The wild and beautiful sprawl of New Orleans made me quickly forget the Ugly Americans I was surrounded by en-route. Ok, I did not exactly forget them (they talked loud, dressed loud, and even smelled volubly) but my culture shock dissipated. New Orleans. Right. There was a bit of flooding here- the rising Mississippi. The cabbie mistook me for a local because I went straight from the airport to a bar. The Half Moon. It was not exactly in a ghetto, but a ramshackle part of town. I have never seen such a variety and splendor of Shacks. In the evening, I went to the French Quarter to see a local band extravaganza- they were a mixture of Tom Waits, southern gothic and carny music- with a pump organ, standup bass, violin, walkie talkies, megaphones, and a rubber fish. The singer dressed like an old fashioned undertaker with mad hair and a john waters moustache. It was full, beautiful, and melancholy music followed by stamping and howling. Amazing. I rambled the narrow streets of the quarter, eating spicy food, drinking bourbon and glimpsing the river. Then my friends took me to Snake and Jake’s Christmas Tree Lounge, which was really a pressed tin shack covered in christmas tree lights.
Welcome to the Last Bohemia!
-xo from the Road