New Orleans


Back in 2005, Michelle + I signed up for a Hurricane Katrina relief trip independently of each other. A day before leaving, we talked in class and decided to be on the same team. We had never spent time together outside of the context of school but we soon found ourselves on a 17-hour bus-ride down to New Orleans, where we spent a week together emptying what remained of a grandma’s one-bedroom home where she had taken in her 13-grandchildren. Army tanks still roamed the streets. The 9th Ward was still underwater. We drank water from a silver can simply marked “Potable ” and ate lunch from the Red Cross mobile truck unit. Michelle dared me to run through a fountain in my underwear on Thanksgiving Day which resulted in an emergency room visit and five stitches in my heel. We snuck out on the rooftop one night and ate Swedish Fish and drank Mondo and counted shooting stars. All the while totally Platonic as I was certain there wouldn’t ever be a shot with her, though we did share our first hug at Cafe Du Monde and she did rest her head on my shoulder on the van ride home (“so you’re saying there’s a chance!”).

10-years of marriage and two bambinos later we returned, just the two of us, for two days. We walked for miles along the riverfront and bright murals and knew-no-hunger thanks to many a delicious meal. We had ambitions of staying out but were tired by 9:00 pm and would fall asleep watching 30 Rock. It was perfect.


Paper Antler New Orleans Field Guide:

  • Turkey & The Wolf (lamb neck roti, chicken salad torta)

  • District Donuts

  • Bouligny (nocino sour cocktail in the alley patio)

  • Stroll Magazine Street

  • Molly’s Rise + Shine (whirled peas on toast, pimento bacon biscuit sandwich w/ chow chow)

  • Avenue Bar (hazy ipas: ghost in the machine, the oceans between us, jucifer)

  • Cafe Du Monde (beignets + au laits)

  • Stroll the Bywater Neighborhood, Crescent Park

  • Euclid Records

  • Cochon (oysters, alligator, cracklin, jambalaya, etc.)

  • Night Frenchmen Art Market

  • Elizabeth’s (praline bacon burger, french toast burrito)

  • Fly Park

  • La Petite Grocery (turtle bolognese, french 75)

  • Mahony’s Bread Pudding

jonny hoffner