The house was termite tented and bombed, and I had to vacate for an evening. So far it is going well with no more than the usual New Orleans friction—the contractor showing up a couple of hours late, not being clear on what to do with keys, and the 24 hour security guy determining that the best use of his time was napping in his truck.
Events all over town, including the St. Patrick’s Day parades and block parties, were cancelled, and service industry friends are stressing about making it through the summer without this bump of cash. Big conventions and festivals are being cancelled for the Spring and even summer. It’s two weeks since Mardi Gras, when a million people, maybe two million, flooded the city and people who participated actively shared food, drinks, drugs, and hugs(among other physical activity for the adventurous) with many people they met while costumed scantily and playing recklessly. I’m not a big hugger, and estimate I hugged 200 friends, acquaintances, or strangers. A real hugger might have hit the 500 mark during the weekend, and it is hard to imagine a better disease incubator. In a normal year, many locals pick up the “Quarter crud” right after Mardi Gras due to the increased contact with people and the lowering of immune systems, and hopefully the corona virus was not super common in this year’s crowd or they will have to wall off the city.
Deanna and the girls have cancelled their travel plans based on the uncertainty of the safety of travel and government response, and at least in Deanna’s case, medical advice. It is a disappointment, but also the right thing to do.
I breakfasted with the last of the night people at Buffa’s, and then an hour at Envie. I walked the Quarter, and watched a couple of sparrows bathing in a puddle, fluttering away when a group walked past and fluttering back just as soon as they passed. I sat for a bit with Puge at Mollies and was the recipient of one too many free drinks as liquor distributors made their rounds with samples for the bartenders. Chris Seker met me there, apparently fully recovered from his stroke, and we went over to Tayho for lunch. I had their shrimp po-boy, a good but kind of standard version. I think the key is the bread and the remoulade, and if we can reproduce the crusty bread we could do this at home.
I checked into the Chateau on Chartres, an old fashioned hotel definitely on the run down side, but clean and quiet for the Quarter. I walked by the house for photos, and saw the security guard sound asleep in his truck. That was an encouraging sign. Crime is a problem in the neighborhood, but we have had no direct crimes in our building. It does just take one guy with a plan to change all that, but I am not really very concerned.
I met Caroline, one of the organizers of the Tales of the Cocktail conference, at the Rbar, and showed her the Happy Hour webpage. She was impressed by the idea and the content. She invited me to the conference, but I’ll wait to see if she comps it. Unlikely. Seker and Tebo came by and we chatted for a bit. I walked a subdued Bourbon Street, and had a sandwich at Manolito’s with a crowd of all locals before heading back to the hotel. I hope the tenting and aftermath go smoothly and I can start rebuilding the house this afternoon, although there is less urgency now that travel has been cancelled.