Perhaps three pub crawls in a week is not a good idea. Following the big game day, I ran into Tron at Envie, and walked with him back to the condo. Our neighbor’s realtor was hosting an open house, and Tron is looking for real estate. The place is not what he is looking for, but it is always good to check out the less obvious options. We started with Happy Hour at Buffa’s, through the R-Bar, over to the Spotted Cat to hear Meschiya Lake sing(wow) as the swing dancers worked, walked down Bourbon to visit the Erin Rose and the Dungeon, and back up Lower Decatur. Tron is a fun guy to be with, as he presents a distinctive appearance with long red-blond hair, a Viking beard, and an eye patch, and many people recognize him as we walk the streets. I ended up getting a tarot reading from a woman in Harry’s Corner, probably in no condition to be throwing the correct psychic vibes. In any case, this evening leaned too heavily towards whisky, and the next morning was a little slow.
I had barely recovered the next day when Seker texted to ask where the music was, and my desire to maintain friendships and see music overrode common sense. The Quarter was pleasantly quiet, and we had a drink at Manolito, celebrating a humid 75 degree evening in January with an excellent daiquiri. This was a little mellower, but Chris has less of an attention span for the music than I do, so we ended up in more clubs on Frenchmen than I had intended. I was at little distracted, with Deanna’s Mini quitting on her on her way home from work on a cold day, and texting back and forth about how to deal with it when the mechanics that talk to me about cars won’t talk to her about cars. The Apple Barrel was fun, with more old time music from Beardsley and his five piece band, and some of the same swing dancers from the Spotted Cat the night before, who i complimented and got a nice hug of recognition from a woman, an excellent dancer with a fashionably shaved head. We stopped for a partial set from Jamie Lynn Vessels, who just got her first set at Jazzfest. It is good in the New Orleans music world to be in the same festival as the big boys, a recognition that you have something good going on.
Friday was a more mellow day, starting with a good long swim followed by a walk along the river with a camera into the Bywater. It is fun to watch the boat traffic, with a couple of big tankers escorted by tugs maneuvering the tight turn right in front of town, and the birds carrying on as if the city didn’t exist. The diving ducks are amazing, because the water is opaque with a steady 2-3 knot current moving downstream and visible eddies at the surface moving at least twice that, compounded by wakes from the ships, and the large ducks are diving for 45 seconds or so and popping back up to do it again. I’ve seen birds in clear water, swimming as if flying and apparently navigating and hunting visually. I have no idea how these ducks were doing it.
I walked a zigzag through the Bywater, ending up at Mimi’s for a break. The chef was there, and several people at the bar were ordering tapas. He was doing great stuff-steamed mussels and well done meat pies with an etouffee. Definitely a place to put on the list for a happy hour time snack. I resisted the food temptation there in favor of a set of music and a fried oyster po-boy at Bamboula’s. I had heard the band before, younger University trained guys playing solid pre-modern jazz, and becoming one of my favorite groups on the street. I wandered home for a nap, and then out to the Rbar for the Friday evening dog convention. I’m a little amazed that people travel from around the city to hang out with their dogs at the Rbar, but it is fun to have dogs to visit, and not just the regulars. I cant really imagine a better place to socialize a dog, with lots of people, some other dogs, everyone tolerant and paying attention to them. And the guys cooking jambalaya outdoors don’t hurt a bit, with the dogs politely asking for scraps. I’m getting excited for crawfish season, just around the corner. It was a good day.
Envie was crazy in the morning, with lines out the door on a pleasant Saturday, and a second line promoting the Danny Barker music festival at the Mint came by. A brass band at 10 am can’t be wrong.