After 3 weeks, New Orleans has begun to register as my home. I've spent most of my time shopping for furniture, painting, and generally decorating my 200 yr old shotgun a few houses in from the Cat's Meow on the corner of St. Peter and Bourbon in the French Quarter.
I frequently ride my bike to Mimi's in the Marigny. On Wednesdays, I listen to the Cash-like sounds of Gal Holiday and The Honky Tonk Revue. On Fridays, it's DJ Matty's Alligator Chomp Chomp Swamp Pop Dance Party. And Mondays, the sweet stomping sounds of Meschiya Lake and The Little Big Horns. Never a dull moment at Mimi's.
Then there's Frenchmen Street, with the likes of The Cottonmouth Kings and the Loose Marbles pounding out hours and hours of jazz at The Spotted Cat and D.B.A.
Having travelled the world and the states extensively as a child and an adult, I can assure you that there is no other U.S. city that feels more like a country unto itself.
Coming here has been and continues to be the best of a bad situation. Save for circumstances beyond my control, there is nowhere else I'd rather be. If your life seems like a little bit of hell, then New Orleans is the closest thing to heaven on earth. Don't think I'm simply star struck in my honeymoon with this city... I am well aware that this is also the city of heat, heartache and hangovers, AKA the blues.
The blues is about how to keep moving, how one foot follows the other, even when your heartbeat slows to a thump a minute. And jazz is about the body dancing rebelliously and spasmodically, even when the mind has somehow escaped the room through 2-ft thick masonry walls.
-Orchestrated a tasting room/ Russian experience for Tales of the Cocktail
-Performed as a panelist for the Tales of the Cocktail seminar, I Hate Vodka, I Love Vodka
-Hosted a housewarming party attended by the local milliner (hatter to all the mimis, fifis and post-debutantes, the city's premier bar man who showed up dressed as a knight, a one-time crust lord and freight train hopper turned bespoke bombshell ukellele virtuoso, a film industry costume designer whose best costumes are in her own closet, the local art world's premier designer who's also the hippest version of a southern gentleman dixie has yet to know, and my new band mate, a Floridian surfer girl turned soulful sardonic southland essayist, non-fictionist, and culinary critic.
-Began playing music again. Wrote several songs. Formed the Yankee Fire Band, starring myself on banjo, Gwendolyn Knapp on guitar, and the General (my drum machine).
-Ordered a hot sausage poboy (dressed + grilled onions and american cheese) from Gene's.
-Ordered far too many late night roast beef poboys from Quartermasters.
-Purchased a custom-made rolling bar from Greg's on Decatur.
-Purchased two old 70's paintings by "Richter" of clowns; they seem to me to be studies of what Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten might look like as sad clowns.
-Read the Confederacy of Dunces.
-Danced my ass off to Johnny Cash covers, the Cottonmouth Kings, the Little Big Horns, and whatever the hell happened to be on the juke up at the Saint.
-Attended White Linen Night, NOLA's annual opening of the art season, where everyone's clad in their whites, and the galleries get hotter than a creole kitchen on a friday night at 9.
-Got on my knees and prayed for everything from a job to salvation in St. Louis Cathedral.
-Began consulting for a new Garden District bar.
-Began talks of working for Bols Genever as a New Orleans rep.
-Purchased and actually enjoyed poems from 3 typewriter wielding street poets.
-Chatted with a stripper for an hour about the details of raising wolf-dogs.
-Saw a man weeping while taking brutal swings at another fellow yelling "I told you so" on Bourbon street.
-Heard Journey playing at The Cat's Meow karaoke bar more times then the band ever played that damn song. You know the song.
-Attended a No Wave house show in the Treme.
-Had a meandering birthday party, starting at Desperado's (the pizza place, not the strip club).
-Found a place that makes the best Egg-In-A-Hole I've ever experienced.
It's the laziest kind of busy I've ever been, and my soul is grateful for it.
Now I turn my attention to poetics and performance. I've a handful of leads regarding the locations of readings and various literary groups. I suspect that I'm about to delve into the rebirth of local lyricism. I'm actually enthused.
Here are some pics of my home: