Sunday, August 28, 2005

Do know what it means to miss New Orleans?


New Orleans is my favorite city in the USA. I've spent a lot of time there, been to three Mardi Gras and two Jazz Fests and countless other trips to visit my old, great friend Lord Scott Nelson. The Crescent City has a charm, character and funk that has been torn down, paved over and whipped out of most other cities. There are more eccentrics per square mile there then anywhere else in America 'cause they just don't give a shit. The locals joke about Louisiana and N.O. in particular being a third world country and after tonight, that joke will take on a cruel irony. I've read dire predications about what would happen if a category 3 or 4 storm hit; a city submerged and possibily beyond reclaiming. Katrina's a cat 5 monster with gusts up to 200 mph and a storm surge of 25 feet or more. By morning there may not be anything left but memories.

Some memories-

- arriving by a midnight train one steamy August. Lord Nelson faithfully meeting me at the station and we settled into a crawl through the Quarter. The drinks and laughs rolled on until the sun came up and then hot, black coffee and powder sugar down the front of my shirt at Cafe' Du Monde.

- second time going to Mardi Gras. Made a giant rubber tiki mask inspired by Hunter S. Thompson's "The Curse of Lono". Ran wide through the streets and at one point found myself encircled by a dozen or more Japanese tourists all photographing and video-taping me. I sometimes wonder what the footage looks like.

- same Gras trip, finding some weird, side street juke joint with a dirt floor and no windows, but the best smoking blues band I ever heard and yelling till my throat was horse.

- drinking White Russians and bowling at the old Mid-City Rock 'n Bowl.

- watching Godzilla movies and shooting pool on the nastiest pool tables at the Saturn bar.

- seeing the band Royal Fingerbowl play at the Saigon Club, as I recall it was smoker's night and the band was handing out free cigs.

- having a hang-over cheese burger at Checkpoint Charlie's and watching some 60's style funk band with a lead singer sporting an afro larger then a German Shepard.

....man, I got to stop, I'm making myself sad.

Here's to all the folks down in The Big Easy. Good luck, Buddha bless and I hope you'all make it through the night.

OK HW