The last couple of days have been full of pleasant and unplanned interactions with our new neighbor, Jennifer. It is fun to run into friends everywhere you go.

A successful errands and chores day. I started by going to the hardware store to buy lamp hardware and ended up at Envie for coffee. I rode the bus to Walmart, a positive because I’m learning the public transit system, and a negative because….Walmart. The big box stores just suck the energy right out of me.

I did find what I was looking for, curtains and kitchen canisters, as well as space saver bags and small fans for the packing up process. I found a floor lamp for the living room which looks OK but lacks in quality. A placeholder. I decided against temporary storage stuff for the bathroom, saving that project for the fall.

I had red beans at Buffa’s, and talked to a couple of guys in their 70s who live uptown and in Metairie but who take the bus into our neighborhood for entertainment. There was some of the usual OWG stuff, like “when the NOPD commanded respect things were better”, just a hair away from “people knew their place”, but also one of the New Orleans standard conversations about landmark bars and spots that ain’t there no more. Entertaining, and interesting because one of the guys was a life-long New Orleanian, but the other two had moved to town at about my age barely pre-Katrina. There is hope.

I walked back to the hardware store and the dry cleaner(what a concept) where I picked up the comforter from the cleaners and walked it back. I spent the afternoon installing shades and curtains, and caulked the top of the window where the trim is warping. Another fall project.

The last of Alaska boxes came with kitchen knives and a Cubs hat. I am now feeling much more complete. I have ordered dishes and some nice pans, and the kitchen will be basically set after they arrive. I am pleased that I am hitting the goal of having a comfortable place to land by the time I leave for the season, and now have space to budget and shop to upgrade some of the thrift store style stuff we have going on. I would like to do higher quality over the next few years, but this will be good for now.

I went out to Frenchmen Street, and was eating a very good curry at 13 when my new neighbor, Jennifer, walked in with Alice. We had a nice talk, and I walked back listening to the street brass band and stopped for a few songs by Funk Monkey at dba.

Day 34

I went to Envie for coffee after an hour of rolling around in the park, and again ran into Jennifer. It seems we are running in the same circles. I walked up to the Roberts grocery store and puttered around the house, fixing the garage sale lamp and organizing the kitchen.

I wandered through the Quarter to the Goorin Brothers hat shop and saw Alice, and she invited me to read her blog, which I am looking forward to. She is a beautiful and outgoing young woman who works in a specialty mechanic shop in the morning and the hat shop in the afternoon. An interesting combination of interests and skills.

I had my hat steamed and reshaped. Much better. I sat at the bar at the Napoleon House and had a muffuletta salad. I headed over to Johnny White’s and watched the last three innnings of a Cubs spring training game with the Cub fan bartender amid the craziness that is Bourbon Street.

I met Sue at MRB, and we walked to see her friend Greg, H.G. Breland, play at the House of Blues. He was part of a singer-songwriter showcase in the Foundation Room, a kind of clubby semi-private room above the main venue. It was very fancy, with expensive drinks and a lot of rich people. It was definitely a different crowd than the folks I see in the other clubs around town, notably for the surgical enhancements and fancy but not costume clothes. A lot of people, myself included, dress to go out in New Orleans, but usually to a theme or style. These folks just spent money.

Each performer had a small group of supporters. One of the women played keyboards and sang, and had about 20 fans/family in the bar. She was really bad, not just not to my taste, but plain awful. It was like open mike night at the Moose. This was clearly a vanity project, and hard to listen to.

The other three in the set were much better, and Greg was very good, singing original songs in the old school Jerry Jeff genre, whatever they call that these days. I suppose that it is something to be a working and traveling musician, but this guy’s talent far exceeds his fame and fortune. A throwback.

I stopped in Buffa’s for a bowl of soup and talked to some neighborhood folks, mostly about important issues like St. Patrick’s day plans and the proper way to wear a hat.

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