During an evening wine and cheese gathering in the Victorian parlor, I found a scrapbook that showed before and after views of the house's renovation. There also was a photo of the massive marble fireplace. Ashes spilled across the hearth onto the floor and French words appeared to be scribbled in the ashes.
I spoke to Andy Crocchiolo, who owns the house along with his partner Edward Dore. He said the writing--non voiger--sounded like the French for "don't travel (voyager)." Apparently, the ashes had blown out of the fireplace just as the owners were discussing an imminent trip out of town. While they were away, the devastating hurricane Camille hit the area. "Maybe the house wanted us to stay and take care of it," he mused.
The building may have expected a favor returned. In 1967, according to Crocchiolo, he was saved from falling down steep stairs by a pair of invisible arms that encircled his waist. "It's a good entity here."
Food fit for the angels is found everywhere in New Orleans. With so many restaurants to choose from, you don't have to limit yourself to guidebook or concierge recommendations. Just follow your nose.
We also didn't neglect the other delightful draw of New Orleans: music. The way I see it, the ghosts of New Orleans may have not crossed over because they don't believe the other side will compare to the delights of New Orleans cuisine and music. As one bluesman sings: "We took a boat to the land of dreams: a heaven on earth, they called it New Orleans."
Walking backthrough the Marigny area we heard the sound of a clarinet. It floated out of a former bordello now called The Tin Roof Cafe. It was a Sunday night, and only a handful of locals were in the place. Ceiling fans swirled lazily overhead, and the walls were decorated with original jazz memorabilia.
And the music? The sounds were sweet enough to make you think you had crossed over.