With the weekend in full swing, all of the over-20 stages and dozens more food booths opened throughout the Quarter for day 3 of French Quarter Fest. The first day, we parked ourselves in front of the Abita Stage and watched masters of their craft all day. Friday, we enjoyed all that again as well as watching well over 100 children take the stage throughout the day. Saturday, we hit every corner of the Fest – from the Mint to the Aquarium and from Bourbon Street to the river.
I have seen the future of New Orleans music and it is good. For me, the first day of French Quarter Fest was a relaxing journey through established local bands – people with Grammy nominations and wins and stacks of CD releases. Day 2 had all that with Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins and Rebirth Brass Band, but the day really belonged to the kids. The weather was insanely beautiful as we started our morning in Jackson Square for a tasty Duck Po-Boy ($8) from Jaques-Imo’s Cafe. Continue reading
First things first – Who Dat!?! It was like it ought be in the Superdome Monday night. The Saints beat the Eagles, keeping our play-off hopes alive for another week. Quarterback Drew Brees has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 51 straight games which breaks yet another NFL record. The one advantage to not having season tickets is that we meet new people every game. At this game to our right, a great gang of football-loving young men. To our left, 3 women over 60, including one over 80. Yep, some women go to the Saints games, not to appease their husbands, but to get a “girl’s night out.” SO many women attend the games. In fact, the demographics of the Dome aren’t so very different than those of our area – men and women from baby to death’s door in an array of skin shades. Continue reading
Last Friday, after 2 weeks of daily second lines in his memory, Treme Brass Band‘s bass drummer, Uncle Lionel Batiste, was to be laid to rest. To say it was raining doesn’t begin to cover it. Waiting for a streetcar to take me into town, I stood in the neutral ground wearing a plastic hoodie sack and rubber sandals and gripping an umbrella against water coming from all sides. When no streetcar appeared, I jumped onto a bus and we all stared out the windows at the flooding in the streets. It was pouring when the ride came to its final stop. Bourbon Street was a canal with water coming up over the sidewalks and into the shops’ open doors. By the time I crossed Rampart heading into Armstrong Park, the water was nearly knee high. Continue reading
Another perfect weather day with sunny skies and a breeze coming off the river. We passed by the International Stage and watched a band from France, the Traditional Cody Clan, play New Orleans standards. This city loves any excuse to dance but New Orleans is a place full of Jitterbuggers, Two-Steppers and Fox Trotters so you never know what you might see. There were a few young couples who’d obviously taken some lessons and 2 small girls trying to imitate them. What a treat. Continue reading