Day Eight

Day Eight – April 13

While you stroll in New Orleans
You ought to go see the Mardi Gras
If you go to New Orleans
You ought to go see the Mardi Gras
When you see the Mardi Gras
Somebody’ll tell you what’s Carnival for – Go to the Mardi Gras – Proffesor Longhair

Wedding Anniversary

Well we sure had some heavy thunderstorms last night, or so they tell me as I heard nothing. Wendy said one thunderbolt sounded like a bowling ball hitting and the then rolling down the roof.
Just read that last week’s French Quarter Fest attracted a record crowd over the 4 days – 760,000 people. Also which is disappointing for us is that the free music at Lafayette Park has been cancelled tonight due to the weather.
I made a reservation for lunch at Muriel’s Restaurant for 12:30 to celebrate our anniversary. Muriel’s is an upmarket establishment just across from Jackson Square. We arrived right on time and got a nice table near a window. Lots to look at as the decor is first class. I ordered a Bloody Mary and as I have not had anything to eat to date I should get a little buzz. I had budgeted for a fairly hefty bill but was real surprised at how relatively cheap the lunch menu was. Wendy and I went for the lunch special of soup and a main. The soup was a roasted sweet potato bisque which was sensational. I also (as did Kate) have the wood grilled pork chop swimming in red beans with popcorn rice. Kate did not have the red beans but instead had a side of roast potato. Wendy went for the blackened catfish. The meal was excellent. Kate is drinking coke and has already had a free refill (she finished up with 3 cokes all up)
I had made our reservation from back home and had the option of noting if it was for a special occasion. Just as we were finishing our main course the head honcho came over to our table with a gift of a Muriel’s own label hot sauce and a ribbon and card. Real nice gesture. We are all very full but still went ahead and ordered sweets. Pecan pie and caramel sauce for me and vanilla bean sorbet to share for the girls. All in all a fine dining experience for a remarkably small outlay given the class of the restaurant. Before we left I took the girls upstairs to have a look at the decadent séance room. On the way we walked past a table that is set permanently for the resident ghost!
Back home and it was time for me to go down to Sud Dem Duds and do the washing.
Late afternoon was spent sitting out with Mickey and William just shooting the breeze.
I read on the WWOZ web site that a favourite band of mine the Deslondes were at the Cafe Istanbul on St Claude starting at 8. We left around 7:15 as it is a good 20 minute walk to the venue. We got there just as the doors opened. Real cool room. Seats and a couches plus a bar to the side. There is a band setup right of stage. Can’t figure out why there is a couch and desk and chair set up middle of the stage plus a lectern to the left. The band started playing the Beatle’s Norwegian Wood and followed up with a couple of other tunes. Then I guy came out dressed in a suit and tie and did a bit of a comedy monologue. There was also another guy at the lectern adding comments. We finally figured out we were at the taping of the T.V. show ‘Spotlight New Orleans hosted by John Calhoun’ and the night was going to run like a late night Letterman show. It was a real hoot. The sponsors adds were all acted out by comedians. There was a guest interview with an incredible lady Deon Haywood who helps out the marginalised women of New Orleans. A painting was auctioned to raise funds. Then a great young black comedian by the name of Kamari Stevens had everyone laughing. To round out the night the Deslondes performed two songs. It was not what I envisaged as I thought we were going to a Deslondes show but it turned out to be, as my good friend Mick Newington often says ‘one out of the box’ meaning a great unexpected night out.
It is not a good idea to walk around this area at night so Kate used her Uber app. While we were waiting the comedian Kamari Stevens came over and unlocked his push bike for his ride home to the Ninth Ward. He was cool and had a chat with us. We got picked up in one of those huge American utes you see on T.V. Our driver was Raymond and he was very funny. Said he did Uber work after his full time day job to get away from his wife’s Honey Do’s. I looked a little incredulous and he filled us in by saying ‘you know, honey do the dishes, honey put out the garbage’ and he rattled off a few more honey do’s
We were back in our apartment just after 10 and feeling a little hungry. I took a quick trip to Verti Mart and got a take-out lasagne, red beans, corn and fries.

Day Seven

Day 7 April 12

Good Morning New Orleans; we love you New Orleans
It’s such a lovely day, to love New Orleans,
when people come they never leave
because we’re swinging that way. – Good Morning New Orleans – Kermitt Ruffins

Camellia Grill

Kate has stained her jeans with fake tan and we need to try a drycleaners/laundry to see if they are able to be de-stained. A couple of blocks down from us is a dry cleaners and the girls went into to see what could be done. I hung out the front. They seemed to take ages and when they did come our the told me they had been helped out by a little old, very friendly lady. She must be in her 80’s but she was ever so helpful. The laundry will call us when they have (hopefully removed) the stains.
We got to the Camellia Grill for the first meal of the day. Our waitress was very sassy and gave you a mischievous look when you asked a question. I went for the Mexican omelette with hash browns and a root beer.
The girls continued on to the River walk Mall to do some shopping and I went off to try and buy a mobile hot-spot device. We do have wireless at the apartment but it is not a strong signal and it also drops out a lot. Found a little phone store and was able to get a T- Mobile device with 7 G’s of data which hopefully will see us through the next 3 weeks.
I got back to the apartment just as my landlord William was taking his two dogs for a walk. William invited me for a beer and we headed down to a local bar. Met some people from Ohio and they were pretty chatty. Had a couple with William and then headed back to the apartment to catch up on the blog
Our friend Pat is coming to the apartment around 5:45 to drop off an inflatable mattress for Kate which is real nice of her. Last year Kate slept on the pull-out couch but it is not real comfortable. Pat arrived right on time and not only does she have the mattress but she has also brought over some linen as well.
Pat then drove us to a real nice Italian/Seafood restaurant by the name of Mandina’s. Sebastian Mandino emigrated from Palermo, Italy in 1898 and opened a grocery store on this very same spot (3800 Canal St.) For a Tuesday night the restaurant is pretty full with what looks like more locals that tourists. I had the fried oyster salad. Wendy has a BBQ shrimp Po Boy and Kate had the spaghetti and meat balls. Kate had no hope of eating ll the food that was delivered. Only two meat balls but the are the size of a large orange. She ate for half an hour and still had one and a half meatballs left. Looks kike another doggy bag.
It was great catching up with Pat and all the local news. We will met up again this time with her partner Bob Gentilly Jnr at Johnny White’s bar on Friday night.