17) High Fives 2019 Helen Rose’s New Orleans sunsets

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It’s hard to believe that it’s almost a year since “Trouble Holding Back”, Helen Rose’s debut album, was released. We gave a cautious thumbs aloft despite Allan having a fit of the grumps about covers of “When the Levee Breaks”. Anyhow, Helen has kindly offered a contribution to this year’s High Fives with suggestions of the best places to watch the sun set in New Orleans. I just love the way creatives respond to this challenge. Life with this feature really is like a box of chocolates.

There is nothing like a Louisiana sunset. One of my favorite activities is sitting by the Mississippi River, listening to the bountifully deep music that echoes in the flow of this beautiful body of water. So here are 5 of my favorite ways to watch the sunset over the Mississippi:

1) Bout an hour before the sunsets head on over to Hanks, Wagners or the New Orleans Food Co-op to pick up a few bottles of Gingeroo (or any drink of course that suits your fancy- turmeric tea is a favorite of mine). Gingeroo is a  rum, ginger and sparkling cane juice drink made by our local rum distillery – Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. They now have a Strawberry-roo that makes any excuse for a day-drink beyond acceptable. Then scoot your boot on over the L9 bridge to the levee. The sounds of the kids and dogs running happily, the NATCHEZ and CREOL QUEEN river boat calliope playing, and the colors of the sky take you back to a simpler time and calm your mind- filling your heart with the wild wonder that is the city of New Orleans. We once watched a Pelican swim upstream for two hours… and you already know, from that day on our sweet Pelican has been immortalized within a song.

2) Head on over to Bayou St. John, a gorgeous local neighborhood here in N.O. then getchyerself a romantic early afternoon Mediterranean meal at Thousand Figs and a bottle of wine at Swirl (next door) and take a stroll on the bayou to enjoy the sunset and the light filtering through the Spanish moss dressed live oak trees.

3) This one is a little more daring and the timing must be right in sync with the seasons as it takes place on a busy road and you don’t want to hit traffic happy hour. The bridge over the train tracks on N. Claiborne in the St. Claude neighborhood has an impeccable view of the sunset and the surrounding neighborhoods. If you have a strong imagination and a bit of street smarts in your pocket- you can walk over the bridge imagining the sound of the cars as if they were the breeze by the river. Perhaps only for those who find beauty in industrial grunge. Recommended for those looking for a thrill rather than a relaxing sunset experience.

4) Crescent Park runs from the Bywater to the French Quarter. You can walk from Bartholomew St. to the French Market after some delicious BBQ at The Joint, brisket and mac & cheese highly recommended, they have great iced tea, cocktails and Daquaries to go along with your wandering. Take a walk over the Rusty Rainbow and visit Euclid Records and buy my album on the way.

5) A trip to Natchez, MS is a lovely way to listen to all of the new musicians you just discovered in the Crescent City and/or go back in time and dive into the music of the great musicians who graced this part of the earth and came before us influencing most of the music we love. Head on down to the bar “Under The Hill Saloon”, sit in the rocking chair and hear the riverboat play while watching the great Mississippi River as she winds down her day and sun kisses you goodnight. The musical “Showboat” was filmed here, and Mark Twain had an apartment on Silver Street under the hill. It is a deep experience indeed.