It was a nice day, one of the first legit 70 degree sunny days in a while. I had to go back to the medical center to finish off the piss test, so I ubered uptown. I was able to follow the directions this time, so got the sample sent in.
I decided to walk down St. Charles, starting at Louisiana, with a vague goal of lunch at the Blind Pelican and the option of catching the streetcar if I got tired of walking. The whole vibe of the St. Charles corridor is more up-scale and less funky than the Marigny. There are fewer businesses and bars, and more people in business attire and fancy cars. Many of the houses are beautiful, surrounded by beautiful lawns and landscaping, but vaguely sterile. It is definitely more Winnetka than Wrigleyville, still New Orleans but a bit sanitized. I did see some of the condo buildings that have had real estate listings, and recognize that we lucked out in our condo. I think you would definitely need a car to get around if you were in this part of town, and that would really change the whole experience. It is the main parade route, and the party would come to you a few days out of the year, perhaps more than you want.
I stopped a couple of blocks short of the Blind Pelican at the Avenue Pub, another of New Orleans’ renowned dive bars. It was grungy, enough so that I did not order food after a peek in the kitchen, but had something like 50 beers on tap, focusing on local Southern breweries. I had a Southern Drawl from the brewery I had visited with Larry in Shreveport several years back. There were a couple of hammered guys visiting from Chicago who were telling “growing up in Bridgeport” stories. Southsiders are different.
I walked to the Blind Pelican, but the oysters were not being served until later in the afternoon so I kept on walking. I stopped at a high end consignment furniture store, Heirloom Furniture. They have a rotating stock, and discount the prices 10% a week until the itms sell. They had some interesting pieces, but nothing perfect this time. It is a place to keep on the list. They had some interesting larger art pieces, mostly framed prints.
I walked to the Quarter, and stopped at the Chart Room for a half hour or so. Jerry was there, minus the gorilla suit, but still loudly talking to everyone who walked in. The afternoon bartender was distracted and upset, talking with the day bartender at the end of the bar while dealing with the early Friday Happy Hour crowd. About half the patrons of the bar were out on the street, having pulled furniture from the bar on to the sidewalk. Tracy, the day bartender, had told her that the police were going to come and shut the place down if she did not clear the sidewalk. She was tearing her hair out, “what am I supposed to do with all these people? They won’t fit in the bar, and won’t come in if I ask.” She was carrying on like this for about fifteen minutes before Tracy told her it was a joke. It was one of the better practical jokes I have seen, and she rolled with it, but the payback will come. I will listen for that story.
I walked down Bourbon Street which was as crowded as I have seen it in a while for something called Pardi Gras. One of the groups of bars on the street, Tropical Isle, puts on a Jimmy Buffett festival without calling it a Jimmy Buffett festival. The streets were full of boomers in Hawaiian shirts, Jimmy Buffett concert t-shirts and other assorted parrot head gear. The street performers brought their birds out for photos and tips, and the bar bands were playing Buffett covers. I sat and watched the crowd for a bit. After I saw the same groups about three times, it was time to go.
I meandered to Buffa’s for a sandwich, ordering a patty melt at the bar, and then home for a nap before heading out to the Allways Club on St. Claude for a burlesque show. The MC and guitar player was a guy I met last year bartending at the club on lower Frenchmen near the fire station. It was a guitar/bass duo playing blues, a couple of women dancing and not quite taking all their clothes off, and a performing dog. It was a self-consciously hipper and younger crowd than some of the venues I have been to, and the performers were intentionally off-beat. It would be fun to go again for this show, but I’ll skip the “jock strap and lube wrestling” that is tomorrow’s featured entertainment.
And I logged 20,000 steps.