Recently I returned back to my “roots”, to the great state of Louisiana and spent some time in my favorite place in the world, the French Quarter of New Orleans. One never runs out of things to do and experience in NOLA. Truly, it is captivating, a veritable feast for all five senses as well as the sixth sense.
The best way to describe how I feel in this city, would be to use the word, “charmed”. New Orleans is many things to many people, but for me, it’s charming and embodies a spirit, a joy for living (joie de vivre) that is expressed throughout the city.
The last time I had been able to visit the city was four months before Katrina hit and I had no idea how the vibe of the city would feel after having going through such a horrific experience. My heart was thrilled to see that the great lady was holding her own with a state of grace, while still undergoing major renovations on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes.
I traveled around parts of the city riding the street cars, taking in each neighborhood, enjoying the stunning architecture, the smell of jasmine in the air, and chuckling at the sight of mardi gras beads still hanging from the boughs of trees. As the street car delivered me near the French Market, the smell of beignets and coffee coming from Cafe du Monde lifted my spirit. Yes, I sighed with relief, New Orleans has been through the worst and still she stands, proud, strong and vibrant.
It is my sincere belief that New Orleans is ‘charmed’. Charmed by the artists and musicians who live there, their music and art spill into the streets touching the soul at the core with its beauty, charmed by the chefs who tantalize our tastebuds in sweet rhapsody with their culinary delights and charmed by the people who are kind, good natured and some of the most loving and joyful people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
The Journey Begins
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take you on a journey as we explore the charm of New Orleans. For those of you who have never been to the city, I’m going to introduce you to the lady and beguile you into falling in love with her and for those of you have been to NOLA and haven’t been back in a while, I’m going to help you fall in love all over again.
The city has been in the news so often regarding the politics, disaster recovery efforts and non-efforts and now most recently, the oil spill. Each report is extremely important and must be addressed and is of great concern. My intent here is to share the beauty and magic of New Orleans, a city so special, so unique that truly it deserves to be respected as a rich cultural treasure.
A Charming Entrance
I love beginnings and the entrance to the Court of Two Sisters restaurant is the perfect place for our story to begin. The Court of Two Sisters is a restaurant in the French Quarter which offers the most delightful courtyard in which to enjoy a meal. In the courtyard, the trees have interlocked and connected creating a natural canopy over the courtyard, bringing the space alive with sunlight peeking through the leaves, highlighted by the presence of a bubbling fountain.
photo: Terry Thibeau
The daily jazz brunch at Court of Two Sisters is the perfect respite from an evening spent on Bourbon Street and the accompaning strolling jazz trio lifts the heart. You being to wonder, ‘Is there any other way that one should ever dine’? The overall effect creates a feeling that one has just stepped into a painting. The scene is filled with old world charm, caught in a moment of boundless spring, highlighted by the tinkle of laughter coming from guests sitting at crisp white tablecoths enjoying private moments. Stepping into this courtyard, one walks back in time and the city around you no longer exists. This is the enchantment of the courtyards designed in New Orleans, where homes were built with the courtyard in the middle so that residents could enjoy a protected and peaceful atmosphere.
The name Court of Two Sisters originates from the previous owners, two creole sisters named Emma and Bertha Camors. Their shop was here on Royal Street and they made their living providing women in New Orleans the best gowns, gloves, perfumes and other fashions. The two sisters (born in 1858 and 1860) spent their entire lives together and according to the history reported by the restaurant, were buried side by side in 1944 at St. Louis Cemetery #3 in New Orleans.
While the charm of the two sisters and their courtyard are delightful on their own, there’s true magic to be found at this location. Located at the entrance of the restaurant on Royal Street, are ‘charm gates’, given to the two sisters by Queen Isabella of Spain. These gates were blessed with magic and are reported to be lucky if you touch them and of course dear reader, you know the first thing I had to do was place both hands firmly upon them to tap into the energy.
photo: charm gate plaque – Kala Ambrose
And so the journey begins dear reader. To begin, simply place your hand on the charm gate photo above and allow the charm to pass through to you. The magic has just begun, today we dine at the Court of Two Sisters, enjoying brunch. Tune in tomorrow to see where we go next.
Kala’s tips on how best to enjoy The Court of Two Sisters
- Best enjoyed in spring, fall or winter, summer is too hot and muggy to enjoy sitting outdoors
- Try drinking a Sazerac here from the bar, one of the oldest cocktails in New Orleans
- It’s a buffet, and unless you’re from Louisiana, you may not recognize some of the dishes prepared. It’s ok, be adventurous, you might like something new and if you don’t, that’s ok too, there’s plenty to sample
- Save room for bananas foster, a must have!
Enjoyed this article? Kala welcomes your comments and reads them all. Don’t miss a thing! Subscribe by clicking the button at the top right corner of this article. By doing so, you’ll receive e-mail updates every time a new article by Kala Ambrose is posted – and it’s free!
Join Kala in July 2010 as she teaches at the prestigious
Omega Institute for a weekend workshop entitled:
Energy Anatomy: Exploring and Healing Your Auras and Chakras.
More about Kala Ambrose: Kala Ambrose is an award winning author, intuitive and talk show host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Her thought-provoking interviews entice listeners to tune in around the globe! Described by her guests and listeners as discerning, empowering and inspiring, she speaks with world renowned authors, artists, teachers and researchers delving into metaphysical, holistic and paranormal topics. Kala’s book, 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled delves into the mysteries of ancient Egyptian mystery schools and explains their wisdom teachings. Kala’s Guided Meditations CD’s include a sacred site trilogy including Spirit of Hawaii, Egyptian Mystery Temple and Tibetan Mountain Journey. Kala lectures on Wisdom Teachings, Developing Business Intuition, Working with Auras, Chakras and Energy Fields, and Wise Woman Wisdom (also known as the Divine Feminine).