Monday, October 1, 2007

New Orleans

I arrived Friday night, late and went right to my hotel and bed. The wedding was on Sat at 6, which gave me all day to explore. I'd been to New Orleans when I was 21 for a day or two with Jacqueline. I'd been a baby back then. We'd met two guys who'd taken us to various jazz bars. What I saw was pretty much the same. Perhaps a little more of the cacky (sp?) shorts and beer bong brigade.
So Saturday I think I was one of the first people in the city to wake up. I had breakfast, read and then took a short walk to the river, past Jackson Park, followed by a quick tour of the voodoo museum. At 11 I met with my friend John Karpousis which was nice, as I'd not hung out with him for ages. We found an outside cafe, with live Jazz and drank bloody Mary's. Then we walked around - enjoying the freedom of drinking beers from plastic cups as we walked. John plays lead guitar in a band who were formerly more active than they are now (wife, son, partnership, Nutley) and he loved the streets of N.O. It is a very good thing that John did not discover New Orleans as a younger man, or I think it might have easily been he (or equally me) we crossed the street to avoid: people around my age who looked like New Orleans had been pretty savage to them: tattooed, sunburned, homeless, drug dead eyes. That (and of course the devastation of hurricane Katerina) is the sad part of New Orleans and the part that brings this party town crashing back into reality. All in all, though a very nice day: Sunshine, music and a few beers with friends.

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