Grant and I fly to New Orleans early Saturday morning. It is exciting to be at the game because Colin Kaepernick either will or will not start — I sure think he will — and there will be so much at stake and so much drama on the field. ┬áIt is a privilege to cover a game like this.

From a personal standpoint, I’m taking Grant to New Orleans and he’s never been there. “I don’t know what to expect,” he told me. I told him just wait and see. We’re having dinner at Commander’s Palace. I always ate there with Ira Miller, so this is an homage to the old days. But it’s also a unique, one-in-a-million restaurant, so I’m also going there for the food.

Commander’s is in the Garden District, but I’ll also take Grant for a walk in the French Quarter.

I consider New Orleans one of the three great road trips in America. They are, in no particular order, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans.

Other excellent road trips: Seattle, Chicago, Boston.

Good road trips: San Diego, St. Louis — if you limit yourself to the Central West End.

A not so hot road trip: Houston.

I may have written a similar post in the past and ranked the cities differently. I can’t remember. This is how I feel today.

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  1. Dr. Feelgood

    Your road trip cities are right on the money. I consider New Orleans to be our Sister City
    Haven’t been to Boston yet- need to.
    Surprised about St.Louis, Good for baseball however.

    November 23rd, 2012 9:00 am

  2. Steve

    Good morning Lowell, hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Agree with many of your selections, although I’ve never been too keen on either Boston or Seattle. St. Louis I don’t like at all, but will defer to your personal preference. I’m surprised you didn’t include Dallas; I’ve been there a few times and find it to be a surprisingly delightful place – good restaurants, friendly people, lots to do. Granted the landscape is pretty boring… I haven’t been to New Orleans since Katrina, so I’ll look forward to anything you have to say about your non-football related experiences there.

    November 23rd, 2012 9:02 am

  3. KauaiRobert

    How’s the food at the Super Dome?
    Do you rate stadium food?

    November 23rd, 2012 10:16 am

  4. Nancy R

    Lowell is right on the money in lauding the Central West End section of St. Louis. I grew up there. It is the site of the 1904 Worlds Fair, where most of the stunning monuments are preserved. There is verdant and tree filled Forest Park, charming old streets and homes, and yummy, eclectic restaurants. The Central West End has a European feel to it. Forget the rest of St. Louis, parts of which can be lovely but are not unique, except perhaps the waterfront and the Arch which is pretty cool. So pleased St. Louis made your list Lowell!!! Chez Balaban awaits you and Grant when you make your road trip!!!

    November 23rd, 2012 10:23 am

  5. CohnZohn

    KauaiRobert, I don’t actually eat stadium food. I eat the stuff they provide in the press box, which is usually awful.

    November 23rd, 2012 10:24 am

  6. CohnZohn

    Nancy R, I have eaten at Balaban lots of times. I introduced the Niners’ beat writers and a few columnists to it. Ostler and Maiocco and Dan Brown and Matt Barrows have come there with me. I believe it closed for a while but is up and running again. I love the Central West End and when I’m in St. Louis and have time I walk the streets and go to the bookstores and the restaurants. It truly is a great American neighborhood.

    November 23rd, 2012 10:53 am

  7. Nancy R

    Yes, I love the Central West End…how lucky I was to grow up there with Forest Park as my playground…Balabans was a regular hang out when I was in my twenties. A date got multiple kudoes for taking me to Chez Balaban, especially if we sat in the cafe part next to the sidewalk……An old, leafy, cobblestoned- street neighborhood nourishes one’s soul…I lived two doors down from Sara Teasdale’s house on Kingsbury Place…..by the way a some St. Louis Cardinals players live in the Central West End as you probably know….

    November 23rd, 2012 1:36 pm

  8. Arizona Niner Fan

    I agree sir, Your top cities are exacly congruent with my own choices. Tell Grant I envy him. A persons first trip to New Oeleans and his first meal at Commanders Palace are experiences he will recall the rest of his life. Safe Travels

    November 23rd, 2012 7:51 pm

  9. CohnZohn

    Thanks, Arizona Niner fan

    November 23rd, 2012 7:57 pm

  10. Rap49er

    Loved the French Quarter for many years but the last two times there for Niner games, very disappointed. It’s filthy with an inch or two of slime on the street. Too many drunks puking on the street.

    Still fun, just wear old shoes because you’ll throw them out when you get back.

    November 24th, 2012 7:41 am

  11. Stan

    …and another thing Jim,lose about 20 pounds because you run like a girl. Those old arthritic knees of yours aren’t happy.

    He said we could make sport of him. So I combined truth and sport.

    November 24th, 2012 1:48 pm

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