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A lot going on this week in New Orleans

Streetcars move through downtown New Orleans Jan. 25, 2011.
Streetcars move through downtown New Orleans Jan. 25, 2011. (AP FILE PHOTO , Carroll County Times)

NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans has more of many things than your average city. More restaurants, more jazz and even more nicknames.

The City That Care Forgot, The Crescent City, The Big Easy, and the more recent: NOLA. A city with that many nicknames can't be bad.

If you're coming here this weekend for the Super Bowl, don't expect to find either a ticket for the game or a hotel room. Both are scarce and awfully pricey.

There was talk that a four-day package for last-minute travelers including flight, hotel room and game ticket had reached $7,000. If you spend that much, you'll probably not blanch at a pricey meal or two nor a line.

Many restaurants here don't take reservations. There are likely to be long lines at the Acme Oyster House or Mother's. Mother's is the home of the po'boy Ferdi, featuring ham, roast beef and what they call debris, which are scraps of roast beef that are cooked at the bottom of the pan.

In case you're not familiar with po'boys, those are the Louisiana version of subs or hoagies, made on New Orleans french bread.

The chargrilled oysters are highly recommended at the Acme Oyster House, and during a Monday night dinner, Deion Sanders popped up and was seated a few tables away.

If you've heard about Brennan's and its legendary breakfasts of Eggs Husarde - poached eggs and Canadian bacon - well, they're booked all day on Saturday.

Arnaud's is booked on both Friday and Saturday nights. So is Galatoire's, but according to Opentable.com, there are a number of restaurants that do take reservations and have some availability this weekend.

One of the joys of New Orleans is finding places on your own. According to political consultant James Carville, there are more than 1,300 restaurants in the city, far more than 800 that were here before Katrina hit in 2005.

This weekend's weather is supposed to be good. Highs in the 60s with little chance of rain. Of course the game is being played indoors at the Superdome, but bring a jacket for the walk to and from the game.

Carville estimates that there are more than 23,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the Superdome, and traffic will be impossible, so walking is recommended.

The French Quarter will be jammed this weekend, and Bourbon Street will be overflowing. The post-Katrina Bourbon Street still teems with debauchery, if you insist. It's perfectly safe - on the streets at least. A Monday night walk found police officers on nearly every corner and several mounted officers.

Jackson Square has been taken over by CBS, but you'll want to see the famous St. Louis Cathedral.

New Orleans residents take pride in not only their food, but their music. Tourists will want to hear the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, but there's jazz everywhere, and Carville promises that 150 bands will play this weekend.

The architecture is unique, and the museums are great, too. Not far from the Convention Center, where the NFL Experience is located, is the Warehouse District. The Ogden Museum, Civil War Museum and World War II Museum are there.

For children, there's the Aquarium of the Americas near the Mississippi. Take a street car tour of the lovely Garden District with its stately homes and Audubon Park where the Manning brothers played as children.

Archie & Olivia Manning have long lived in the Garden District, and their house has become a tourist attraction, too. Archie has capitalized on his fame in his adopted city by opening a restaurant that bears his name in Harrah's Casino, which is a few blocks away from the French Quarter.

If you have a flight, hotel room and ticket, it will be a great time provided you don't answer a famous question on Bourbon Street. "I'll bet you five dollars I can tell you where you got your shoes?" The answer is: "You got your shoes on Bourbon Street right here in New Orleans."

Safe travels.

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