It was a warm day threatening rain, and I was still fighting the Quarter crud. After the bad family news from the Ferguson side and Cliff and Carol cancelling their trip, I was in a bit off a funk and walked through the Quarter. I made a reservation for the tenting day at the Chateau Hotel on Chartres, and walked up to Faulkner House books where I bought a biography of Huey Long.
I stopped in at Mollies, a little short on cash from an online banking snafu, and Puge stood me for a couple of Guinness. There were a couple of young women, Amber and Samantha, at the bar near me, fashionably dressed and made up. Amber was a beautiful slim black woman, very talkative with a breathy lisp, wearing a black shorts jumper. Samatha was a larger white woman, athletically built, wearing a designer sleeveless outfit that showed off her good ink. They were theater people, production folks for the visiting musical “Jersey Boys”. They were having an open, if perhaps exaggerated(I hope) conversation about men and sex. I didn’t have a lot to offer.
One of the performers in the show, an unnaturally good looking man with flamboyant mannerisms, came into the bar, and they left together after Amber bought the drinks, lending some credence to the idea that she was a producer or assistant in the production, but I’m not sure how to take the rest of the conversation from theater people. I had forgotten.
I cooked some pasta to go with the red sauce and peppers I had made a couple of weeks ago for a late lunch, and then went out to the Rbar, trying to get ahead of the predicted rain and thunderstorms. After a little bit outside with Heather and the doggie regulars, it started to rain hard, and I went inside to watch the pool league players. Seker was there, not playing, and I talked with a guy named Josh from New York. He was a thirty year old artist and musician working on a project and looking for music recommendations. I steered him to Frenchmen and the Spotted cat, and we had a good conversation about how hard the economy and making progress is for his generation. It is good to hear from people who are struggling despite obvious skills who aren’t in your immediate family.
Jennifer is back for a few days, and is not getting married in the courtyard, opting for a riverboat wedding, so I took advantage and weeded and raked. I promptly broke the big rake, snapping the handle. The southern climate seems to be hard on wood. It was good to be out in the sun doing something relatively productive.
My friend Chris had a stroke at work, and was treated quickly, one of the advantages of living in a city. He was put in ICU for constant monitoring for a day or two. It is scary stuff, but I appreciated being notified by friends—Jill texted me, and later called. Cecile was driving by the Rbar in the early evening, and stopped her car to come and sit with me for a bit. She seemed upbeat, still riding on the adrenaline rush of risk and the good news that immediately followed.
I took a short walk through the Quarter, noticing that the crowd has changed to a mix of cruise shippers and spring breakers, some clearly high school age and some families with children. it is a little change from the Mardi Gras mix. After an hour at the Rbar, I went over to Buffa’s where Boone was wearing an orange Illinois shirt and waned watching Illini basketball. I forgot how orange that is. I had a redfish po-boy, and then found a seat at the bar in the back room for two sets of music from Aurora Nealand and Tom McDermott. They were in a mellow mood playing to a subdued crowd, but it was good to get in to hear Aurora in good voice.
On the way home there was an electric heater or fireplace in the street that was modeled on a wood stove, funky handle and everything. I dragged it home, and plugged it in-the fireplace light show works, but the heater does not. I will play with it a little as a potential substitute for one of the heaters in our place, but won’t put a lot of effort into it. It may be something to look at as an upgrade sometime in the future. I apparently don’t spend enough time in big box home improvement stores to see these kind of cool things.
After determining that the heater was indeed junk, I walked to Mary’s to replace the rake. I am still tickled to walk through the French Quarter to run errands, in the same sense that I am tickled to walk through the Alaska woods or along the beach to exercise the dog. The Irish-American Walking Club had their annual St. Patrick’s Day Practice parade through the quarter from Irish pub to Irish pub. The story, as I understand it, is that all parades were banned from the Quarter proper sometime in the 1980s which bumped the walking Irish from their traditional Quarter route. They moved the official huge parade and party to the Irish Channel, centered on Tracey’s and Parasol’s, but scheduled an unapproved “practice” parade and pub crawl the week before on the original route. The city, rolling with the punches, now issues a permit for the practice parade through the Quarter, and the walking Irish have parades on consecutive weekends. Only in New Orleans.
After a break in the courtyard, I took a walk with my camera along the river and through the Quarter. I listened to Shawn Williams at Cafe Negril for part of a set and fought a large group of spring breakers to get a beer and the LED stage lights to try to get a photo. I’ve got some learning to do with artificial light, but patience serves with crowds of 21 year olds. It was a clear afternoon and evening, with a big bright moon over the rooftops, which was spectacular to look at if hard to photograph. I stopped in a couple of the usual spots, watching the afternoon crowds on Bourbon and Royal Streets, and ending up at the Rbar. I was joined by Team Touro for a little bit.
Seker got released in the early evening and showed up at the bar, apparently none the worse for wear, going directly from the ICU to the bar room. I hope his medical condition holds. I went home to cook some rice and chicken, and went out to see the Rebirth Brass Band late at dba. It was definitely not a local crowd, but not overly obnoxious. I did get to see some things you I don’t see at the early shows, like a man passing out on his feet at the bar and pitching face first into the floor. No knee crumple, just a face plant. The security guy was embarrassed for not seeing him sooner. In any case, it is a treat to see Rebirth in a small venue, and they were quite good, playing a mix of their familiar hits and more improvised stuff. 2AM is late for an old guy.