Day Eighteen – 30th Wedding Anniversary

Blues Idiom Lesson Four – Cabbage – The blues are rife with food metaphors for genitalia. There’s cabbage, cake, jellyroll and pie for women, and bacon, hot dog, jellybean and lemon for men – Bessie Smith sang:

He boiled my first cabbage and he made it awful hot
When he put in the bacon it overflowed the pot

It is our 30th wedding anniversary today. Thunder storms are predicted for most of the day. I went on-line and booked tickets for tonights show as Snug Harbor (that’s how it is spelt) for the incredible Charmaine Neville.

The rain cleared a little which was good as Kate is booked in for her Tattoo at Electric Ladyland at noon. As usual we were early so we had a coffee at a real nice cafe. The menu looked so good that we ordered a late breakfast (b’fast at noon how very New Orleans) while Kate was getting her ink. A breakfast sandwich for Wendy and I being a little more adventurous ordered the ‘sweet southern breakfast,’ scrambled eggs, avocado, curried potato and pecan fig bread. Cara would be happy here as there are many tasty sounding vegetarian meals (very un New Orleans)
With our stomachs full and still some time to waste we headed a few doors down to the Louisiana Music Factory. I normally spend a week’s pay here on new C.D purchases. It was Wendy that cut loose. Tab Benoit and Glen David Andrews.

Kate is finished and we walked the ten minute journey to Sally Ann Glassman’s ‘Island Salvation of Botanica.’ If you have followed my previous adventures in New Orleans then you know that Sally Ann is a close friend of Kerri Simpson. ‘Sally Ann has been practising Vodou in New Orleans since 1977 and in 1995 became one of a few white Americans to have been ordained via the traditional Haitian initiation. ‘Island Salvation of Botanica’ as the name suggest is a botanica and art gallery with religious supplies, medicinal herbs and Haitian local art works.’ (Wikipedia)

We are carrying the latest Ska Vendors C.D. which Kerri has asked us to give to Sally Ann. In fact this is the third C.D. over three years that I have delivered. We are in luck as Sally Ann is in residence. I told her that I still carried my gris gris that she made and blessed for me three year ago. She said ‘how have you been,’ I replied ‘up and down.’ ‘Well,’ she told me, ‘without the gris gris, things would have been a lot worse.’ I gave her the C.D. and she was very thankful. She told us that she has built a shrine out front in honour of the legendary Vodou priestess Marie Laveau and that in the shrine is Kerri Simpson’s C.D. ‘Vodou Songs of the Spirits.’ I feel like I achieved something important carrying the album all the way from Australia. I am sure Kerri will be very pleased.

The rain has now cleared and we are seeing some blue sky for the first time since landing. Rain and now blue sky means it is going to get real steamy. We headed back to the French Market to let the girls look over the stalls. The French Market is no where near as big as Vic Market but the goods they sell (although touristy) are better that some of the crap that is infiltrating our own market. While the girls shopped I sat down with a cold drink and talked to an oyster shucker who was having a quick smoko. Being an oyster expert he told me, once he knew where I was from,’that apart form Louisiana the best oysters in the world are from Australia.’ I had to agree. He even talked about our yabbies and compared them to the crawfish that have just come into season.

We then went over to Cafe du Mond. I wanted to get Kate to try a Beignet (French doughnut)she seemed very impressed with this fried lump of dough covered in a mountain of icing sugar.

Took a leisurely stroll down Royal Street and this time we had time to have a look inside a few of the classy antique shops and art galleries. Kate has found a chandelier she likes at 50% off. That is 50% off $22,000. One art gallery has some very impressive large (very large) 3D type paintings of super heroes. The Batman is in the front window and I must admit it looked very cool. I went in to get a price. $15,500! We went into a vintage memorabilia  store. I have spotted a Jimi Hendrix signed guitar that would look nice on my wall. $45,000 is the asking price.
We went into an antique jewellery store, the same store that I purchased Wendy’s poison ring last year. Wendy is looking for a ring. She didn’t get anything but I have a new ring!

Then headed down Canal St to have a look in some jeans and sports apparel stores. Finally have found a present for Wendy. Pretty cool cowboy boots but unfortunately that do not have a 9. They have the sizes either side. Luckily,  as we are in town for a few weeks the salesman has ordered in the correct size and he will have them within  a week.

Back to the apartment for a quick shower and rest and then we are off to Snug Harbor.

This is my third visit to the club for Charmaine’s show. We ordered some drinks and a couple came and sat next to us. They are from San Franciso and this is their first trip to ‘awlins. They gave us some very valuable advice on spots to visit when we get to Frisco.
Charmaine announced our 30th wedding anniversary from the stage and also welcomed Kate for her first time visit. Another great show as usual. She got up a young 16 year old boy to sit in with the band to play saxophone. As she said it is a baptism of fire and he did good. She sang a scat version of the Flintstones song which was funny. She also invited up Mr. Batiste an 80plus year old local guitar player to sit in on a few songs. She did a little talk on why it is good to live in New Orleans. One reason being that ‘they sell cars here that have no indicators.’ She also rapped about how interesting the weather is down this way. A good fun night and Kate seemed to enjoy it. When I told her we were going to a Jazz Club I think she had visions of the staid Trad Jazz she gets to see on Sundays at the Willy R.S.L.

We left the venue just after 10 and went across the street to the ‘Dat Dog’ restaurant. They have every imaginative concoction of beef hot dog you could imagine. The girls shared an alligator hot dog (isn’t Kate getting adventurous.) In honour of Mr. Smith I ordered the Guinness special made with Irish Guinness and covered with andoullie sauce, chedder, onions, bacon and yellow mustard. First time I have every had to eat a hot dog with a knife and fork!
Oh and Mr. Smith I have just read that come April 22nd a law has been passed that there will be no smoking in any bar or restaurant in New Orleans….

Rob Rowe

5 thoughts on “Day Eighteen – Wedding Annivesary

  1. AAaahhh! NNnoooo! Yet another free and fair city in our world corrupted by the dangerously pervasive moral minority! After the 22nd that guinness hot dog will lose that distinctively Nawlins smokey flavour. Hi to Wendy and Kate and stay dry ya`all?

    1. Well there is a lot of angst from the bars over here. They don’t have the luxury of room to have a dedicated area. Gonna push a lot of people out on to the streets for a smoke. His Bobliness is in town next week but already sold out. Hope the Busta Mento gig is a goodin. Just had word that Charlie Parr has had to canceltour due to family illness..

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