Friday – April 18th
‘Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without’ – Confucius
I was up early at 8 and went and had breakfast at a little Café on Toulouse. It is a block from the Maison Dupuy, the hotel that Brain Wise’s tour group will stay at when they arrive next week.
I ordered a semi-healthy grilled cheese sandwich. My mistake, I should have known better as bacon is mandatory, you have to stipulate to ‘hold the pig’. No matter the sandwich came with a small bowl of fresh fruit salad so I did somewhat good.
I was going to wait until close to the end of my trip to have a shopping splurge. Oh well, what the heck. I got back to the apartment with 4 pair of jeans, new shoes and a cap.
I am sitting out on the balcony with William and Mickey when two ladies stopped to chat to William. They are from Baltimore and William lived in that city for a few years so he is able talk about various local hangouts. One of the women then said it is nice to talk to friendly gay men! Mickey and I looked at each other in surprise but said nothing. Guess when you live in an apartment at the Gay end of town and you have disco balls hanging from the rafters then an assumption of one’s sexual preferences could be incurred.
Around 3ish I went down to the marker for a bite to eat. I have a big night/morning ahead of me and I need some sustenance to get me through. There is a new food vendor in the market ‘Meals from the Heart Café’, a healthy take out option. They guarantee there is no pork on their menu. I ordered the Crab Cake Passion with salad and a bottle of coconut water. I may even come back for breakfast one morning for the oatmeal and walnuts special.
Back to the apartment to rest up until I go and meet up with Bob and Pat at 8P.M. Joy oh joy I have found the Major League Baseball channel on the T.V.
Around 7 I managed to get Skype fired up and got through to the girls at home. The time in Melbourne is 9AM Saturday morning. Wendy had to go and wake the girls up.
I started out for Iggy’s bar at 7:45, the meeting place for Bob and Pat. The walk takes me down Burgundy (this is pronounced not as it reads). The first time I took this walk I got lost and Bob was concerned when I was late arriving, that I may have gone into an area that was not safe. Well this time I know where I was going and I GOT LOST. A young girl and a guy on a bike must have seen I was confused and stopped to point me in the right direction. She said herself (in my defence) that this area of the Marigny known as the triangle is confusing even for locals. In fact I was only a very short distance from where I was supposed to be.
I got to the bar just after 8 and Bob and Pat greeted me like the friends we are. Even the bar-lady said ‘welcome back’. Iggy’s is a neighborhood bar and I am the only ‘out of Towner’. I even ran into a guy I met at he Spotted Cat last Monday. I was introduced to a number of the locals. One guy who has a bed and breakfast asked me if I knew of Peter Beattie (ex Queensland Premier) who he had shred a Bloody Mary with a few weeks back. Sitting on the bar is a split-screen T.V. Monitor which has views of the bar, a little pool room and a street view. Another guy who Bob and Pat knew real well told me a few stories about the Iggy’s. He told a hilarious tale of the bar being held-up and the perpetrator went behind the bar and ripped out the T.V. monitor I mentioned so as his image could not be viewed. He is seen on footage walking across the street with the monitor under his arm! Another not so funny story was that there was a shooting out front of the bar a week before I got into town. He did add that I was not to worry as the people involved in the shooting had not been drinking at Iggy’s. Add to that the story of a fatal shooting last year out the front. This time it was after a local funeral where there had been an altercation. The guy in the fight had left the funeral and was drinking in the bar. The other guy in the fight waited until he left the bar and shot him dead on the street. As Kerri Simpson told me before I left, ‘New Orleans can be a bad-assed town and you should never let your guard down.’
We left the bar around 11:30 and headed to Deja Vu. This bar is in the Quarter on Dauphine. Again I have been here before. I am hoping that a barman by the name of Eric is working tonight. I promised him some vegemite last year and I have a tube to give him. Eric is working behind the bar and he is happy to see me and my gift. Bob told me he was at this bar a few weeks ago and there was an older guy sitting nearby not looking to good. Eric though we was about to throw-up and was getting ready to ask him to leave. He fell off his stool. An ambulance was called and he was carted off. News came through that he had died of a heart-attack. Hmm that is a bit scary. More beer was consumed and then we head to another bar called Jimmy White’s a bar that has gone down in history as the only bar that never closed during and after Hurricane Katrina. Wesley is behind the jump and says ‘welcome back Aussie’ by this time I am getting a little wobbly. At 2:45 I wrote (scrawled) in my journal ‘I am now officially pissed’. Bob and Wesley attested to the fact by signing the said entry. I think I got back to the apartment around 4A.M. I know I had a great time catching up with good friends. But as to most of the details. Let me say they are a little sketchy.