It was a good day to make groceries and run some errands. I made groceries at Robert’s, enjoying the walk across the neighborhood. I bought a couple of smaller saucepans, opting for the lowest end line of Cuisinart aluminum/stainless to fill in the gap under the 3 quart pot which was too big for many simple tasks. The kitchen may be complete. It was a big mail day, with three packages to tote back and unpack. The mustache clippers look a little scary with lots of room for error given recent experience.
I went to the geek fest at Buffa’s, watching the Mandolorian with Huggy and his followers. It is a pretty mellow way to pass an afternoon in a bar. The first season is over, and I’ll look forward to next year. One of the highlights was a thirty something woman who received a package at the bar and opened it to reveal green, gold, and purple sequined Chuck Taylors she had purchased from Etsy. She squealed like a 6 year old on Christmas morning, unpacked the box and immediately put them on. She climbed up on the bar and danced along the bar modeling the new kicks, still squealing. The enthusiasm was impressive for 5 in the afternoon, especially since she wasn’t one of the performers getting ready for the show in the back room.
The contrast with the couple sitting next to me was striking. They were 60ish, dressed conservatively, and reservedly friendly, doing the usual “where are you from” conversation-Minnesota. They pressed Huggy for recommendations on what to do in the city between now and Friday, and he was unusually(for him) helpful. I’ve heard him direct the wrong people to the Phoenix leather bar and into St. Claude, so it was refreshing I didn’t have to jump in to save anyone. He had a list of solid recommendations based on his impression of these folks, including Cafe du Monde, the WWII museum, a cemetery carriage tour, and Preservation Hall including the bars to wait in across the street and the need to bring cash. He also recommended a walk on Frenchmen Street and the Three Muses. They shut him down, saying they had to be back in the hotel by 6 for the Jeopardy Championships on TV all week, and will be eating room service. I suppose I don’t have any room to talk, watching Star Wars in a bar on a Tuesday night as the drag queens walked by to their gig, but I’m thinking these folks missed the point of visiting New Orleans entirely. I hope they have a good time.
I was a little sore from getting back in the pool, but it feels good to be back. I got a call that our “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans” sign was ready over on Magazine Street. I took the bus across town, and was pleasantly reminded of how easy it is to get to the lower end of the neighborhood, at least when there are no parades. It was not easy last St. Patrick’s Day. I walked by the flag store at Jackson and Magazine, and a Mardi Gras flag discounted to $15 from $45 caught my eye. Now we can fly the Carnival flag!
I met with Simon, who remembered me from last time, and we talked about his role as the King of the Jeanne d’Arc parade. He insisted we pose for a picture, and invited me back to the courtyard for his St. Patrick’s Day party. His shop backs up to the lawyer’s office parking lot where they did a big crawfish boil last year. The sign is gorgeous with lots of color, and will make a good addition to the living room art in Craig. As long as I was in the neighborhood, I decided to walk the sign over to Parasol’s for a roast beef poboy, as good as I remembered.
I Ubered back, not wanting to wrestle the package on the bus, and walked into the Quarter to pick up a package. Things were relatively quiet, with the football championship crowds not here yet. I stopped at Harry’s Corner on the way home, and sat a couple of seats down from a guy engaged in deep conversation with a regular, a 60-something year olds woman who was clearly entranced. He was a big athletic guy in his 30s, wearing a tank top in 65 degree weather which marked him as not from here, although he had a dog with him. True locals are wearing jackets. He switched his attention to me, using an apparent pickup line-“you look just like a friend of mine, only better looking”-and I changed the subject. A few minutes later, he said, apropos of nothing, that “tonight was going to be the greatest night of my life.”
A drunk or impaired, but friendly and energetic woman, fit, good looking and well dressed, made up to go out, demanded that I take photo of her with the big guy, and then that the bartender take a picture with me, insisting that with my mustache I had to be gay, and getting just a little too close for strangers in a bar when I told her I was not. “Didn’t I see Bohemian Rhapsody?” This is the denouement of the Mustache Massacre, a drunk woman in a bar insisting that I looked just like Freddy Mercury.
I made my escape as she challenged the muscle man to an arm wrestling contest. I’m guessing, or at least speculating, that those two were a couple working a grift that would end with someone with their pants off and their wallet gone. Or perhaps I just have no sense of adventure.