I made a small tactical error in deciding to take the long walk across the Quarter to the basketball game instead of the streetcar, but it worked out well. The mistake was not figuring in the heavy rain showers that were passing through and being too Alaskan to think an umbrella is ever a good idea. I walked out the door in a light drizzle, and by the time I walked a block it was pouring. I took shelter on a neighbor’s stoop, hoping not to get shot. The worst of it only lasted about ten minutes, and I worked my way under the balconies through the lower Quarter.
I checked in with Susie at Johnnie White’s to learn there is still no progress on the termite project. I guess we are going to alternate between panic and lethargy, neither my style, but I’m not driving this ship. The chances of the project getting done while I am out of town seem slim.
I headed for the Smoothie King Center, and it started to do the tropical rain thing again, so I ducked into the Chart Room to wait it out. There was a man in a full gorilla suit and a bag of cheap toys like you might give out at an eight year old’s birthday. He was blind drunk, growling at the men who passed by, and yelling, almost intelligibly in an odd high pitched voice , “my mate” at the women and giving them plastic toys. The Chart Room is in the Upper Quarter, surrounded by high dollar hotels and fancy restaurants, and some of the patrons were clearly dressed for dinner. A man in a gorilla suit in a bar on a Wednesday evening is disconcerting enough, but the howling was over the top. The bartender just rolled her eyes and asked him to be quiet a couple of dozen times, and finally gave him some sidewalk chalk that he had given her earlier. He happily started drawing on the table, and that mellowed the room right out.
The rain let up, and I made a dash for the arena. I had been exclusively in the Marigny, Bywater, Treme, and French Quarter so far this fall, and forgot that, once you cross over into the Central Business District, New Orleans starts to look and feel like any American city, with lots of cars honking, parking garages, security lobbies, and chain restaurants (all closed at 6:00). Is there anything grimmer than a closed Jamba Juice?
The basketball game was fun, although the constant cheerleading, electronic and otherwise, is not my favorite thing. The stadium was about half full, and the crowd was mostly local families. Anthony Davis, the Pelican’s star, had a great game, and it never seemed close, but there were several good plays. The athleticism is just fun to watch in real time and speed, and i like basketball much better in person than televised.
I stopped at Kajun Mike’s at the edge of the Quarter to break up the walk, not a lot of craik, but I have yet to try their food. Bourbon Street was subdued, but still Bourbon Street, and I had a drink at the Old Absinthe House, better than I had expected in atmosphere and quality. Keep it on the list. I even made it all the way home without getting caught in a downpour.