Today I got a call from the frame shop that our bathroom print was ready to be picked up. I walked through the Quarter with my camera in the early afternoon, looking for the different light angles created by the buildings. I made it to the Brilliant on Orleans Street, and walked with the wrapped package and my camera. I stopped at the Arcadia bookstore, wall to wall with stacks of good New Orleans history, cooking, and music books. I don’t think I have ever seen a “Teach Yourself Cajun” language book before. I bought just one, “The World That Made New Orleans” by Nick Sublette. I just read his latest, a history of New Orleans music, and was impressed by his casual writing style with rigorous attention to detail and sourcing.
I continued through the Quarter, taking a few photos, and came upon a street band playing in front of Rouse’s on Royal in the sun. I took a couple of photos, including one that I am excited about. The sax player, Anthony Chapman, was lit up with the band behind him. He is a black man with a Monk-style goatee, facial tats, dark glasses and a white sports coat. I tipped the band, and introduced myself to him, told him that I thought I captured a good image, and asked his permission to keep it. This caught him off guard, and he asked what difference it would make if he said no. I told him I was an honest guy, and would delete it if he didn’t want me to have it. He took his sunglasses off and stared at me like I was from Mars, and after an uncomfortable pause, said “If you are pleased with the image, use it.” I told him my name, and got his, and went on my way. An interesting interaction that I am still processing-did I do something so far out of the ordinary for a tourist that it threw him for a loop? Or perhaps he was just out of it.
I stopped at Frank’s and had half a muffuletta in the sun on the balcony, watching the Decatur Street traffic. This is one of my favorite sandwiches ever. Just the right amount of olive oil and olive salad to balance the meats and cheeses, with lightly toasted fresh bread.
I walked Frenchmen in the evening, sitting for a few songs from Bywater Skanks at Rare Form, with a crowd of three. It is odd how there are lines out the door a block away for similar music, but people won’t venture half a block off the beaten path. Gator Balls in crawfish cream sauce at Buffa’s to close the day.