Sailing Log, part 2

We left Francis Bay and rounded St. John, getting a good look at Norman Island and the BVI chain, already thinking about planning the next adventure. We geared up for diving, intending to stop at Eagle Shoals if the weather was good and there was a mooring ball back in place. We dove this years ago, and it is a coral head with a hollowed out cavern that looks like a cathedral, with light streaming in through the multicolored corals. We hoped to get some better photographs this time. The sea state was perfect, but there was no mooring ball. We moved on to Ram’s Head, a distinctive rock formation with great structure. We had 100 foot plus visibility, and Tim was successful in a lobster hunt. He saw a “German shepherd-sized” lobster in a hole, but we could not tickle him out.

We anchored in Coral Bay on St. John. This is the small community on the less developed side of the island. We could see an eco-tour resort that had occupied one hillside and was completely destroyed. It had been a glamping destination, with floored tents and gourmet catering, drawing wealthy folks who wanted hiking and swimming instead of shopping. It was a good economic development idea cut short by the hurricanes. The rest of town was still under active reconstruction, and there were derelict boats at anchor in the harbor and abandoned boats in the trees lining the bay. One diver was salvaging sheets of roofing material from the harbor, perhaps for a project or for re-sale. Even two years later, the power of the hurricane and the inadequacy of recovery efforts were sobering. They had rebuilt the grocery store, and we were able to fill in the gaps in the larder. We got rid of some garbage and walked down to the best hamburger joint in the islands-Skinny Legs. Our feisty bartender, a young woman, had been recently elected representative to the USVI Congress. We stuck around for trivia night, and were soundly defeated by the locals. A great day.

We tucked around the corner early to Great Lameshur Bay, another national park anchorage, and probably my favorite(so far) in the islands. It is a perfect moorage field with a sunset view and protection from swell, lined by swimmable beaches interrupted by rocky structure swarming with immature reef fish, and deep enough that big critters like turtles, rays, and barracuda venture close. It is the site of the NOAA Sealab research project of the 1970s, which I remember clearly from the coverage in the National Geographic. On this day, there were only three boats moored.

The dive site is a short skiff ride from the mooring field, and has great granite cliffs and valleys, usually a thrill ride because of surge from ocean swell. There was no swell and minimal surge, and the visibility was unlimited. We could see coral fields forever, and each little bit of reef was covered with life. I took advantage of the good conditions, and swam the coast back to the Voyager I. Open ocean swimming is one of the great things about this trip, and something I train for year round. Swimming without a bottom or a wall, concentrating on body position and breathing, smooth and relaxed while covering distance, allows me to appreciate the good coaching I have received over the last few years.

We woke to a sliver of a new moon, and slipped our mooring for St. Croix before dawn. It was flat calm, and, unusually, we could see the outline of St. Croix and Buck Island on the horizon. We had a nice mellow trip under motor, fishing for mahi-mahi as we went. We were joined by a pod of four dolphins mid-passage, and two of them stayed with the boat for twenty minutes, surfing the bow wave. I had never had the opportunity to watch this from so close for so long, and got to see the animals relax and use the power of the boat to push them forward as they expended little effort, and work the wave just like human surfer would, finding the sweet spot, losing it and making a small adjustment to find it again. They rolled to get a look at me as they surfed, and then just flicked a tail and were gone.

The conditions were so good that we made better time than we thought and were on the Butler Bay wreck field before we thought was likely. St. Croix is famous for clear blue water, and the day was perfect to see it. The water appears to be the color of a Bombay gin bottle and just as clear. We tied off to the shallowest of the wrecks, and could see it clearly through forty feet of water. We dove our first wrecks of the trip, swimming all three of the shallow wrecks before anchoring for the night at Rainbow Beach.

Sailing Log, part 1

It was a great trip aboard the Voyager I with Dave, Bill, and Tim. We dove every day we could, with Bob and Bill logging 11 dives and the other guys adding impressively to their dive resumes. We had a couple of good sailing days, traveling from Puerto Rico to St. John to St. Croix, and worked the St. Croix dive sites the best we could. We saw some great wrecks and structure, and some big animals, including dolphins checking us out at 40’ deep and a trio of reef sharks at 90’ plus. We were impressed by the improvements to boat life that solar panels and refrigeration make, and had some great meals afloat and ashore. We were happy to see the islands recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, but depressed to see how much damage had been done and how far people have yet to go.

Dave and I met in San Juan and had a great meal at the beach bar Al Alambique. It was my one and only shot at mofongo and it was a good one. We were at a four-top and were joined by two other couples throughout the evening for conversation. This made the 5AM wake up as Tim arrived to join us impossible, and we left him rotting on the vine for an hour or two before we were awake enough to answer his call. We both appreciate his patience. After a walk on the Isla Verde beach in the morning we made for Culebra.

We flew to Culebra on a nice day, crammed into an Islander with all our dive gear and a couple from New York who seemed never to have been in a small plane before. The approach to the Culebra airstrip requires a flight over Flamenco Beach, a low-altitude pass through a mountainous valley and a 90 degree turn as you you come out of the valley. This is exciting even for practiced flyers in the best of conditions, and and reminiscent of adventure travel in Alaska. This time, we could see a squall line moving through the valley as we approached the larger of the hills, and rain splattered the windshield. The front wall of the squall hit the plane as we were about 800 feet up and 300 feet above the trees, causing the plane to roll and lose all lift. The pilot had his hand on the throttle and revved up through the 90 degree turn, coming square to the runway seconds before we landed when the back wall of the squall hit, causing another tilt of about 30 degrees. I was sitting next to Tim, both of us Alaska flyers accustomed to letting the pilot fly the plane and trusting them to get it done, and we were giggling and grinning, not used to pulling g’s in a commuter plane. The New Yorkers were frozen in fear, and may never fly again.

We had a great lunch at the Dinghy Dock, rebuilt after being reduced to a shell by the hurricanes, and we happy to see the huge tarpon still enthused about feeding on scraps from the restaurant. We broke a record for spending money provisioning at the Colmada Milka, spending over $500 to provision the boat and re-stock, or over-stock, the liquor cabinet.

We moved on to Bill’s Buoy in the back of Dakiti Bay, and prepped for our dive. We dove the reef out front, swimming through the gap and working the reef back. The warm water and good visibility are always pleasantly shocking, and the low surf action meant there water was not too aerated and the sand wasn’t stirred up. Tim succeeded in catching and keeping a big lobster, and as we were hunting for more, we had a pair of dolphins approach us under water at 40 feet. They swam by, turned back at us, swam by again, and slowly swam away. They were apparently curious, tilting their eyes at us to get a better look. It was a first underwater close dolphin experience for all of us, and quite a thrill.

Lobster means dinner, and we cobbled together a lobster etouffee before departing the next morning for Culebrita. We stopped briefly to check out one of the best beaches in the world, but the fresh water on the boat started drawing bees. Bill said his prior experience was that they would swarm to the water, so we decided to make it a sailing day, moving all the way across to St. Thomas, down the north coast, and along St. John to Francis Bay. we could clearly see the BVI across the channel, with Jost van Dyke and Tortola calling our names. We resisted the impulse to change plans drastically, and moored in the National Park. This is one of the great parks, and there were very few boats there. We saw very little sailboat traffic where in years past we saw nothing but sails and crowded anchorages. It was refreshing to be out of the crowds of inexperienced charter captains and their groups, but a little depressing to see that the BVI/USVI fleet has not really recovered. I snorkeled the beach, being tailed by a 6 foot plus barracuda, and saw the biggest turtle I have ever seen. He was at least 6 feet long and 4 wide, covered with sea life including three remoras. The remoras were as long as my arm and were feeding on the algae on her shell.

‘Tit Rex

What a great way to be welcomed back to New Orleans!

After a great dive trip with Bill and the boys, I was exhausted from the sun, the relative sleep deprivation, a big nitrogen load, the unusual physical activity of clambering around the the boats, too much rum, and more intense social interaction than usual with four guys on a 44 footer for a couple of weeks. It will take a few days just to get my land legs back.

My flight was delayed by a couple of hours, putting me into New Orleans a little after midnight on Krewe du Vieux parade night. People were still out at 1AM in the neighborhood in costume, all looking a little worse for wear. I just didn’t have enough energy to join the party late and called it a day. Next year!

Sunday I woke up to a very rare 80 degree and sunny day and it felt great-I flew 1500 miles and found the St. Croix weather. I did have to scrounge around for a pair of clean pair of shorts, but it was fun seeing a perfect summery day. I walked around town running errands and it was like a switch had been turned on. It is now Carnival! The bars and restaurants are full, everyone has glitter stuck on them, the streets are full of tourists, and every third or fourth person is in costume or is wearing some kind of bling, like a Marie Antoinette wig or Marvin the Martian antennae. The street greeting is now “Happy Mardi Gras”.

I had lunch with neighbors in the courtyard, just enjoying the weather as I did laundry and epoxied the sole back on a flip-flop that had not survived the salt water experience. I walked into the French Quarter in an unsuccessful quest for a replacement pair(flip flops seem essential at 80 degrees) and sat at Harry’s Corner for a beer. Kristen showed up, and I said I was on my way to ‘tit Rex. ‘Tit Rex is the tiny float parade(petit) and mocking the big Rex parade on Mardi Gras day, and is pronounced in Cajun fashion T-Rex. She joined me, and we walked into the Marigny. She directed us to Siberia on St. Claude, the end point of the parade.

Siberia is a late night joint that caters to a younger late night crowd with rock and punk music. I had not been there before, and Kristen, who manages a po-boy shop, goes there for the sandwiches. They do Russian and Polish food quite well. I had a goat cheese and mushroom blini and pierogis, and would go again for the food. I will make a point to stay up for the late show and head that way one night. A little bit of an edge, but a good one. I was wearing a Fat Stan’s t-shirt from Ketchikan, and was approached by a woman from Ketchikan who now lives in the Marigny and does art. She did the half-time thing for a few years, and we know a lot of the same people. I have seen her art in Ray Troll’s gallery, and a little around town. We made plans to get coffee later in the week.

We decided not to wait on the parade, and started walking the parade route backwards until we ran into the parade. As we walked, stopping now and again in the bigger pockets of crowd, looking down the street. One 50-ish woman, impeccably dressed and made up like she was going to church, looked at Kristen and said “I’m not looking at your tits, I’m just trying to read your shirt.” There’s a conversation starter right there. She pointed at the bar across the street, and advised us not to do more than one of the champagne bongs there, or you might start commenting on other people’s anatomy.

We continued on, finding the parade on Mandeville. It was great fun, with three non-traditional brass bands, playing Beastie Boys(You gotta fight…for your right…to PARTY) and Nirvana as they marched. The floats were politically funny and they were handing out tiny throws-my favorites were a bottle cap decorated like an old fashioned cameo brooch and a ten page hand drawn comic book as big as my thumbnail.

I wandered by Touro Street on my way home and got sucked into the Touro Street Vortex. Chris and Cecile were on the porch entertaining their guests, a couple from Canada who clearly felt like being in New Orleans was a little much. I am confident they would have felt a lot more comfortable watching hockey than being shocked by the very mild debauchery of the Tebo porch. They looked trapped, and were absolutely not interested in recommendations for food or music. ‘Tit Rex was still rolling four blocks away, and “oh, no, we couldn’t possibly do that.” Apparently the New Orleans gene missed them clean.

Cecile got called out for an officer involved shooting, and Chris and I went to the R-Bar where he played pool and we chatted. Cecile just bought a house in Bay St. Louis, on the beach about an hour away from NOLA, and her plan is to go down for weekends with friends. It will be a lot of fun to join that party when the opportunity presents itself. It might be a good place to go if I am here when we have to tent the house for termites.

It was a great full day to be welcomed back to New Orleans, with friends, fun and good weather. I’ll work on a sailing log and photos over the next few days along with the house projects and getting oriented for the next week of Carnival. I might even have time to do some more sewing on King Tut.

Packed up and headed out

The Kids are rolling

Another successful pub crawl, this time on a Monday. I met with DU bro Brad Borman and his wife, Bianca, at the Carousel Bar, which never disappoints, and on to the Chart Room. We were joined by one of Bucky’s colleagues, and moved on to Frenchmen Street. We stopped in to Checkpoint Charlies, and then walked to dba where we caught a second line in honor of a musician. This was the first memorial second line I have found, with musicians just joining in, playing somber music past Washington Park where there had been a ceremony earlier, and breaking out into upbeat music later. We followed along as it went up Frenchmen and on to Burgundy, right past our building, and ended the night at Buffa’s.

I spent the day running errands and pre-packing for the Boys Trip. Without the dive gear, It would be one small carry-on, but with the dive gear it gets crazy.

I glued sequin ribbon on my dashiki, and it is starting to look properly blinged up. I put a couple of hours of sewing in on it to make it a little more durable. I’ll let it sit for the trip and decide if I need to do more when I get back. I have to remember the New Orleans rule: There is no such thing as too much.

It looks like Claiborne, our guide to Mardi Gras last year, will not be coming down, so I am without a Mardi Gras krewe or sub-krewe. I will hang out with the Touro Street folks at some point, but may try to catch up with the Krewe of Yes or the Krewe of Kosmic Debris as well. The local more formal krewes-Krewe Boheme and Krewe du Vieux-are open admission, with Boheme being newer and cheaper-are both rolling while I am south. I’m guessing there will be plenty of stuff going on, but It would be nice to have a theme to build a costume around.

I woke up to a cool morning-can’t really complain about 39 degrees, but that means it is 55 in the condo because I am too stubborn to turn on the heater at night. It is nice and warm in the sun. I went for a sandwich and a beer at Buffa’s and talked sports with some of the regulars for a bit. On my way home I ran into the “Roots” marching band of kids from the nearby neighborhoods running down Burgundy just past our house. It looked there were between 50 and 100 kids playing instruments. This is fun in itself, and cooler as it demonstrates that town is ramping up for Mardi Gras, and we will be in the heart of it.

On the way to the pool this morning, I saw a car on Kerlerec spray painted “Rapist.” I’m guessing a couple of people did not have a great night. At least it was not torched, I guess.

I’m all packed up for the dive trip, doing a load of laundry and trying to have a mellow day in preparation for the early flight tomorrow, and a change of pace from the urban routine to boat life with the Boys. I am nowhere near as stir crazy as I have been in years past, scratching a lot of social itches in NOLA, or nearly as pre-tanned. I have not been going to the fake and bake salon, and will be the whitest guy in the Virgin Islands. I’m looking forward to the trip regardless.

Costuming Begins

A start!

I had a good morning at the pool, and a wander across the Quarter to get a soap dish(again). I’m starting to develop some empathy for the kids at the pool who always seem to come home with one sock. I ran through the clothes store advertising 50% off Saints gear, but they were pretty much cleared out.

It was warm enough in the courtyard that I was able to sit out and eat lunch, and got to meet a potential new neighbor being shown Chris and Joanna’s place. I am glad to see that they are looking for renters instead of Airbnbing.

I took a walk through the Marigny to the Costume Shop next to the Mardi Gras Supermarket. It is the retail space at the front of the Muses float barn, and has a consignment section and a bunch of pieces and parts like feathers, belts, glitter, and makeup. I resisted for now a pink dress and a jester tunic, both of which would make interesting additions to the costume closet, but did get sone feathers to plume up my bowler hat and a couple of simple masks to decorate. I’m on the trail of a King Tut/African costume using the King Tut hat, a dashiki and either the black kilt or black shorts, and a black and gold glitter costume with the black and gold glitter jacket, bowler with feathers, mask, and a gold shirt, perhaps gold pants, perhaps black pants. I have yet to really find a Mardi Gras home or theme, so I’m hoping these will be adaptable into wherever I end up. I will be looking for a glue gun.

I stopped in Mimi’s on the way home, and confirmed the good craik. It is important to keep track of such things. I planned to walk the Quarter, visiting Susie at Johnnie White’s and having a good drink at Tujague’s, ending at dba for Aurora Nealand, but got a text fromChris to meet at the R Bar. I hung out with the Touro Street Irregulars as Chris and Lauren shot pool, and had their excellent street jambalaya. I didn’t make it to music, but it was probably the better part of valor.

I walked the Marigny in the morning, heading for a garage sale, but nothing jumped out. The size 12 Doc Martens with platform heels were definitely the best thing there, but unless I went back for the little pink dress I am not sure what to wear them with, or what messages I would be sending. It is good to be exploring the other neighborhoods, or our neighborhood the other way, being reminded that places like Mimi’s, the Friendly Bar, Cake Cafe, Feelings Cafe, and other fun spots are no farther than the crowds on Jackson Square or Bourbon Street.

After a quick stop at the hardware store, where I got the last hot glue gun in the place, apparently not the only person in town getting ready for Mardi Gras. I took the long way home, surfing the crowds on Bourbon Street. I ended up at Tujague’s, where Melissa kindly comped me an old fashioned. I was greeted as a friend at the bar by a guy I didn’t know who immediately started a better than usual bar conversation. Brian was from Toronto, escaping the cold with his wife and another couple. He asked a lot of questions about New Orleans, starting with the “why don’t they clean the place up and really make a killing?” After a short answer about killing the goose, he asked for a tour of the better places to go in town. I agreed, telling him that he would have to buy the drinks. That is a dangerous proposition with Canadians, as it turned to an endless stream of whiskey. I walked them down Decatur, stopping at a couple of the more interesting art galleries and the Balcony Music Club for a short set of good electric blues. I was able to answer their questions about history and geography, and to find some cool stuff. We ended up on Frenchmen Street at dba and the art market, when Brian’s endless stream of whiskey caught up with him, and they ubered home. It was a fun group to run into and hang around with for a couple of hours.

I went to an opening party of an exhibit at the art gallery across from the R Bar with Chris Seker. They had a three piece band and good food and free beer. It was crowded with locals, about a quarter of whom in costume, coming or going to some Mardi Gras festivities. It is surreal to be a little too drunk hanging around in a crowd of people in horse costumes.

Chris and I went out on Frenchmen Street the next day after a chore day of house cleaning and a little costume bling shopping-gold glitter makeup and sequins. He was stalking a friend, Jamie Ellis, a singer-songwriter with a great gravelly Janice-style voice, who was performing almost solo at the Royal Frenchmen, the fancy hotel on the corner. She was almost solo, because her boyfriend was tending bar, and providing percussion by shaking cocktails with ice. We also saw Dinosaurchestra at the Brasserie. It was a good venue for those guys, and it was good to see them somewhere other than dba. Chris was impressed that I knew the bands and musicians on the street. We ran into Eddie, a friend of Chris’s who is a NOPD guy. He was a little out of control, getting thrown out of the Royal Frenchmen for being rude to a woman. I didn’t see exactly what happened, but he was definitely 86ed. He reminded me of some of the cops I knew who got in trouble mid-career who learned the wrong lesson from a decade of police work-that the rules don’t apply to them. It’s true sometimes, like when you are driving a patrol car fast, but mostly the apparent lack of boundaries just means you are getting burned out and don’t see the signposts anymore.

Tonight I meet a fraternity brother, Brad “Bucky” Borman, for a drink at the Carousel Bar.

New Art

The crosstown march to the urgent care place in the rain worked fine, and the enrollment process was easier than expected. They didn’t blink at the insurance, not even requiring a co-pay, and they were able to pull portions of my medical record, like my medications list from somewhere. I’m guessing Aetna, but it is not clear. It would be nice to have better control of that somehow, but it is not worth the effort. The rubber thing was gone by the time I got there, having fallen out sometime. Slightly embarrassing and inconvenient, but it was good to get it checked out.

I decided to skip furniture shopping on St. Charles to avoid the long walk in the rain, and walked back through the quarter. There was a guy named Al at the Chart Room telling old time New Orleans stories, like searching for the best red beans in town. He ended up in the Bywater at Melvin’s(not sure if it is the same Melvin’s on St. Claude or not), and when he went in Melvin, all 350 pounds of him, was sitting out front talking with folks. Al sat down, and they told jokes for a while with no food forthcoming. A large woman came out from the kitchen with a long spoon in one hand and a chef’s knife in the other, saying “If you don’t get back in this kitchen, I’m gonna slice you open.” Melvin shrugged his shoulders, said “Women. What you gonna do?” and went back to work. Apparently good red beans at Melvin’s.

I talked with the good witch at the Hole in the Wall, who was making gris-gris for Mardi Gras. She said she takes the weekend off from the bar when she can find a substitute bartender, and works the parade route. She sets up with a couple of neighbors and sells drinks from their “spot” that they have maintained for the last decade or so. She says she will make $1000 a day there versus $400 a day in the bar on a busy weekend, and she can sell magic stuff on the side.

I had a good hamburger at Buffa’s, which took all the motivation to do anything else right out of me, but did get a a good start on a history of Jean Lafitte. It is kind of interesting to read a history based on a very slim historical record. The writer extrapolates from a few ledger entries in customs and immigration records and the broader history of the time, like the slave revolts in Saint Domingo, into chapters of speculation. Lafitte “may have” done this or that. I’m hoping there is more meat and potatoes later. It is also interesting to read the work of an unreformed Southerner-the slaves who revolted were “disgruntled”, not engaged in a fight against oppression. His other books include a biography of Jefferson Davis- “A man for his hour”-so I probably should not have been surprised.

Thursday was clear and cold for here, about 40 in the morning and warming up to 50, but sunny. I walked across the Quarter and the CBD to St. Charles Avenue and the Heirloom Furniture store. It is a consignment shop with flexible pricing based on how long stuff has been in the store. I sat in every chair in the place, and looked at a couple of armoires but nothing was perfect enough to replace what we have. I’ll keep looking, but I’m thinking the chair will have to be a new purchase. I’m not seeing anything pop up that is good looking, small enough for our space, and comfortable. People apparently hang on to their comfy chairs. A piece of art caught my eye, an original nude pastel sketch by a New Orleans-famous portrait artist, Tim Trapolin. That one made it to the bedroom wall.

I went out to dba for the Jon Cleary solo piano show. His first set was Dr. John/Professor Longhair style standards and some originals in the same style and down very well. The crowd was a mix of cruise shippers and conventioneers who weren’t quite buying in. The second set was a Carnival set-he said it was the first one of the season for him. He hit “Mardi Gras Mambo”, “Going to New Orleans”, “Iko-Iko”, and half a dozen more Carnival standards. The folks liked that a bit better.

The town is ramping up, with the first big parade weekend-Krewe Boheme and Krewe D’Vieux-February 15 and 16, and then Mardi Gras isn’t until March 5, with more shenanigans every day. I should get back from the Boy’s Trip and drop right into the whirlwind.

We wuz robbed, and other things we tell ourselves

It was game day, and I got invited to tag along with Team Touro. We went up to Turtle Bay, minus Ellen and her sister who had family business back in Lafayette. The place was packed, and we got the last seats in the place, upstairs, before it went SRO. You probably would have had to gotten there about 9 to get a seat in the main room. We shared the table with some old neighbors who moved all the way into the Bywater after they were in Houston for a couple of years after Katrina. Turtle Bay is a good place to watch a game, with a good kitchen to go along with the beer and whiskey that flows when the Saints play, although a little dangerous to be with a dozen friends, all of whom think they should buy rounds of fireball.

The Saints lost, amid much cheering and yelling, and the town went into a kind of negative Mardi Gras-everybody was out and carousing, but not happily. I heard that Bono was hanging out for a set at the Spotted Cat just after the game-I could have passed him on the street, but wasn’t paying close enough attention.

The narrative quickly slipped from “we let one slip through our fingers” to “we got robbed”. Winning days are more fun. I don’t like the fix that is being proposed to this particular bad call-more instant replay review. I would like to see video review eliminated from both baseball and football. It sure doesn’t add anything to the game for me, besides minutes between plays, and I am not sure it matters that they “get it right”. How much would the game be changed if they played like high school is now-the call is the call, and we play it like it was called. There are mistakes, but rarely are they one-sided. A baseball umpire’s bad strike zone is a bad strike zone for both sides, and a back judge’s odd interpretation of the pass interference rules affects both teams the same. I don’t think the commissioner will be calling me for advice.

Monday was a slow day after the long day Sunday, and I heard from Dave who got a job and will make the dive trip, a double win. I did make it out Tuesday to the pool and was able to run some errands, finding batteries for dive gear and starting to pack up the good stuff. I want to leave the fins out so I can continue to use them in the pool until I go. I walked down Frenchmen Street in the evening, and stopped in the Cafe Negril. I hadn’t been hanging out there much, usually getting stopped at dba or one of the other clubs before I got that far down the street. It is a reggae themed bar, with a huge mural of Bob Marley behind the stage and reggae colors throughout. A band called The Four Sidemen of the Apocalypse was playing, and they had two saxophone players sitting in for the first set. They were taking full advantage of the university trained saxophonists, playing Coltrane era be-bop. It was awfully good with all the horns, and the drummer was a Latin-style player who had a coach-style whistle between his teeth as he played, using it judiciously. I think that is the first time I have seen that, and it works. “Somebody blow the whistle….”

It is hard to beat Frenchmen Street on a mellow night, with a higher proportion of locals and music fans than on the big party nights. But Big Sam’s Funky Nation is at the Blue Nile Friday late…

And in the category of old people problems, the little rubber gasket in my hearing aid disappeared into my ear as I was taking it out, and I can’t get it out or to find it. An awfully silly reason to get introduced to the medical system in NOLA, but probably better to do it for something silly than when in pain or really sick. I will probably have more patience with the paperwork, and better to have a nurse with a light search for it than a barista with a bic lighter.