TDN Weekend

March 2019

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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Page 45 of 93

First, some pre-trip homework: a short book called Why New Orleans Matters. It argues persuasively that post-Katrina, the city should be redeveloped bottom-up instead of top-down to benefit the masses, who are the backbone of New Orleans. It offers a clear-eyed look at the city – warts and all. For firsters and those who haven't visited since Katrina, it's a valuable reminder that that the Quarter isn't the end-all, be-all. Once you arrive, take a guided bike tour from Fat Tire, whose Beyond the French Quarter tour is a best-of-all-worlds ride that starts in the Quarter and covers a number of outlying neighborhoods. My spin with six or eight other tourists and Cam – the accessible, knowledgeable, perspective-rich guide – was among the highlights of my most recent trip. I learned more about this complex, history-laden city – not just the what, but the why – in those few hours than I knew from my 20 earlier visits combined. If you're neither leg-up nor lung- up, you'll still be fine – New Orleans is flat, the tour stops frequently to see sights and understand where they fit in the bigger picture, and the pace is the equivalent of a canter. The tour includes a ride through City Park, a stately oasis lined with live oak trees and Spanish moss – a feast for the eyes.

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