Weekend

I walked through the Quarter to the hardware store, seeing Katie Leese selling art in Jackson Square on the way. I went to Mary’s and then home to pick up a piece of fish to give her. The storm had broken and the tourists were out in force. I wound my way through the Quarter, re-acquainting myself with the sights and smells. It is a good place to be.

I delivered the smoked salmon, but Katie was busy selling( a good thing) so we didn’t have time to chat. I went to the drugstore for more stuff-it seems like, even with a fully furnished place, that you are always missing something silly, this time a micro sized screwdriver to replace the battery in a thermometer. I was dragging my haul back, trying an alternate route home, and was flagged down by Vince and Tayja from the third floor balcony of the Four Points. They rent out a couple of rooms with balconies overlooking Bourbon Street for Halloween. I walked up and had a nice conversation with the neighbors for a little while, enjoying the not too crazy early afternoon vibe on the street. They planned on partying on the balcony all night, and invited me back for the evening show as long as I was properly costumed. They were definitely in the pirate theme, with Tayja overflowing her wench outfit and Vince rocking a pair of high boots.

On the way home I stopped at Ellen’s porch for a few minutes of the LSU game(you gotta do what you gotta do) and got to watch James, the neighborhood chef, put together a keto-friendly gumbo on a convection plate on a folding chair on the porch while watching football. He was using fresh okra, no roux(apparently too many carbs in the flour?), andouille, chicken, the trinity, and Ro-tel tomatoes, one small can. He was able to control the heat well with the convection plate, simmering things the way he wanted. I tasted it before it cooked down for the four hours before party time, and it was just about right, although I haven’t met too many gumbos I didn’t like. The fun part for me was watching go together in the absence of a kitchen. Apparently I have been overthinking the whole thing.

The main event was the Touro Street costume party at Jill’s house. Everyone was in costume, and Gypsy was particularly impressed with the energy that came from my deer spine walking stick. It was good to connect with the Touro Street Irregulars and to meet some new folks, but it not a great aid to the memory to have everyone in costume and some people adopting the persona of their outfits on the first weekend back in the city. There was great food, red beans and rice, gumbo, sandwiches and lots of cookies. It didn’t help I walked through the Quarter to the hardware store, seeing Katie Leese selling art in Jackson Square on the way. I went to Mary’s and then home to pick up a piece of fish to give her. The storm had broken and the tourists were out in force. I wound my way through the Quarter, re-acquainting myself with the sights and smells. It is a good place to be.

I delivered the smoked salmon, but Katie was busy selling( a good thing) so we didn’t have time to chat. I went to the drugstore for more stuff-it seems like, even with a fully furnished place, that you are always missing something silly, this time a micro sized screwdriver to replace the battery in a thermometer. I was dragging my haul back, trying an alternate route home, and was flagged down by Vince and Tayja from the third floor balcony of the Four Points. They rent out a couple of rooms with balconies overlooking Bourbon Street for Halloween. I walked up and had a nice conversation with the neighbors for a little while, enjoying the not too crazy early afternoon vibe on the street. They planned on partying on the balcony all night, and invited me back for the evening show as long as I was properly costumed. They were definitely in the pirate theme, with Tayja overflowing her wench outfit and Vince rocking a pair of high boots.

On the way home I stopped at Ellen’s porch for a few minutes of the LSU game(you gotta do what you gotta do) and got to watch James, the neighborhood chef, put together a keto-friendly gumbo on a convection plate on a folding chair on the porch while watching football. He was using fresh okra, no roux(apparently too many carbs in the flour?), andouille, chicken, the trinity, and Ro-tel tomato’s, one small can. He was able to control the heat well with the convection plate, simmering things the way he wanted. I tasted it before it cooked down for the four hours before party time, and it was just about right, although I haven’t met too many gumbos I didn’t like. The fun part for me was watching go tether in the absence of a kitchen. Apparently I have been overthinking the whole thing.

The main event of the evening was the Touro Street costume party at Jill’s house. Everyone was in costume, and Gypsy was particularly impressed with the energy that came from my deer spine walking stick. It was good to connect with the Touro Street Irregulars and to meet some new folks, but it not a great aid to the memory to have everyone in costume and some people adopting the persona of their outfits on my first weekend back in the city. There was great food, red beans and rice, gumbo, sandwiches and lots of cookies. It didn’t help much to soak up the whiskey, but it was a valiant effort.

I took a walk down Bourbon Street with Seker, who had a performative kind of costume, a blazer labeled “Fake News” and a microphone. He mock-interviewed people, recording 30 seconds at a time. Surprisingly, he only got punched once. The crowd was a bit much at 10PM on Bourbon, wall to wall people, and the balcony had been abandoned. I went up and knocked, but it was a swing and a miss on the balcony party. After getting separated a couple of times in the crowd, Seker and I made it back to the Touro Street party to be chastised for not drinking enough of the liquor. I made it home to find that someone had tried to jimmy the gate lock, apparently unsuccessfully, and to run into Vince and Tayja who had given up on the balcony in favor of the Dungeon( a new one for me) but were also out of steam around midnight.

Sundays in New Orleans mean Saints football, and I was given the chair of honor on Ellen’s porch, right in front of the television, because the usual occupant was at the Dome for the game. One of Ellen’s or Judy’s nieces brought over a Doberman, which politely greeted everyone seated on the porch, and then set up shop in the living room of the side hall shotgun house. No one got past her to bathroom or the refrigerator without permission from her owner. Nobody got bit, but she was in full on stiff legged, hair raised, low growling protecting her space mode. There was no misinterpreting the communication, and it interesting to see how differently different dog breeds are wired. I can’t imagine a border collie doing that.

The Saints won big, and the food left over from the Halloween party was as good the second day. Jill’s friend Jenna showed up at halftime, a large woman in a little gold sequined dress, and hooted and hollered for a solid two hours. Everybody walking down the street got a full share of Who Dat, or perhaps a little more than they wanted.

I left after the game to walk to the store, fix the gate lock, and get a nap in before the World Series. I returned to Touro Street to find the party still going, 24 hours by my count, with football game number three on the tube and a slightly different cast of characters rooting loudly, mostly against the Packers. I am not sure football was the main attraction. Miss Jenna was gone, but I was still being chastised for not helping with the oversupply of hard liquor.

This was not a bad first weekend back, although I have not been out for live music other than street music here and there, but with more social interaction than months in Craig, most of it good. And Halloween isn’t until Thursday…

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