I've been busy this week with work and hanging out - a most involved N'awlins pastime. My sister-in-law, Jen was in town for a few days. Thursday night we went to Micks, an Irish bar in Mid-city, and played ping pong and poker. Friday we went to Fat Harry's to hear James Rivers play funk bagpipes again. Saturday I was working but Dazza and Jen walked to the Quarter and had Coops fabulous Jambalaya and sampled the various musical offerings on Frenchman street.
The best night was last night. Jen and I had spent the day wandering Magazine street in the sunshine. There aren't many places open on a Sunday in this town being predominantly Roman Catholic. But we found a great place for salads - Ignatius. I had a muffuletta salad - the filling from the traditional N'awlins muffuletta sandwich but on salad. We polished off a half bottle of white wine and wandered home.
Once Dazza got home from work we went to the Quarter, to Frenchman to hear Dave Anderson and Dave Easely at The Spotted Cat. I had an interesting encounter with "Dr Love", an old African-American gentleman adorned with pens, wrist watches, a stethoscope and a big multicoloured straw hat. He was missing more than a few teeth and had had more than a few drinks. But his crazy "barking" was intriguing and I succeeded in engaging him in conversation. The subject turned, as is so often the case, to Katrina. He told me that he had been through the Vietnam war and two marriages but the worst experience of his life was Katrina, and he shed a few sad tears. Then he perked up, realising he was late for a party, barked and moved on.
We then went to Coops for some more jambalaya. There was a wait and we chatted with the tourists waiting for their first bite of Coops wonderful food. We finally got a table and ordered. We had told Jen about how fabulous the Bloody Marys are at Coops so she ordered one for us all to sample. But Jen and I agreed that our general mood was more inclined towards the "Jazz Rum Punch". So we asked our server (the servers in Coops are great guys - with plenty of dry, witty comments for their tipsy clientele), what was special about the Jazz Rum Punch. He replied "Well, its Jazz Fest, so we called it Jazz Rum Punch, but its really just our normal Rum Punch". It was good rum punch!!
Our food took quite a while to arrive - the place was packed. But the rum punch helped pass the time and lubricate conversation. The food was worth the wait and we were all umming and ahhing in satisfaction. After we finished we decided to go back to the DBA on Frenchman. Upon leaving there was an unsavoury character who seemed to want to tag along so Jen and our friend, Bill ran - full pelt - down Decature street to get away from him. Dazza and I were somewhat confused but met up with them up a side street. Then out of the darkness appeared a rickshaw and the young man pedalling asked if Jen and I would like a ride. We said yes and were whisked away through the streets of the Viuex Carre to the DBA. We realised neither of us had any money having given it all to Dazza so we hoped to meet him at the DBA. By some miracle we did and we paid him and thanked him for whisking us off with his rickshaw and conversation. (the photo above is from google - its not us)
And then we went home.
We agreed this morning that last night was like living in a Garcia Marquez novel or being a character in the movie "Big Fish". I am always surprised in ways I could never have predicted in this town. It is a Parallel Universe where Magic is Reality and you never know which path you will find yourself on or where it will lead.