City Park

Day Fourteen

An economist is someone who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today. Lawrence J. Peter

Easter in the Quarter

I told you yesterday that I was determined to get out early and stroll the residential streets of New Orleans. I did just that. The residential area of the Vieux Carré (Old Square) is in direct contrast to the few blocks of the top end of Bourbon Street. Beautiful day here in New Orleans and I took an hour or so to wander around acting very much like a tourist, camera in hand. I thought there may have been more Easter decorations, but not to be.

After a quick visit back to my crib, I then took myself off to get the bus to City Park. The (91) bus runs all the was down Esplanade (EsplanAID), say it proper like a New Orleanian. It is the same bus-route that I use to go each day to Jazz Fest. Today’s trip is a lot more comfortable, not standing room only.

I got off at the wrong stop and had about a quarter mile walk to the park. City Park is a must visit for any new comer to the city. The old forest trees are hauntingly spectacular with their Irish Moss hanging like ancient dreadlocks. Kate, you would be scared here. Squirrels are out on the hunt.

Cafe DuMonde has a food truck selling their famous beingets. I sat down for three beingets and an iced Café Au Lait. Not sure what the guy next to me was trying to achieve as he washed down his heavily sugared, fried dough with a Diet Coke.

The Sculpture Park within City Park is excellent. I tool a good hour to walk around and take some photos of the sculptures. Check out a little history of City Park here:

I found my way out of the park around 12:30, a little disorientated as to where I was. I asked a young guy where the closest bus/street car was. By more luck than good management I was just a few minutes walk away from the stops. The (91) bus came along and on I went. We only drove a couple of blocks and I found out I was at the Cemeteries Transit stop. The bus driver was very helpful. He gave me a transit ticket and pointed me to the Street Car that would take me all the was down Canal and back to the Quarter.

I was back in the Quarter at 1:45 and for some reason was craving some red meat. The Turtle Bar is on Decatur and I have walked past it dozens of times over the years. Why not give it a try,’ I thought. I went for the 10oz Rib-eye served with a Creamy Stuffed Potato Skin and Garlic Bread. Medium Rare, of course. There are not many people at the bar. Very friendly barman and the cook also came out to have a chat. The cook picked my accent straight away and without prompting told me how he was only one of a handful of Americans that likes Vegemite. I will drop a tube of the said Vegemite around to him. I am very tired from all the walking. I was not going to have a drink until Little Dave from Iggy’s Bar came in. We chatted for a while and I asked him how all the local Iggy’s patrons were going. I decided to take a NOLA 7th Street Wheat Beer. Very tasty. So was the next couple as well.

I spotted a sign over the bar that would make a good slogan for Way Out West, with one little addition:

Friendship must be built on a foundation of alcohol, sarcasm, inappropriateness and shenanigans.’I would then add in, ‘live music.’

At around 3:45, I called into the Golden Lantern to see if the Aussie neighbour was there. She wasn’t. Must say the clientele are very interesting. There are two Xmas Trees on the bar decorated with Easter Bunnies. Do you believe it, Little Dave just walked in. I only stayed for one beer. A single guy (even an ugly one like me), drinking by himself may attract one of those interesting clientele. Another sign that took my fancy, ‘You Can’t Pee For Free.’

I had no intention of starting a bar-hopping session. However, in New Orleans, things just happen. I found myself at The American Sports Bar. The bar person (Michelle) recommended that I try a Canebrake beer. There are three guys and a lady having a jovial conversation in a foreign language. They are Dutch and they soon asked me to join them. One of the guys, Theo, is a world traveller and knows his music well. He asked me if I had ever been to the Espy in St. Kilda!

We chatted about bands, and he seemed impressed that I knew who Focus, Golden Earring and Cuby and the Blizzards were. Even more impressed, I think, when I raised a toast and said, ‘’Prost.’’ Theo recommended that I check out another older Dutch blues band by the name of ‘Living Blues.’

Michelle told me she was working an eleven hour shift today. ELEVEN HOURS. She gets a one off $30 bar shift allowance and then relies on tips to make her day worthwhile.

By six o’clock my internal battery was running flat and I headed home.

Rest Day

Day Thirteen

Andrew Duhon at FQF – my new favourite singer/songwriter

Actually, it only takes me one drink to get loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth. George Burns

The reports in the paper details the Northern Front that hit New Orleans yesterday, and made it unseasonably cold. The state of Mississippi copped the brunt of the front, many tornadoes hit the area. Tragically two young children sitting with their parents in a car where killed when a tree hit them. Even the Aussie flag flying from my crib’s flag-pole and to be rescued.

It was back to Envies’ for me for breakfast. Eggs Envie: Brie and Ham Omelet style eggs inside a Croissant with Potato Hash. No need for me to eat now for another eight hours.

Johnny Sansone sent through a message. He will be at Chickee Wah Wahs this Thursday, opening for Ben Dickey. Should be an interesting gig going by the bio:

Musician who stars as singer Blaze Foley in Ethan Hawke’s biopic on how a lifetime of playing in bands helped him fill some larger-than-life boots.   He’s not widely known, but to a small but fervent group of followers, Ben Dickey is one of Arkansas’s great musical exports. He was a vocalist and guitarist in Shake Ray Turbine, a beloved post-hardcore band that had its heyday in the late ’90s, in the last days of Little Rock’s Towncraft era. A decade later, in Philadelphia, he co-starred in Blood Feathers, a rock ‘n’ roll band with a vintage sound and a knack for melody that released three albums and always seemed on the verge of breaking out, but never did….’

It was nice to have a bit of a rest today. Perfect weather again (for me, that is). It is comfortable sitting out on the porch watching the world go by. Another neighbor from the next block stopped for a chat. She moved to New Orleans over twenty year ago. I told you about the Aussie living in the next block, Narelle.

I decided to treat myself to dinner and went down to Landry’s Seafood House on Decatur. Had an appetizer of Shrimp and Corn Bisque. For the entrée I went for the snapper, creole green beans and dirty rice. For the Aussies, reading this, the appetiser is our entrée and the entrée is our main. Just to confuse y’all. The food was excellent but a little pricey.

So that’s it for my rest day. Tomorrow I am determined to get up early and go out and photograph some of the homes around the residential area of the Quarter.