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
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.