Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whimsical Wednesday: Oysters, Road Trips, and Disappointment

First, the good news. Despite our disappointing discovery that the Oceana Grill has indefinitely ceased the serving of oysters-on-the-half-shell, Dan and I have successfully found some plump, tasty, relatively clean oysters at the French Market Restaurant on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. True, on the day we sampled them, they were $17 per dozen as opposed to the happy hour special of $6 per dozen that the eatery regularly offered prior to the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April, but given that we're both die-hard oyster lovers suffering a severe six-month oyster withdrawal (due to our lengthy stay in Michigan, a state not known for its raw shellfish), it was a price that we were indeed willing to pay – especially on that particular day, the day we realized that our much-anticipated French Quarter apartment would probably never be ready and that we'd be better off demanding the return of our deposit. So, yahoo for us!

Now, for the other news – well, it's not really news as much as a travel observation. Last week, I was informed that I've been spending a bit too much time focusing on Michigan, New Orleans, and the Florida Keys on my American Nomad blog. Given that I've been working on back-to-back guides – that is, Moon Florida Keys, Moon Michigan, and Moon New Orleans – I suppose my fixation makes sense. Nevertheless, I've decided to make a concerted effort to cover other parts of the United States more frequently. To that end, I wrote and posted a piece about the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado on Monday. While researching the post – and sifting through old photographs from my first visit to Silverton, part of a road trip that my mom and I took back in the 1980s – I recalled a disappointing discovery.

As a child, I'd been enamored with an old-fashioned place called Smedley's Ice Cream Parlor, situated in the 1300 block of Greene Street. I loved it so much, I even took a picture of it. But, alas, on a more recent trip to Silverton, I discovered that the ice cream parlor had been replaced by a hotel, and while I have nothing against that particular hotel, I must admit... I do miss the ice cream parlor. Of course, that's not the only favorite haunt to have suffered such a fate over the years. For a whole slew of reasons – from economic to personal – establishments, even beloved ones, come and go, but despite the logic behind such decisions, I'm not always happy with the results.

So, what about you? Have you ever returned to a particular locale, only to learn that a beloved establishment has been replaced by another? More importantly, how did you handle such disappointment?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Travels: Where Have All the Oysters Gone?

If I were a Catholic, I might say, “I can't believe it's been nearly a month since my last confession!” But given that I'm just a humble atheist, I'll simply say, “Holy crap! Has it really been almost a month since my last freakin' blog post?!”

As I noted in mid-September, life has been busier than usual. At the moment, I'm trying to wrap up work on the fourth edition of Moon Michigan and gearing up for the third edition of Moon New Orleans, but I'd be seriously remiss if I didn't mention the fact that Dan and I have recently made our seasonal trek from northern Michigan to the Big Easy. Though we're both missing the quietude and fall colors of the woods beside Big Bear Lake, we're happy to be back in New Orleans. Unfortunately, however, the city is not completely how we left it. The much-publicized Gulf oil spill has definitely left its mark, causing one of our favorite French Quarter restaurants, the Oceana Grill, to cease serving raw oysters, at least for a while. Of course, that won't stop us from venturing into the Quarter again tomorrow, in search of those deliciously slimy mollusks. Here's hoping we can scare a few up!