A full month, and a great weekend in the city


A solid month in the Chez Marigny. It has been a good month, working on furnishing and outfitting our little condo, and wandering about the city.

Today I walked to the Envie. I chatted as I walked down the street with a woman pushing a stroller on her way to Antoine’s for brunch, perfectly turned out in a dress and heels. I talked about the jazz show, and she said she had never seen him although she has lived in the city her whole life.

I walked to a garage sale in the Bywater and picked up a cool metal lamp and an iron. I was assured the lamp worked, but the switch fell apart in my hand when i turned it on. I saw the bulb come on, but then it quit, and I had the exposed switch in my hand. A decision on repair comes later. I walked by Cecile’s, and she gifted me three throw pillows and a king size comforter. Lauren helped me walk the stuff back, and we passed a couple with a “free” table. I picked up a couple of promotional CDs from WWOZ, some drumsticks for the music room, a coffee table jazz book, and a used calculator like the ones Deanna’s kids use. A good garage sale day!

As I was headed out to say hi to Cecile, I saw the FedEx truck pull up, and the IKEA underbed storage was on the truck. I spent the afternoon putting together the furniture, which was mostly a success. I bubbled one corner of veneer, but fairly successful with everything glued tight and solid.

Sue and Kristen invited me to share pizza in the courtyard, and I showed off some Alaska pictures on request. We talked about the St. Patrick’s Day schedule, and how the parades seemed to be spread out this year.

I decided to take a walk into the Quarter for a change, and ran into the Italian American parade on Royal Street by happenstance. I watched at the corner for a bit and then, trying to escape the parade crowd, walked up to Bourbon, where the parade had looped over. I sat at Johnny White’s Hole in the Wall, watching the parade and the “normal” traffic on Bourbon Street from a barstool in a window that opened on to the street. Luckily, I got to see the Muff-a-lottas dance group, definitely the highlight of a New Orleans parade for me.

It was fun talking to the bartender at Johnny White’s, who was wearing a green “Irish True” t-shirt, and who had nothing kind or unamusing to say about the Italian’s attempt to one up the St. Patrick’s day parades and parties. I took it as friendly rivalry, and a reason to make jokes at someone else’s expense, but everyone in the bar looked like they would be comfortable in Dublin.

Day 32

A seriously rainy morning and afternoon, and I put off adventuring on public transit in favor of Ubering to the Pelicans game. A lot drier, but it did put me there a half hour before the gates opened, sheltering under an overpass to the Super Dome with the rest of the time impaired and wet people.

The crowd was not nearly as merchandised up as the baseball crowds, and seemingly less enthusiastic about just being at the stadium. I think there is just something magic for me about the baseball experience that can’t be replicated. In any case, I had great seats in the first row of the upper deck with some good basketball fans. I enjoy connecting with knowledgeable local fans to get the inside scoop.

The 610 Stompers performed at a break-“Ordinary men doing unusual things”. They are a group of dancers who dress in 1970s coach shorts, tall socks and sateen jackets, accessorized with sweatbands. They are of all shapes and sizes, and perform dance troupe moves as if they were the 20 something cheerleaders. I’m glad to have caught them. Wendell Pierce was at the game, but I only saw him on the video board.

The basketball was oddly easier to understand than I find the game to be on television. If I ignored all the video boards that constantly cut between live action and a 10 second delay, I could watch like I do the high school games, seeing the plays develop and come to fruition, with a lot better execution. I may become a basketball fan yet, and am reaping unanticipated rewards from a lot of seat time at the Craig High School gym.

I walked back through the CBD and the Quarter, assisted in my navigation by a small second line. I love joining a second line for a couple of songs on your way home. I’m confident that is a NOLA only experience. The Quarter was packed with a lot of family groups in all of the restaurants, and sidewalks jammed with people. The Napoleon House had a line out the door, but I was able to find a seat at the oyster bar at the Crescent City Brewpub. A half dozen oysters with some smooth jazz hit the spot.

I continued on to Buffa’s to hear Steve Pastorius and have an appetizer, Steve was playing a kind of honky tonk/Django jazz to a crowd of overflow from the Quarter restaurants who just plain weren’t interested-a large family with kids, a group of bros on their phones, and a bride’s party who were instructing the bartender how to pour shots made with vodka, green hot sauce, and chased with a salted lemon. Mean Dad almost came out: “Stop acting like children!” But the realization hit that they are…

I came home to be invited up to Sue’s porch. She was entertaining Greg, a singer-songwriter who is in town for gigs at the House of Blues. He has played with Guy Clark and lives in Nashville, but tours the West Coast and Midwest regularly and plays a couple of shows a month in the city. He noodled on his guitar as we chatted and told stories. He comped us into his show on Tuesday, and I am looking forward to a good experience.

I talked with Kristen about watching the place over the summer and doing the turnover for guests. She walked with me through the place and pointed out that the baseboards and trim was new, and that she had thoroughly cleaned the place twice before we moved in. Between friendly neighbors and paying her to look in on it, I am feeling more confident about walking away for the summer.

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