Big Easy Pieces

Just before landing in New Orleans, the pilot asked over the speaker if anyone had change for a twenty. Sweetpea shook her head and smiled, “You know we’re in the Big Easy.”

While touching down and applying the brakes on the plane, the pilot made it sound like he was stopping a horse, “Whoa, boy, slow down, whoa,” (slowing gallop sounds) and then “neigh.”

We were there for Blane’s cousin’s wedding, the one who was our translator on that trip to France where we saw that spooky French property with the bones all over the place. She is a cool girl and she married a cool dude who went to film school. The rehearsal dinner was a crawfish boil, oh boy, and the wedding was just beautiful. We all had a great time.

Of course we had to go out to the French Quarter while there to kill some time between wedding events.

Places like this call me, “Come on in.”

As well as places like this. (AJ, I was thinking about you, this guy gave us tons of free samples and a hefty discount on a case of pralines.)

Had to take a stoll down here. I told the girls that the guy to girl ratio is always about 5:1, and not a single guy on that street is worthy of them. Too bad. One thing I love about this area is how there is music coming out of everywhere, all types, jazz, zydeco, rock, blues, techno, country, you name it. The sounds just sort of all mesh together in one big gumbo of music.

I love these old machines even though they give me the creeps. I wonder what he knows about the future of New Orleans?

Here is a cool video I took of a street performer/acrobat who cuts a flip over some audience members (Sweetpea and Spanky are in there). It is amazing. Street acts are one of my favorite things to see on any trip, and New Orleans is full of them, especially near Jackson Square.

While we were leaving the Quarter for our trip home, we ran across this guy near the river. He was drumming on plastic five gallon cans for donations. I noticed his legs were bruised and he was weak. Then I noticed the hospital bracelet on his wrist. He said he had just been released from the hospital and pointed to his walker, “I got that from them, too.”

Out of all the people I saw out there, all the Hurricane Katrina stories I heard over the weekend, this one man embodied the spirit of the people there the best. Still crippled, but up on their feet and back to work with no excuses, no rest. Just moving on. So really, as weak as this man looked, he possessed some of the greatest strength and resilience I have ever seen.

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19 thoughts on “Big Easy Pieces

  1. Sounds like you had a fantastic trip. Very touching to read about the guy with the bucket drum. I guess having been to hell and coming out on the other side gives you a special strength. Me, I’m weak and drooling. “A case of pralines.” That’s just pure heaven.
    Oh, must tell you: Klaus just told me that for my birthday treat this year, he and Leanne are taking me to the Princess Dianna concert on July 1st. He got some very good tickets, seated. Rod Stewart, Elton John etc. as well as William and Harry. Couldn’t be better, but also sad.. I know I’ll start crying as soon as someone mentions Dianna.
    Great video of the jumper!

  2. Liv, Rod Stewart was playing at JazzFest in New Orleans over the weekend. We thought about going but just couldn’t fit it in.

    That Dianna concert sounds amazing. Is it in an arena?

  3. Yes, it’s in the new Wembly Stadium. Tickets were sold out in 20 minutes, so we’re real lucky. I’ve always wanted to see Rod live, but it’s sad that it’s Dianna’s Memorial Concert. She would have enjoyed all the acts. Her sons have said they are giving her her best birthday present ever. (I think it’ll be mine too)
    Did you see much of the damage in New Orleans, or is it pretty much rebuilt?

  4. That is amazing, Klaus did good getting tickets in that 20 minute window. You are one lucky dog.

    The French Quarter looks as it always did. We did drive out to the neighborhoods hit by the floods and there was scattered rebuilding, but most of it is just ghost town, Liv. Miles and miles of destroyed homes and businesses, as if it happened yesterday. No people. No cars. Looks like the end of the world.

  5. “AJ, I was thinking about you, this guy gave us tons of free samples and a hefty discount on a case of pralines”

    You are such a tease.

  6. I love those pics Kitty, it reminds me of my one and only visit to New Orleans about 6 years ago. I can only imagine how it looks now.

    Liv, you are lucky to go to the Diana concert! I would love to go to that. Is it going to be televised? I am a sucker for Diana, I just loved her.

    I am going to see Rod Stewart this weekend. I’ve never seen him in concert.

  7. Michele, I loved Dianna too. Cried for a week after she died. I guess they’ll show it on tv. If they do I tape it of course. Enjoy Rod this weekend, tell him I’ll see him soon.

  8. Your mama met Rod Stewart? He’s the reason I spent may teenage sleepless nights wishing my name was Jane. Your mom is so lucky!

  9. Yeah, this was just a few years ago. I don’t think she ever listened to his music, though, so it wasn’t that big a deal to her. In fact, she gave me the autograph, but I forgot it at her house.

  10. The tickets won’t be sent out until mid June. It’s to stop the crims making copies(at least not give them much time to), so we won’t know where we’ll be, but Klaus got in there the minute they opened the sales, and they said the best seats were going first. It was on a first come, first served basis. Keep your fingers crossed.

  11. I love New Orleans, and the locked gates in the French Quarter are the best part. I’ve always wanted to wander through them and up the stairs and through the places where people live….

  12. I saw those guys when I was in NO. I really had a good time when we went, am going to get a group together to go down for Mardi Gras next year.

    Nice trip report, thanks. 🙂

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