Fall in the French Quarter

Spent last Sunday on what locals in the French Quarter call the “Fruit Loop,” so named for the 4 gay bars on the 4 corners of the city block. It was a gorgeous day, another in a stretch we’ve been enjoying in the Big Easy. 80, sunny and breezy.

It’s still warm enough for frozen treats but there’s not much in the way of sno-balls in the quarter so I went back to try another flavor at Meltdown Gourmet Popsicles.

http://www.facebook.com/meltdown.popsicles

When I walked in, there were limes, still on the branches, bunched on the counter. Talk about fresh ingredients. Reminded me again of La Divina and the time I walked in while they were making a batch of lemon gelato. A woman was slicing dozens of fresh lemons and the whole room was fresh with the scent. Another bonus, the sugar used in the popsicles is locally grown. MANY places here use local ingredients, another great way this city lives “green.” (Now, if only we could get the recycling going…)

I tried a new flavor, salted chocolate rolled in pistachios. My favorite is still the salted caramel, but the chocolate was very good.

Armed with my popsicle, I returned to the “Fruit Loop” to watch the world go by. There was a gay deaf couple walking past a bar where the LSU game was playing. The bar kept erupting in applause and groans and the couple passed without registering it and it occurred to me how different this city must be for the deaf. So much of this place is about noise. Beyond the cheers and Who Dat’s and the clip-clopping of carriages rolling by and the kids tap dancing with tin cans under their tennis shoes, there’s all the music. Luckily, the city has plenty more for the other senses, the beauty of the architecture and Mardi Gras Indians, the smell of Sweet Olive blooming, and the taste… ’nuff said (oh yeah, and the feel of humidity).

Two shirtless boys walked past and one said, “Good evening.” I smiled and returned, “Hello.” I overheard him say to his friend, “See, you say, ‘good evening’ and someone smiles at you. That’s nice.” That’s New Orleans.

After the game ended, I could hear a piano in the bar on the corner. The men in their Saints’ gear were singing, “The Sound of Music.” The hills are alive! After, the pianist went straight (no pun intended) into  “Doe a Dear,” but with gay-friendly lyrics. But, unlike any bar where you could expect this medley, the clientele included men with beer guts and bald spots. In L.A., the bars in boy’s town were filled with the most sculpted, perfectly pruned, impeccably dressed men. Many of the guys in the corner bar looked more like Homer Simpson. It comforts me somehow, like those of us seeking male attention don’t have to be “perfect” here.

So, why not try the fried pickles at Deja Vu? Yep, friend pickles. They also have friend mushrooms, fried mozzarella and fried green beans. I’m not a fried food person generally, but I do love pickles and it was too unique to pass up.

http://www.dejavunola.com/

The battered spears were hot as heck and I told myself to wait to finish mine until they cooled down… then popped the rest in my mouth and endured the burn. The pregnant women must eat like queens here.

As I’ve mentioned before, the only thing that rivals the quantity, quality and creativity of the costumes here are the decorations. This is my first Halloween in the city and I’m loving all the houses. Here are a few.

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, Local Cuisine, the Saints, walking

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