Well, she must have been a good witch. After bumping into the scary looking woman at Envie, I had a great New Orleans day. She occupied the bathroom at Envie, so I walked down to Checkpoint Charlies for a beer and bathroom break after coffee and before I continued on my mission for the day. There was a young woman, fashionably dressed in a vertically color blocked jumpsuit, with a shaved head. She was sitting at the bar with perfect, almost feline, posture. She visibly perked up, almost purring, every time someone looked her way, and we talked about Mardi Gras plans. I don’t know what kind of drugs she was on, but they were the happy ones.
I walked through the Marigny by a little different route than usual, up Frenchmen to Chartres, passing the Friendly Bar, Cake, and Cru along the way. I went around the back of the Muses Den and through Architect’s Alley, seeing the woodworkers and artists doing their thing, some making original furniture and others restoring doors and panels. This was the route to one of the first Airbnbs we stayed in as we explored the city, but a little out of my normal routes through the city.
I went into the Muses Costuming Center to get some gold sequined tape. I ordered some white basketball shorts to go along with my white jacket for the Mardi Gras costume, but they will definitively need to be improved with sequins. I avoided the temptation to buy any bigger pieces or more bling than I can put together in a few days, but there were some tempting partial costumes, like multi colored /satin tunics from float riders outfits from years past. The shop was as busy as I have seen it, with three women in there putting material together for costumes, laying out fabric and measuring. It is good time of year to be in New Orleans.
I went into the Mardi Gras Supermarket in the same building, and bought three dozen bead necklaces to give out as I walk on Saturday. I feel like I graduated, buying beads in bulk for the first time. I have not been saving the beads I collected the last few years, but this is a good reason to keep a collection—to reuse them as I become more participatory in the parades.
I went from there to Mimi’s with lunch in mind after seeing the tapas come out of the kitchen a couple of times after having eaten. The chef, Heath, does a “chef’s choice” daily, a non-announced special. He just brings out what he has the best ingredients to cook. Last week I saw steamed mussels, and today he made lamb chop lollipops, small portions of lamb chop still on the bone, over tomato water with smoked pecan salt and fresh garden bitter greens to garnish. They took a while because he was smoking the salt to order. They were a treat, and not what you expect in a dive bar.
I got into a conversation with a guy who lives in a “camp” down by the river and raises exotic animals, like water buffalo and alligators along with more common animals like pigs and horses. He said he has been hunting wild boar from his porch, and had photos of a red tailed hawk that had raided his barn and got injured, so they took care of it and released it. He described himself as a plumber, but showed some pictures of his place which made him look more like a Saudi prince. He talked about his German stein collection and was drinking beer out of a pewter tankard which he said was an old English one. He must be a pretty good plumber. I had to leave when he started expounding on the conspiracy that is holding Donald Trump back, but he was an interesting guy for the most part.
I got a call from the frame shop, and walked into the Quarter. I picked up the framed Cubs “breaking the curse” newspaper article, and stopped at Johnny White’s to get Mardi Gras advice from the bartender there who marches with Nyx and a couple of other krewes. From there, I went to Harry’s and talked with Tom Roby, the chef from Tujague’s, for a bit. Apparently they are having to rebuild the electrical system entirely at the new building, so the move has been put off until August. Good news for those of us in the lower Quarter.
I went to the Tayho for mofongo, which I watched Lauren prepare with a mortar and pestle from plantains, and it was topped with ropa vieja, a slow cooked pork specialty. So far, Tayho has an excellent burger, great mofongo when you are in the mood, and they specialize in a shrimp po-boy which I will have to try next time. It is excellent bar food.
I stopped home to drop off and hang the new art, and then went to dba to listen to Jon Cleary play solo piano for a set. He was warming up for Mardi Gras, playing some of the classics and hitting the boogie woogie piano hard.
If this was a cursed day, I’ll take it.