Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Music and Wind

It has been many years since I was last in New Orleans, and that last time was only for one night, passing through. I'll not forget waiting nearly an hour with Lisa for a streetcar because I didn't understand that while they run all night, after midnight they only run on hourly headways and we'd just missed one. Anyway, I didn't quite have my bearings straight, so Cheryl and I wandered around a little bit down Canal Street to the Riverwalk and then back up toward Bourbon Street. We looked in at a number of restaurants, some fancier than others. One I thought I was under-dressed for, but they reassured me that a collared polo shirt was acceptable these days; we took their menu and said we might be back later. I didn't really feel like I should eat a big meal, even though my stomach was saying otherwise. Walking along Bourbon Street proper, Cheryl spotted Sammy's Seafood, which was just what we were looking for.

We went inside -- it was cooler there -- and had a seat. The place was relatively quiet, but I assumed that's because 8 PM is early on Bourbon Street, even on a Thursday night. (As Cheryl put it, many of the places we go in California seem to assume you have to be in bed by 9 PM so you can be up for your 6 AM power breakfast.) Suitable sated by the alligator starters (which do not really taste like chicken) and my crawfish etouifee and Cheryl's flounder, we walked back up Bourbon Street to Maison Bourbon Jazz Club, which we'd spotted earlier. The place was packed, but we managed to find a table by the wall. The drinks are expensive, of course, but there was no "two drink minimum" or anything like that.

The band, led by Jamil Sharif, was just finishing up a set, and after their rousing "Saints Go Marching In," they took a break and the club emptied out. Cheryl and I sat around through their break for the next set. Somewhat to my surprise, the place didn't fill back up again, which is a shame, because they were pretty good. I paid particular attention to the character playing clarinet, saxophone, and tenor sax. I used to play clarinet many years ago, and I know what a devilishly difficult thing it is; I'm told sax is worse.

After sitting through the second set, we headed back off down the street. While there were several clubs playing music that Cheryl would like to hear, I was starting to fade, thanks to too many days of long hours, the early start today, and the fact that I can't sleep on airplanes. Besides, I had work mail and telephone calls chasing after me that needed some answering.

For Cheryl's take on the evening, see her blog. She's right about Bourbon Street. It seems a little seedier now than when I was last here, but memory plays tricks.

Tomorrow morning it's Breakfast at Brennan's -- at a fairly civilized 11 AM, although Noon might have been more my speed -- and then, weather permitting, some other interesting things in the city.

While Hurricane Ike may be bearing down on Texas, we're not outside the area of effect. We're under a tropical storm warning, with high (but certainly not hurricane-force) winds. No rain this evening; however, we'll see what tomorrow brings.
Tags: cheryl, travel

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