By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief
My favorite kind of trip to New Orleans is to go by myself, leave the house at the time I want to leave, go to the places I want to go and take my sweet old time at those places.
I’ve done this hundreds of times since I was in my late teens and my latest trip started at 2:20 p.m. from my home in Gulfport on Saturday for the Magazine Street Champagne Stroll and Independent Bookstore Day, but I had other reasons to make the trip.
First stop: The new Shipley Do-Nuts on Old Metairie Road in Old Metairie for vanilla cream- and chocolate-filled doughnuts that were as delicious as the ones I remember from the 1970s when I would go to the Shipley at Hewes Avenue and Pass Road in Gulfport, and I miss those visits because that Shipley has been history for a long time.
Second stop: Stein’s in the Lower Garden District on Magazine Street for the best challah around, as good as what my dad made at home, though I had to park two blocks from the deli and market because the lease for the Stein’s parking lot, above, was terminated April 30.
Third stop: Octavia Books on Octavia Street off Magazine to buy a signed copy of Ann Patchett’s little gem titled “The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore,” and I saw so much more I wanted to buy, including Simon Griffin’s punctuation guide with a dirty word in the hilarious title.
Fourth stop: Antieau Gallery on Magazine, which features the work of artist Chris Roberts-Antieau, with beer for the Stroll.
Fifth stop: Young classical musicians were playing in front of a store just 350 feet down the street from the gallery. Never found out if they took requests, though I think they accepted tips. One possible request for next time: “How about a little ‘Eleanor Rigby’ for the all Catholic drinkers?”
Sixth stop: I completed my trifecta of daily dough with a bag of bagels at La Boulangerie, a Magazine Street bakery, so I put it in my car with the doughnuts and challah.
Seventh stop: I think this pretty horse on Oak Street wanted to talk. We could have had a conversation. I know drunks on Bourbon Street have had horse hallucinations, but I was sober and so was this creature.
Eighth stop: Surfin’ and turfin’ at Parkway Bakery and Tavern on Hagan Avenue with the best po-boy anywhere: Roast beef and fried shrimp.
I didn’t mean to offend my family and friends when I wrote the lead to this fine piece of quality journalism. They are always welcome to make a New Orleans trip with me, but just remember we will go to my places first and we might not have to go to your places.
Like Kramer said on “Seinfeld”:
I’m doin‘ what I do, the way I’ve always done it, and the way I’ll always do it
Editor’s note: All the photos are mine and all were taken Saturday except for the featured image, which is from 2017.