A Semi-Tropical City

On Sunday it hit 84 degrees, and it felt good. I wandered around town, a little off-kilter from the time change, dressed in my Puerto Rican tropical best, with loose slacks and a guayabera topped with a Panama hat. Those guys know how if you can’t wander around half-naked, although it is New Orleans so I suppose that is not really out of the question. I had a good conversation with a new neighbor, Caroline, at Harry’s Corner, and then made some groceries at Roberts. I did enjoy the air conditioning for a brief break, and then went over to Cecile’s, hoping for an update on her family problems, but missed her there. I walked down Royal, and back up Bourbon. It is a strange crowd. The locals are hiding for the most part in this lull between Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, but there were a couple of cruise ships in town and it is the beginning of Spring Break season so there are gaggles of barely legal kids stretching their limits mixing with sincerely perplexed cruise shippers.

Rosalie and her crew of friends met me for a drink at the Bar Tonique. It was great to see them, mostly familiar from the wedding, and all great people. They had been tearing up Bywater and Uptown, and taking advantage of the weather to get some pool time. Rosalie recommended a restaurant, N-7, in the Bywater. On the list!

Monday continued in the mid-eighties, which I enjoy about as much as the geckos do, but I sweat more. I haven’t seen the little lizards in months, and on the hot days they are everywhere basking on the sidewalks and walls. They are fun to watch, and theoretically eat lots of bugs that aren’t as entertaining or friendly as they are. I took a walk in the afternoon through the Bywater and then along Crescent Park, enjoying the heat and sunshine as well as the cool breeze off the river.

I finally saw Aurora Nealand for a set at the Maison. It is not my favorite venue, a little awkward because they are complying with the city rules that it has to be a restaurant that also plays music instead of a bar that serves food. This means that the bulk of the place is diners at small tables who talk to each other instead of listening to the music or dancing, which makes for a noisy spot. Despite that, I wedged myself in at the bar and listened to her old time music band, singing and playing music from the 1850s through the 1920s. She has a great voice for this style of music, and the band does not have a weak player. It was good to finally get a chance to see her after several dry runs this month.

I ran into Chris Seker at the R Bar on the way home, and he was lined up for a haircut and a shot. It is good to see the neighborhood returning to a normal level of weird after Mardi Gras. Somehow I don’t think the health inspector would approve of that particular combination, but it is kind of fun to see a barber set up her shop in the front room of a bar.

Getting some serious color in my tattoo tomorrow, and then it is on to St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It looks like a big three day event, starting Friday evening at Mollies in the Quarter, Saturday in the Irish Channel, and back to the Marigny on Sunday. Is green dye in beer or Irish whiskey more toxic?

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