12 June, 2004

Fronch Qwartaire

...laissez les bon temps roulet, roulet, yea, tout la nuit....

Indian-step across flagstone, asphalt, concrete in Bondage Sandals, Foolish Heels and bare feet. Why the Quarter feels like home to me I surely couldn't say, but here I am, drunk-watching, listening to live music, seeing, smelling, tasting.

Since when was a guy with an accordion cool? Since Jimmy Thibodeaux. The wearable rub-boards make for an interactive show, and the crowd dances gamely if not gracefully. Moving on. It seems that live bands only know three songs: Mustang Sally, Sweet Home Alabama and Proud Mary. That is, until I run into Jeremy Lyons and the Deltabilly Boys, a three piece band with drum, guitar and bass. Not bass guitar, just bass. For once it's not the drummer getting to me. Not only are they worth a visit at the Spotted Cat on Frenchman, where locals hang, I'll be seeing Jeremy on his solo tour when he plays at the MoJo Lounge June 22nd. At the Spotted Cat, Daniel and Bill think they're smooth. Bill asks where I'm staying, and Daniel tries to convince me to blow off my Saturday plans to go to a ball game with him. I don't think he means baseball.

I meet GlassHarper, who plays a glass harmonica, on Jackson Square, and we make arrangements to go out later. A beautiful face paired with beautiful hands snags me into a Tarrot reading I hadn't planned on. Glassharper doesn't claim to be a shaman, but is. This boy doesn't claim to be a shaman either, but thinks he is. They are both very entertaining.

Muffelletta at Angeli's is delicious. Zydeco music at the French Market is wonderful. Onion rings and hash browns at the Clover Grill (cooked under a Cadillac hubcap) are served quickly and HOT. Fragrance of Hove Parfumeurs is divine. Coffee and beignets at three in the morning (dripping powdered sugar all over my black clothes) is heavenly. Walk along the river is charming, the rats less so. The bridge is beautiful at night.

On Bourbon Street, all the shops look alike. All the drunks look alike. Even the bars begin to look alike. Fortunately, I do know some of the fringe places, and I go to those when beer flowing in the streets begins to bore me.

Maybe I do know why the Quarter feels like home to me. Maybe because it is.

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