Christmas at the Greenhouse

And the crud hangs on. I’m good for a couple of hours and a nap, with inappropriate sweating as I try to fight this thing off.

I took the streetcar over to the other side of the Quarter, and walked around Lee Circle, minus Lee, to the WWII museum for Christmas shopping. I stayed in the gift shop, thinking that the museum itself deserves a lot of time, especially if you pay $25 to get in. It’s not my favorite kind of museum, AV interpretations of history I know well in parts and am very familiar with overall. I’m probably not their audience, but some of the detailed exhibits about the Louisiana boat building appeal. In any case, I got a nice gift for Larry that I hope is appreciated, and walked back into the Quarter. After a brief stop at the Chart Room, I continued on and ducked into the New Orleans Collection gift shop. They always have intriguing and fun things in the shop, and one day when I’m feeling it I will have to spend some time in the museum itself.

I continued on my tour, and walked by Manolito’s, open earlier than I expected, and with an open stool at the five-seat bar. Casey made me a Floridita, with the flavors the same as the one I have made with top-shelf rum and maraschino liqueur(now a staple in the liquor cabinet), but using almost snow-cone ground ice. It makes for a whole different drink, and there is no wonder it was popular in Havana in the summer. The whole menu of drinks looks spectacular, and I got to watch a couple of thrown drinks put together. The bar itself is tiny, and a group of bartenders from high end joints on their way to a holiday party stopped in. It got loud, but it was fun energy. There was a guy at the bar, Charles Cox, retired from Anchorage to a lakefront house(on Lake Charles?) who comes into the Quarter every few days for a meal. Alaskans everywhere talk fishing, and he described the fishing along the lake as small shallow-draft fishing, always having to keep a weather eye out, and great ocean fishing requiring a lot of boat to get to. It sounds familiar.

On Saturday, Susie kidnapped me for breakfast at Buffa’s and a trip to the garden store. It was good to expand my horizons a little bit outside walking distance. Harold’s is a local greenhouse that is almost magical, filled with healthy plants that only work in midsummer in Alaska. Susie had a Santa hat and Christmas sweater on as she shopped for pansies. We went to Lowe’s and bought a truck load of dirt which we brought back to the courtyard and spread out. 10 40 pound bags of dirt just disappeared into the swamp Hopefully it will help as time goes on.

I walked through the Quarter to a House of Voodoo garage sale. It was a little disappointing, as I was not in the market for Ann Rice books or dvd collections. I was hoping for magical coffins or gargoyles or something, I guess. The hardware store was all out of non-electric holiday decorations, so it was kind of a bust of a trip.

I made it out to Frenchmen Street for one set at dba from the Tin Men. The band is about ten pieces, playing fun 20s style jazz. It is not my favorite genre, but they do it well, mixing old songs and originals in the same style. The best part of the show is the dancers-local swing dancers come out to dance(very well). There are obviously trained twenty and thirty-somethings dancing athletically, many in costume, and several old timers, apparently north of 80 and dressed up to dance, dancing in the style of their youth. The younger dancers showed the older folks great respect.

I walked the art markets but nothing bit. A woman selling vintage clothing wanted to buy the vest off my back, but it was a little too cold to give it up. I stopped in for a nightcap at the R-bar before the crazy crowd arrived.

I’m off to try to catch up with a second line on St. Claude.

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