April showers bring May flowers and followers of all things geek to the Big Easy. And that includes us.
The Inclind team is headed south to New Orleans for DrupalCon 2016, May 9-13, and we’re taking you along for the ride. Well, we’ll just give you a sneak peek into all things geek on our agenda inside the conference and out on the streets of NOLA.
Yes, we can’t wait to download all that is Drupal with fellow Drupalistas throughout North America at this annual conference (the Asian Drupal community meets in Mumbai in February and DrupalCon Europe congregates in Dublin in September this year), but we’re also excited to check out the city on our downtime. Here are a few piques for us in bites, bars and boutiques.
Magazine Street: This friendly “local feel” area is known for food, offbeat shopping, coffee and more – and every time you walk it, you notice something new and go inside. Yes, please. Closest Convention Center Hotel: Embassy Suites.
Marigny and Decatur Area: It’s a low-key section of the French Quarter, with funky shops and book stores and bars. Decatur is then the gateway to Bourbon Street, the 24hour party. Closest Convention Center Hotel: St. James Hotel.
Jackson Square: We’re told it’s anything but square, because there’s always something going on any day of the week, from sights of art or sounds of jazz and street performances – or just plain ol’ people watching. Definitely a daytime affair. All convention-sponsored hotels are southwest of the Square, but should be worth the trip.
Bourbon and Canal Streets: Regardless of its Mardi Gras identity, Bourbon and Canal showcase a menagerie of drunks, tourists, drunks/tourists, breakdancers, magicians, musicians or body-painted women any time of year. Take the trolley from Canal Street to Magazine Street, where the large hotels and casinos are found. Closest convention-sponsored hotel: New Orleans Marriott.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern: This is a century-old New Orleans family-owned tradition, hunkered down at the corner of Hagan and Toulouse that overlooks the Bayou St. John in MidCity. We can’t wait to put our hands around one of their world-famous poor boys, like the fried shrimp, oyster or roast beef options.
Good Time Sushi: Yep, they let the good times roll in Nawlins, but they also know how to roll mean sushi here, which resembles a shed on Elysian Fields Ave. Never fear, inside it’s a good time, good menu of sushi, miso soup and hibachi, and away from the traffic and crowds in northern New Orleans.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop: Nerdsontheroad.com highly recommends fellow geeks to check out this oldest bar in the country, no excuse. So we will oblige. After all, what could be cooler than a bar that was owned by a pirate? Plus, an ambiance that melds a blacksmith shop with a piano bar? A round of rum and cokes!
Aunt Tiki’s: It’s on the edge of the French Quarter and Marigny neighborhoods, and just, well, on the edge. Less of a tiki bar and more of a Halloween-themed bar, Aunt Tiki’s is an oddity, but a cool spot to say you sat down for a drink with local regulars on the couch under a giant spider.
Pepper Palace: We have to add a little spice and hot sauce to our trip, so this will be the place to do it. The Palace is stocked with Louisiana hot sauces, from the painfully spicy to the salsas, mustard, jams and all things hot and bottled.
French Market: Whether we actually buy anything or not, the French Market is a must to at least walk, so we’re told – all six blocks of food, beads, jewelry, décor, wares and souvenirs to take home.
More Fun Comics: The comic book store has a knowledgeable staff and a load of humor. It’s the kind of place to just hang out and get lost in for hours, appreciate art and geek out.
Tubby & Coo’s: A newer book store, Tubby & Coo’s is crushed out on geek culture and boasts shelves of the latest reads. If you’re in the mood for games, they sell everything from simple card games to complex RPGs.
A little more about DrupalCon
OK, now back to business, which is the main reason why we’ll be in town. If you’re not in the know, DrupalCon is an international educational event that brings together the Drupal engineers, front-end developers and overall Drupalistas who use, design, and support the Drupal platform, like we do. For five days, we’ll take in sessions, code sprints, trainings and panels hosted by some of the most influential people, keynotes and brightest minds within the Drupal community and beyond. Not only will we hone our Drupal skills, but we’ll network and learn about the future trends ahead.
And then we’ll bring all of our refreshed DrupalCon knowledge back to our clients.
Check back with us for more as we prep for DrupalCon and all that New Orleans has to offer us in May.