11 February 2006
Bienvenue a New Orleans!
So I decided to take a mini vacation to New Orleans with Jarred’s best friend Nicole. Currently (February 10, 2006) we are on our second day and I have so much to say thus far to recap our trip.
We arrived on Thursday around noon. After unpacking Nicole and I decided to go for a walk. We got about 1 ½ blocks away from the hotel and we happened upon two persons. One was obviously a male and we couldn’t quite tell what the other one was. The only thing we knew that it was wearing a blue skirt. We turned around the corner and got a view from the side and decidedly agreed from the facial hair that it was a man. So it was a guy in a skirt…no big deal. Nicole and I slowed down to enjoy the scenery. We turned the corner and the guy in the blue dress had hiked his skirt up, had his ass pressed against a red Ford F-150, squatting down and pissing on the sidewalk! All of you who know me best can attest to one thing: I am not easily shocked or silenced. After I witnessed this act I could do nothing but laugh and call a few people to share in my disbelief. We ate lunch/dinner at St. Charles Tavern and continued on our trek to the French Quarter. I was in shock. It is like a totally different world with it’s own culture here. I was amazed to see people here walking down the street with an open beer/liquor in their hand. WOW! This is my kind of city.
Today (10th) Nicole and I ventured out on our own this morning. I went to Café du Monde to eat some beignets (French doughnuts) and a fabu café au lait. Afterwards I decided to walk along the levee of the Mississippi River to take pictures of the cruise and Navy ships that are housing Katrina evacuees. Much like planes the amazement of seeing a ship operate never ceases to amaze me. Nicole and I met up and walked around for a bit. I started getting really thirsty so the question begged to be asked, “Do I want a cola beverage or an adult beverage?” I decided on the adult beverage (after all it was late enough to start drinking…11:00 AM), it was one of those Bacardi Raz malt beverage. The clerk asked for my ID, and upon purchase she opened the bottle and put it in a small brown paper bag. I must admit that the whole concept of drinking out of a paper bag seems kind of ummmmm trashy and homeless to me, but it was a rather interesting experience. We passed by an art gallery which was just opening and the guy saw me passing by with my brown paper bag and said proudly “Drinking before noon…my kind of guy! Welcome to New Orleans!” So I held my alcoholic head high and realized that I was the kind of tourist they like to see here. Little did I know that with Nicole dragging me in and out of all the art galleries that I would need the beverage to numb my legs. After art shopping we decided to eat lunch at a lovely restaurant called The Gumbo Shop. FABULOUS FOOD! I ordered chicken gumbo and Madori Sour. Upon finishing my soup it was time to go so I put my drink in a to go cup and off we went. Nicole neglected to tell me that their was a lovely little Irish Shop in the quarter. I saw it and almost instantly fainted from delight. I purchased a lovely Irish Pride scarf (. After all the excitement we came back to the room to relax for a few minutes and then we headed off to LaFayette Cemetery (which was started in the early 1800’s). WOW! That is all I can really think to say. It was so steeped in history. It was interesting to walk around and see “Yellow Fever” on tombstones (required to have on the tombstone at the time per law). I got some interesting pictures of tombs and such. That brings us to now. Nicole is taking forever in the bathroom…”It will only take 5 minutes I swear.” Meanwhile 30 minutes later I am sitting here writing to you. Tonight plans to be interesting. She will be going to goth bars and I will be going to the “fruffy”© gay bars in the quarter. I suppose for now I will end for today and report more tomorrow as things unfold.
So last night didn’t go quite as expected. Nicole and I left the room around 9:30 to head into the quarter. We got a block away from Oz and it started pouring down rain. I really wasn’t ready to go into a bar yet but I didn’t want to get soaked either so in we went. It’s a pretty cool bar with an alright atmosphere. To equate it for all of my friends in Midtown…imagine Blake’s with dancers on the bar in nothing but their underwear. Speaking of underwear I will fill you in on what happened today (Feb 11th a little later on). While Nicole and I were sitting in Oz she ventures off and finds a local publication highlighting the local gay nightlife. I open it to the 4th page and to my surprise and amazement their was an ad for CowPokes, New Orleans ONLY country western gay bar. I was fit to be tied so I knew where I was going to spend the rest of my night as soon as it stopped raining. Flash forward about 10 minutes. It still hadn’t stopped raining yet but it was more just a steady drizzle as opposed to big ole fat rain. So I told Nicole I was going to go ahead and head for the bar and if she wanted she could leave and go to the Dungeon. She decided to trek with me. On our way to the bar we met a lovely local guy named Richard who was going our way as well and he would show how to get to our destination. We got about 3 blocks away from the bar and Nicole was dripping wet because she was walking slower and decided that since she was so moist she would just call it a night and come back to the room. Richard and I waited until a cab picked her up and away we went. This place isn’t nearly as large as Hoedown’s but it is still a really nice place. The atmosphere was awesome and the drinks reasonable priced. I finally got back to the hotel around 3:30 AM.
Having had such a long night last night I slept in today. Nicole was up at the crack of dawn eager to consume her reservation only brunch at some place with a lesbian name. I kept rolling over and trying to go to sleep. I finally started to become coherent around 10:00 AM and started getting ready to go out for the day. I left the hotel around noon and headed to the quarter. I approached Oz. As I was walking by the bartender screamed for me to come into the bar. Well being the nice southern gentleman I am I obliged. The conversation went something like this:
Bartender: Hey it’s boring in here. Our dancers wont be here until later on tonight. Why don’t you get on the bar and dance.
James: Ummmm I don’t think so…I’m really shy.
Bartender: Come on it will be fun. You get free drinks.
James: Gurllllll…how long do I have to do it and how much do I have to expose.
Bartender: As much as you want, you just can’t get naked.
James: Just for a few minutes (
So after I did my duty at Oz I headed off to the Riverfront Park with a drink in hand to watch the boats for a few minutes. On the agenda for tonight: The first Mardi Gras parade of the season. After that I get in free at Oz so I will definitely be making an appearance tonight. Then I will head over to Bourbon Street Pub for a spot of time and then if it isn’t too horribly late I will be heading to the country western bar for a little bit.
I will post this now and update the conclusion of the trip between tonight and Monday.
Laissez les bon tempes rouler!