New to Nola

A celebration of cuisine, music, history, ghosts, swamps, and excessive indulgence.   NOLA; a celebration of life.

I arrived in the dark and taxied to an area called Lee Circle.   First, I’d drop bags and scope the area, my block and the surrounding few style=”line-height:1.5;”>.  The receptionist at the hotel was cute.  Not too sexy, not too beautiful, but definitely looked like good fun.   A bubbling personality, world traveling, finding work, then vacationing, then moving onto a new city.  Something about her tone suggested there was more to the story.

It was raining.  I passed the WWII museum. “I’ll definitely visit the WWII museum, it’s so damn conveniently close to my hotel.”   Whispering myself another lie.

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A lonesome-jubilee at “Cochan’s”.  Butter-fried meat pies and a pint of LA31.  A couple of French girls introduced themselves, after I introduced myself.    They looked like story-book ballerinas. Ballerinas are so damn beautiful.  I woke up with a ballerina many All Saints Days ago.   Back in the Frat fantasies really did come true.

I soldiered through the drizzle, down a barren block, thankful for the warm air.  I was looking for a dive: The Rusty Nail.  The way the ditzy-fun hostess reccomended it, I’d enjoy myself.   I envisioned an old pub where hell’s outcasts jammed their mental guitars, too tone-deff drunk to care if you liked the music they belched.  There’d be a big beer selection and loose local girls too classless to miss a happy hour.   Girls that enjoy wasting Wednesday evenings in the dark grungy dig’s of Louisiana’s back roads.   I envisioned I’d be happy.

I struck conversation with the big blonde babes about oil’s recent versatility in the market and how it’s influencing capital investments.   We also talked radio give-aways and how best to snort salt through a straw.   The rest of the night mapped together like a half-completed Vuze file.  I woke un-robbed and unimpressed with my unabashed self.

The sun wasn’t up just yet, but I had a fat file of work to flip through before breakfast.   I splashed water on my face, kicked myself some Nola knowledge and hustled down stairs to order a pile of shrimp & grits.  I devoured it with 6 cups of coffee and a business meeting on creative marketing.  We exchanged Central America travel stories and reviewed the nearby bar options. She was on point.

A few hours later I ate at NOLA PO BOYS.   A sloppy pile of delicious greasy goodness. I was in the heart of the French Quarter’s gaud.  Near Leffite’s, the Pirate-ghost bar.  Because they had one of my favorite drinks of all time, beer, I stayed a while.

I was advised to visit with Priestess Mariam, the Mambo of the Voodoo Spirit Temple, across from Congo Square in New Orleans.    Highest of the clergy, as mambo asogwe, she is responsible for preserving rituals and maintaining relationships with with spirit world.

The Spirit Temple was closed and that was the last effort I made to reach the priestess. The bar next-door was “Tonique”. As if this place was privy to making a pristine cocktail more eloquent.

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I’d buzz through the afternoon, blasting off work emails and drinking more beers than my wallet thought I would.   I was lost in the history, haunt and charm of New Orleans.

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Gripping half-a-six, I joined a haunted tour, accidentally rambling off insolence upon my entrance.   Our tour guide shot her grey-green marble eyes at me with a look I could quite read.   She had endless stories to tell, some with laughter some with shivers.   The rest of the tour group thought we were dating.   The concierge knew we weren’t.  Her demo tape is still on my home-office desk.  I’mma help her get famous.

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The next morning we toured the swamps and the marine biologist student from Sweden fell deeply in love with me.  Or vice versa, I don’t recall.   I couldn’t pronounce her name, even after she spelt it.  She pointed out how American it was to feed the wild boars marshmallows, emphasizing the irony by being in a state reserve.   They think us brutish, but we just avoid the nuisances of over-civilization.


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