Villalobos Rescue Center in the Ninth Ward. But then Ma made known to me that she wasn't really interested in going there. She's not that into animals, she's not that big a fan of 'Pit Bulls and Parolees', and she was concerned about venturing into what's known as a pretty rough area. Since this vacation is for the both of us (and let's be real, since Ma's the one paying for all this), I didn't want to have her do something that she wouldn't enjoy. Plus I figured it wouldn't be worth it to take a taxi all the way out there and back just to be there for a short period of time. So we opted to go to the zoo instead. After visiting the saddest zoo on Earth for my birthday back in 2011, I sort of swore off zoos. But we read a lot of good things about this one so we got up and rode a bus down Magazine Street toward Audubon Park, in the southwestern part of the city. Our stop was right near the entrance of Audubon Zoo.
Considering that quite a few exhibits were closed due to construction or weather-related reasons, in retrospect they probably could've come down from their regular $19 adult ticket price. But even with the closed exhibits (boo! no elephants or giraffes, and no lions or rhinos to begin with!), there was still much to see and the diverse greenery made for a pleasant walk. I was especially impressed with the primate and Louisiana Swamp exhibits. We got to watch the animals feed in the former, and in the latter we got to walk through a man-made swamp while learning about its ecological system and Cajun culinary habits.
The only negative thing that I couldn't help but notice about the zoo is the issue of cultural appropriation. Granted, I'm no expert on the topic nor on the cultures or geographic locations that the zoo was organized into, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. With the exception of a couple species-specific exhibits, most of the zoo is divided into geographically-themed sections: Asian Domain, African Savanna, Jaguar Jungle (Mayan civilization), and South America Pampas. They tried to recreate a lot of culturally-specific architecture and include information boards about history or customs in each area, but it still just... didn't feel right. Even with all the details it felt cheap, artificial, forced. I think there's a difference between trying to give people an idea of what a place is like versus making a copy of it and showing it off like "Behold! You've now been transported into [insert destination]. It's just like the real thing!" And Audubon Zoo, bless its heart, toes that line a little too closely for my liking. I'll just leave it at that. But otherwise, Ma and I were very much pleased with our experience.
last night. This time we were going to check out Uptown Jazz Orchestra at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. This band plays at Snug Harbor twice a night every Wednesday night, and we were going to its 8pm show. Like its smaller and more crowded neighbor across the street, Spotted Cat, Snug Harbor is renowned for its quality jazz musicianship and invigorating performances. However, Snug Harbor has a more exclusive feel because unlike most of the music
venues on Frenchmen, you can't just pop in and out of the show here. You
have to buy tickets in advance. Additionally, the music space, bar, and
restaurant are separated from each other so that while you can hear
the music from outside the music room, no one can actually enjoy the show in full
without having paid to attend. In comparison to the rest of the street
this might seem elitist, but I think it's nice because it maintains a
semblance of order and keeps the crowds down.
Praline Connection's, just saying) ended up being free because they'd taken too long to get a waitress to our table. With a fantastic jazz performance and a quality dining experience, Ma and I definitely ended the night on a high note!