Our first stint becoming digital nomads this year involved a long, slow road trip from Montreal down to New Orleans over the course of six months. We said goodbye to New Orleans last week, closing out our first phase of nomad life last week. (The next six-month stint? Europe!)
Leaving New Orleans made me sadder and more nostalgic than I’d expected — especially for leaving our Bywater neighborhood and home. I’d settled in and felt more at home there than any other place we’ve temporarily ‘lived’ so far.
Since we left, we’ve driven 20+ hours and across 10 states to visit family and friends in the NYC area for the holidays. But the nostalgia remains. So I thought I’d share the place we called home (for a little while) with you. Check out our favorite Bywater watering holes and a little photo tour of our neighborhood.
Where to Eat and Drink in the Bywater
We spent our weekends exploring all New Orleans had to offer. During the work weeks, we stayed local. And for good reason! Bywater had tons of charming, low-key restaurants and bars dotting corners across the neighborhood. Here are some of our favorites, if you ever happen to visit:
- Bacchanal: Wine bar meets jazz club meets beer garden. Our go-to neighborhood hang.
- The Joint: A low-key BBQ spot with hearty food. Think fatty brisket, mac and cheese, pecan pie…
- Elizabeth’s: Across the street from our apartment, Elizabeth’s offers a classic Southern brunch.
- Pizza Delicious: This hipster spot tweaks familiar recipes. Favorites included a caesar salad with pickled red onions and pizza with spicy cherry peppers and artichokes.
- Red’s: A Southern-meets-Chinese restaurant by Mission Chinese alumnus. Kung Pao Pastrami was a highlight.
- Markey’s: A low-key dive bar perfect for one last nightcap.
- Satsuma: Our favorite Bywater cafe and, most weeks, our makeshift office.
- Suis Generis: Fois. Gras. Tacos. TACOS! An unassuming brunch spot that also does Taco Thursdays.
- Country Club: A converted NOLA home, complete with a pool, that’s great for a cocktail — or drag brunch on the weekends.
My Bywater, a Photo Tour
Bywater is quirky, colorful, lively… with some creepy details to add some verve, which we found was typical of New Orleans. Homes that we’d assumed had decorated for Halloween seemed to be that way all year round. My favorite was the stuffed dog watching over Piety Street, right next to Pizza Delicious.
I loved the Bywater homes. They weren’t as grand as those in the French Quarter and less mansion-y than those in the Garden District. But they were colorful and quirky and unique, while also looking entirely New Orleans.
Everywhere we went in the neighborhood, we saw more and more color.
Our little street felt like a rainbow; each home was a different color. It was shaded by an oak tree that took up half the block, nudging up against homes across the street. Our home had its own courtyard overflowing with plant life. The neighbors — and neighborhood cats — always stopped to say ‘hello.’
New Orleans feels like nowhere else I’ve seen in the U.S. We loved calling it home for six weeks. Now on to our next home, for a little while: Split, Croatia!