What’s not to like about the Esplanade Ridge/City Park/Bayou St. John/Mid City area? You’ve got lots of cool old craftsman houses, loads of gigantic oaks, weird Hare Krishnas, and lots of great FREE stuff to do.
So… the other day my buddy John and I went out paddling on Bayou St. John(as is our custom).
The water, as you can see, was as smooth as glass. This added alot to the chill excursion. If you’ve never kayaked before – it’s easy – and BSJ is one of the easiest places to do it. Unless you have a crazy wind that you’ll have to paddle against, there is no current, no chop, and the paddling is near effortless.
The only challenging part is passing underneath the many bridges that cross the bayou. Depending on the water level this can be easy:
Or it can be kinda difficult and scary:
Most of them aren’t that bad. More like this – oh and don’t forget the pigeons that congregate beneath these bridges:
Those dirty bastards are everywhere as well as nutria, large fishing birds, turtles, and jumping mullet. The mullet will leap 3 or 4 times out of the water, cacthing up to five feet of air. I have no idea what they’re going for, but they’re great to watch.
So the bad news is, to my knowledge, there is not a canoe or kayak rental place in New Orleans anymore(let me know if I’m wrong). There was a place that rented bikes and kayaks called Laid Back Tours, but I called them and the number was long disconnected.
The cool thing about BUYING a kayak or canoe is that you’ll always have a low-cost, green, fun activity to do. I know what you’re saying, “I don’t have the space for a canoe in my tiny apartment!” That’s the great thing about BSJ. There are these little mooring stations by the Cabrini Bridge that have steel rings you can use to chain up your boat! Since there is no current or waves – leave that thing floating in the water.
Imagine how cool you would be if you brought a date to the bayou and she/he thought you were just going to look at the water. Then you take it to the next level with a nice paddle and a bottle of wine. Damn!