OK, it’s official. I just got back from four days on Bourbon Street, and if I didn’t know it before, I know now. I’m old. There are places that you hear about all your life, and some are iconic enough to inspire old movies and a sweet longing to experience them in person. Bourbon street was one of those places for this mediocre alto sax player. While I didn’t think it would look like this…
It was kind of fun to see the Sisters out enjoying the ambiance. 🙂 I didn’t know I’d have to wear my money in a money belt around my waist. The four of us were warned to keep our pockets empty if we didn’t want someone else to empty them for us.
When a man is shot in this jurisdiction, we not only want to know who shot him, but why he was standing where the bullet hit! ~ Sheriff Dulaney, Bourbon Street Beat, 1959
We spent 4 nights in the French Quarter. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner on Canal, just off Bourbon, and got up the next morning to hear on the news that two people were shot and killed that night a block away from the place we’d celebrated with turkey and oyster stuffing.
The lady selling roses from her cart on Bourbon Street didn’t appear to have much of a market. Following your advice, we all had delicious, warm begnetts. They were truly outstanding! We spent an unbelievable day on the Louisiana Bayous which warrants at least a post or two.
We took an amazing night-time Mississippi River Boat dinner cruise on the Steamboat Natchez as we traveled up and down the largest port in the U.S.
We dined to the live music of a Grammy nominated Dixieland band. Wow!
Afterwards, we headed for Bourbon Street. That’s where I discovered that I’m very, very old. There were no saxophones wailing or blues or jazz or muted trumpets – well, at least, not in the traditional sense.
There was a lot of Reggae and what the piano player from the Natchez (we asked him for a recommendation) called ‘jukebox music’. We eventually went upstairs above the packed Blue Island bar. Downstairs the music was a genre I couldn’t identify. An enthusiastic mother recruited upstairs to listen to the debut of her 15-year-old trumpet playing son’s band, John Michael and The Vibe. We sat on bar stools for an hour or so (a real perk, since most places were standing room only). The guys were good, but it was ‘modern jazz’. We left with the sound of a bleating trumpet ricocheting in our brains.
The next morning we got up to the news that four people were killed, in two separate shootings, on the block where we’d parked. Not sure if it happened while we were upstairs or not.
I gave the performance of my life… almost my death. ~ Elyse Brown Picard, Bourbon Street Beat
The next day we took a road trip to Mississippi and Long Beach where we were all saddened by more evidence of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. We ate in the rebuilt Steve’s Marina, now like everything along the coast, it was rebuilt 21 feet off the ground.
After a long day on the road, we skipped Bourbon street Saturday night. But Sunday night we ventured out one last time. This time we knew what to do, we asked where to go for old people jazz.
We finally found what we were looking for. There was a superb piano player that you can’t see and an amazing jazz singer, Miss M, who is blurry in every shot because she was always feeling the music. It was the perfect way to end our New Orleans stay.
We spent last night in the RV at the Gate Guards supply lot. Today it’s off for 2 nights of sight-seeing in San Antonio. Even though we’ve lived within an hour or two from the city for almost a year, we’ve never been there. I have no preconceptions so maybe I won’t feel as old. If I do, I know what to ask for – old people entertainment! 😀
Friday, it’s back to the yard to wait for a gate. I’ll try to get caught up with your comments and questions then. I haven’t had a computer and only have about an hour this morning, which is now all used up. Time for a quick shower and then it’s off to the River Walk and to Remember the Alamo!
I love this New Orleans tribute by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Hope you have fun with it, too! Kind of makes me wish I weren’t so old! 😉