I’m not sure if it’s interesting news to share with you that I slept in until noon today, or that I had shrimp and grits for dinner last night; one of the most delicious plates of food I’ve ever had. Or wether it’s worth mentioning any of the history I learned about the city while being pulled around in a carriage by a mule. Or perhaps you would you prefer to know about the scene at the Republic at two in the morning?
I sat around Saint Coffee for at least a few hours. It’s located next door to the bike shop where they were working on my Land Sleigh, replacing three broken spokes.
Jo laid underneath the bench out front in the shade. I sat over him, sipping my toddy, making notes of everything I was experiencing here in New Orleans.
I knew I was going to be out late last night so after my bike was ready we went around the corner to where we’re staying. The sofa welcomed me for a late afternoon nap before strolling on foot a mile through the Marigny District.
I tried to snatch a ticket for a riverboat cruise that John and his friends were hopping on at 10pm, but after walking down to the waterfront, I learned that it was long sold out. A text came through from Rebekah that she had a group assembled on her carriage and offered to take me along.
I walked a block to Jackson Square and joined them, making our way through the French Quarter. Rebekah is a gifted guide. In an hours time we had slo-poked through the historical neighborhood, taking in the sites. Rebekah shares everything she knows about The Big Easy; the haunted houses, the oldest one, the fire that once leveled the entire city and where to grab a good meal.
A few blocks over, I was walking up Bourbon Street. It smells like Cajun food, stale beer and occasionally, vomit. There’s no shortage of bright colored beads being thrown around. I tried to walk into every bar or lounge that had live music but there were to many.
I stood listening to the sounds coming out of Musical Legends Park for a few minutes, remembering that on New Year’s Day in 2008, I stood in the same exact place.
I stumbled upon an excellent group of street performers who took up the entire corner with their horns. There wasn’t a sad face in sight, just a sea of people dancing.
At one in the morning I starting making my way to the Republic to meet up with John and his comrades. They were holding an extra ticket to see Voodoo Dead, another sold out show.
I jump up in the balcony and do some people watching. The band is about ready to musically fill the souls of a mostly dyed audience who are covering the dance floor in Birkenstocks.
I keep a close eye on the musicians on stage, watching their fingers and their faces. Keller Williams is out front, the Grateful Dead’s drummer, Bill Kreutzmann is in the back holding down the rhythm.
It was almost effortless, flagging a cab at four in the morning, which is what I did to get me to the place that sold me the fried catfish before dropping me off on Rebekah’s front doorstep.