New Orleans – 2015

April 11th – Day 11

I mucked up my accommodation booking dates. I still have a day to stay here on Sth. Rampart but found out that I am due to arrive at my normal apartment today as well. I will go to 1123 Bourbon St as it is in the Quarter and I will not have to battle the St. Charles Street Car tourists. Once I got to my familiar abode it felt more like being back at my second home.

I went straight down to EnVie’s for French Toast and Iced Coffee, real nice, with Buddy Guy playing on the radio. Gotta be back by Noon as Stew is coming to pick me up and take me to a couple of spots that are not in the tourist guides.

Kate will be happy when she arrives at the apartment. The T.V. has all the movie channels available.

Stew was right on time. I now have some new music memorabilia including, the book ‘Backbeat – Earl Palmer’s Story.’ Earl was the greatest session drummer of his era. He is a Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of fame member. He has worked with the biggest names in the business as well as working on major file scores and T.V. series. .Two Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown C.D.’s both signed and a full bottle of whiskey with a Willie Nelson pick around the neck and Willie’s autograph on the label.

We headed over to Frenchman St as Stew had not eaten today. We sat for an hour at Dat Dog and chatted. Stew then took me to an upmarket hotel on St Charles called the Pontchatrain Hotel. Very classy establishment but the surprise was the top floor bar and balcony area. The view of the CBD is fantastic. I should have brought my camera!

Next we drove to a Cancer research hospital. The reason being that their is a cancer survival park called the Richard and Annette Block Cancer Survival Plaza. Lovely statues and columns dedicated to different places around the globe. Check out this article or Google Richard Bloch an inspiring  philanthropist.

We drove down (stop reading here Kate) to Decatur and found a park and went to Cafe Du Monde. No big line to get in today. The bad news is I have on a black shirt! 

We sat and talked and I asked Stew about his air force days and more particularly how he became a jet pilot. Stew was a Major during the Vietnam war and trained to be a pilot at Selma Alabama. He was there when Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. led the freedom march across that infamous bridge. Stew flew Boing 707 mid air refuelling jets known as KC – 135

I said to Stew that  flying those type of jets would have been scary. He said that flying war time jets was commonly described as 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror.

At 6:45 I headed down to B.B.King’s club which is now where the old Margaretville was. Grabbed a seat at the bar and waited for the 7:30 band to start up. The Kenny Brown Trio. I thought it might have been the Kenny Brown that played alongside R.L.Burnside, alas is was not but they were still pretty good.

I had a feed of Nachos with an abundance of Jalapenos washed down with Lady Magnolia Southern Pecan beer. The young bar dude is from Arizona and he is a guitarist and has come to learn more in the music capital of the world. Nice guy. At the end of the night I asked for my bill to be ‘closed out.’ I thought he had made a mistake as I only got charged for 3 beers. I must have looked puzzled, he looked at me and smiled and said ‘there may be a few beers missing, I enjoyed talking to you!’

New Orleans – 2017

April 10th – Day 8 

I was up at 8:15, checked some emails.

Overcast day but not cold. Took a walk down St. Charles and stopped at the Avenue Café for a real tasty bagel made with hot salami, cheese and egg. Sipped away on my iced coffee while reading the Times Picayune. I picked up a few things at Walmart, the front of the store was blasting out classical music which keeps the loiterers away.

I had been mulling over posting a blog this year. Figured I had written about most things over the last 5 years or so. Kate sent a message to ask when the blog was going up. Luckily I had been keeping a daily journal. The journal helps me remember what I have been doing day to day. If I did not record my daily comings and goings I would have no hope of recalling what I had done. So today, being a bit of a rest day after the FQF I decided to post the six days to date. It took about three hours all up.

Glad to hear that Cara has landed in Alaska. She sent a photo from the airplane and there is a lot of snow still about.

Caught the Street Car around 3:30. Surely it will not be as busy as the last few days. Only had to wait 5 minutes and it came rocking and rolling down the track. Oh no, it is packed. The driver stopped anyway and somehow the four of us waiting squeezed on. I am literally sitting on the drivers lap and I could easily have taken over the controls. The female driver has her front window open and a nice breeze is keeping me cool in the sardine tin environment.

I got down to the French Market just after 4 and immediately headed over to get my favourite Tropical Smoothie. I just spent an hour or so watching people and listening to the blues music being played at the nearby B.B.King franchise. The French Market is no where as busy as the weekend. Much more sedate and civilised.

So ended the quietest day I have had to date. One that I needed.