thought I'd share my experience with you. Of course it mostly relates to food.

    But let me start with the airport. There was an awful lot of complaining on this and other boards well before the airport ever opened, bemoaning all sorts of ills that people imagined were going to occur once the airport finally opened. And of course on the first day of operation, when things didn't go perfectly smoothly, these same people jumped in with their "I told you so" posts. This type of "anticipatory complaining" drives me crazy. There's plenty to complain about in New Orleans; can't we complain about actual ills that need improving rather than anticipated ones? In fact, New Orleans now has a world class airport, and after just a couple of weeks of operations it appears that many of the glitches have been, or are in the process of being, worked out. In my case, I was at my hotel in the Quarter 45 minutes after my plane parked at the gate (and at the Soul Rebels shortly thereafter). I then returned to the airport a couple of days later to pick up a friend, and everything was just as smooth. And what other airport sells cheap-ass, no-name liquor right in the baggage claim area? Welcome to New Orleans!

    To be continued ...
    Last edited by Blumie; 1 week ago.

  • #2
    Now onto the Blue Bikes. I'm not sure why I hadn't bothered with the Blue Bikes previously, but I have been using them extensively on this trip, and they are great! Download the app, pay the $5 to set up an online account, and then you're ready to go. The pay-as-you-go account -- the only option that makes sense for visitors -- costs 10 cents per minute, once you've paid the $5 to set up your account. And with one account you can check out up to six bikes, so you can use one account for a family or group of friends rather than paying $5 to open an account for each person. My daughter and I biked up and down the Lafitte Greenway multiple times, when ends, conveniently enough, right by Parkway Bakery.

    Speaking of Parkway, let's talk about that famed Thanksgiving poboy -- turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy in a poboy. It is truly magnificent. Only available on Wednesdays in November -- i.e., only available four days a year -- this is the best Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. My daughter and I arrived at around 12:45pm on the day before Thanksgiving and found the line stretching down Hagan Avenue. But of course those in the know skip that line and head for seats in the bar area, where one can order from the bartender. The bar was packed too, but in less than five minutes we scored a table, and shortly thereafter were munching on one of the best poboys I've ever had. My daughter and I concluded that this was a Thanksgiving meal that was not going to be beat, so agreed that the following night -- Thanksgiving night -- we would search out a restaurant serving its normal menu rather than a Thanksgiving menu. More on this later.

    To be continued ...
    Last edited by Blumie; 1 week ago.

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    • #3
      I'm a big fan of the Blue Bikes, and glad you're enjoying them. Pay as you go is simplest, but the $15 monthly plan may make sense for visitors who ride a lot, since there's no commitment and you can cancel auto-renew at the end of your trip. So the break-even is 150 minutes of riding (or 100 if you account for the $5 set up fee on the PAYG plan).

      (Edit to add) Sometime next year, the Blue Bikes will all be retired and replaced with "pedal assist" electric Red Bikes,. Pricing hasn't beenannounced, but expect an increase, possibly a big one.
      Last edited by swag; 1 week ago.
      Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

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      • #4
        Aren't the Blue Bikes being replaced next year with motorized ones ??

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        • #5
          Do you need an "app" to use them?... no Smartphone, me. How about a laptop?
          Sounds like a great idea....
          Last edited by revjimk; 1 week ago.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by revjimk View Post
            Do you need an "app" to use them?... no Smartphone, me. How about a laptop?
            Sounds like a great idea....
            The app is pretty useful for finding a bike. But you can view the same real-time locator map on their website, or just head to a hub or wander the streets to find one. Otherwise, I don't use the app at all. You can sign up for an account via the website - that may even be easier than signing up on the app. Once you have the account, you get an account number and PIN, and use those to actually check the bikes out. You don't need the app or even web after that at all, unless you want to change billing info.

            Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

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            • #7
              I love the blue bikes. I got rid of my vehicle and have a nice bike that I love and use for all my getting around. I live in Treme, and go out on the town in the Quarter maybe once a month. There is a blue bike station right by my house on Esplanade and I will take one into the quarter and then back home just so I don't have to stress about someone cutting through my bike lock and stealing my bike while it is chained up on the street.

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              • #8
                I am about to head out on the pushie now, as it is so pleasant outside

                A cruise down to and around Audubon Park and then over to the fly sounds like a good way to start the day.

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                • #9
                  Fly?

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                  • #10
                    Please tell me this isn’t true? Are the blue bikes really being replaced with those boosted things? What a stupid shame. It’ll be much easier for me to break my other clavicle riding one of those.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fesstgeek View Post
                      Fly?
                      For once, not weird Aussie slang. "The Fly" is the section of Audubon Park nearest to the River.
                      Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tuggernuts View Post
                        I love the blue bikes. I got rid of my vehicle and have a nice bike that I love and use for all my getting around. I live in Treme, and go out on the town in the Quarter maybe once a month. There is a blue bike station right by my house on Esplanade and I will take one into the quarter and then back home just so I don't have to stress about someone cutting through my bike lock and stealing my bike while it is chained up on the street.
                        Treme, huh. Were neighbors. I live two blocks from Rampart and Esplanade, in Marigny.

                        Dumaine St. Gang SAPC rolls at noon today from the Treme Center. First one in awhile that doesn't conflict with Saints game, so....I guess I'll see you out there. 5 bands, so you know it's gonna be a PARTY !!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marignygregg View Post

                          Treme, huh. Were neighbors. I live two blocks from Rampart and Esplanade, in Marigny.

                          Dumaine St. Gang SAPC rolls at noon today from the Treme Center. First one in awhile that doesn't conflict with Saints game, so....I guess I'll see you out there. 5 bands, so you know it's gonna be a PARTY !!
                          I plan to be there with luck

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gards View Post

                            I plan to be there with luck
                            Cool. Hope to see you out there. Outside of Mary, I rarely see Threadheads at the Sunday 2nd lines.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by swag View Post

                              For once, not weird Aussie slang. "The Fly" is the section of Audubon Park nearest to the River.
                              Ah, another bit of NOLAana, thanks!

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