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Naive in New Orleans

Like the post-Isaac response times of Entergy and the trash collectors, we New Orleanians are notoriously slow. Living in this city, we often take things like dinner reservations, planning ahead, or being on time for … well, anything … for granted.

With the Saints getting a slow start (see the trend?) to the season, many of us have given up the dream of winning the Super Bowl in the Superdome when the next one takes place here on Feb. 3, 2013. However, having the city taken over by tourists is our reality, and, unlike us, they usually come prepared.

The out-of-towners started booking their accommodations (complete with reservations to virtually every French Quarter establishment) months ago. If we don’t act soon to reclaim our places in the city, we will be left eating Lucky Dogs curbside.

I was reminded of this imminent tourist invasion by none other than my own soon-to-be tourists. And I laughed when they suggested that I start making Super Bowl-weekend dinner reservations to my favorite spots back in June. I thought, these hosts will laugh at me trying to book a table eight months in advance — doesn’t even take reservations that far in advance, and most restaurant reservation books usually only go through the end of the year.

So I waited until August, and the joke was on me.

John Besh and Emeril’s establishments weren’t even accepting reservations during Super Bowl XLVII because they are anticipating buy-outs. Ditto for Commander’s Palace for its traditional brunch. People at Jacqueimo’s and a few other local icons laughed at me (as expected) and said to call back in January.

While I did confirm reservations at several of my second-choice (or less well-known) spots, I will have you know that those are quickly filling up as well.

The moral of this story: If you want to live and enjoy your city during some of its most festive times, it’s best to be proactive. And with only three months to go, the time is now.

Sometimes, it pays to act like a tourist in your own home town.

Writer Rachael Kostelec writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.



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