The Geek Squad

The cutlassing of the banana trees went well, and I filled three garbage cans with the two big trees. I left a little stump and a couple of smaller shoots, and I’m hoping they re-root and grow. The garden furniture appeared to survive the ordeal. Still in a horticultural mood after the big gardening project, I walked up to the Robert’s and bought a rosemary plant shaped like a Christmas tree. The mustache jewelry from the costume bag made for good ornaments. I’m not quite ready for the Santa hat, but maybe another week or so.

I took a long walk through the Quarter, and as I turned on to Royal Street at Dumaine I saw a walking parade with a brass band and a number of walkers from different krewes. I saw the Zulu Tramps in full regalia and several others I did not recognize. There was a producer-looking guy running up and down the street herding people, but I did not see the cameras. The marchers turned up St. Peter’s towards Bourbon, but I continued on. I walked a little further than usual and sat with three conventioneers at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon. They tried absinthe for the first time, and complained that it was not as smooth as Bud Light.

I walked back to Molly’s for a Guinness, and then on to Harry’s Corner. There were a couple of women from New York celebrating a birthday, and they quickly incorporated me into their rather ribald conversation. They had hired a guy to take them on a pub crawl, and he had taken them to the R-bar, Harry’s, and the Abbey was the next stop. I didn’t know that tour existed. They live in the city, but observed that the whole drinking on the street thing changed the picture and turned the town into a party.

I walked Frenchmen in search of a set of music and a sandwich, and found the Swinging Gypsies tuning up for their first set at Bamboula’s. I had a fried oyster Po-boy, one of the good ones. There was another tour guide, this time with an older couple and a shirt that said “Best Day Ever”. I’m guessing he is on the higher end, and the concierge-style tour would appeal to a lot of folks I know.

I went up to Buffa’s to listen to Antoine Diel, a singer accompanied by a pianist. He has a great voice, and was taking requests from the 70-something crowd who were interested in Sinatra and the 1950s songbook. It was a nice mellow end to the evening and a good New Orleans day.

Another disorienting day in New Orleans as I walked out my door to an 80 degree sunny morning in the courtyard, walked to the coffee shop, and when I walked out of Envie it was 60 degrees and windy. It felt cold, although I am sure my Alaskan friends would beg to differ.

I walked up Decatur to Canal, and back along Royal, stopping in the M.S. Rau gallery on the way. I saw only a part of the collection, spread over three floors. it is the first time I have been in a museum quality gallery, with lesser works from some of the masters like Picasso and Monet with price tags attached. The prices ranged from new car to house to lifetime income, with the small Picasso from the blue period topping the list at $2.5M. They displayed an interesting selection of furniture like an Italian strongbox with an elaborate locking mechanism, and a mechanically expanding round table with pie-shaped leaves to insert. I enjoyed the nautical large scale paintings of naval battles and sailing races. I try to imagine the person’s life who would walk in and actually shop in a place like this rather than just gawk. “I’ll take the matching Roman busts for $3M. Can you deliver?”

The highlight of the day was the pirated showing of The Mandolorian at Buffa’s. Huggy the bartender played all five episodes of the new Star Wars tv show to an enthusiastic group of adults at the bar, all cheering for “baby Yoda” to survive the explosions and gunfighting. One of the couples watching the show was decked out head to toe in Saints gear, including a Saints Santa hat worn by the man in his 60s with a full white Santa beard. He was a retired Air Force officer and forester who had gone to grad school at the University of Illinois in the late 70s. The Geek Squad will reconvene next Tuesday for Episode 6, same bat time, same bat channel.

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