Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Orleans: Post-Katrina Visit #2

The feeling of being home, of not wanting to turn around and leave in four days, or ever, enveloped me at the same time the moist, muggy air settled around me like a wet blanket.

I made it to Alan's apartment on Esplanade; while Alan is out of town, his friend Becky met me and gave me a set of keys. It is, how to say it, a modest sort of hovel -- as Alan warned me -- with two electrical outlets in the whole place, one of which isn't grounded, ergo useless for plugging in my laptop. There is a nice pool in the ramshackle courtyard, and a window-unit air conditioner kept things this side of tolerable while I slept.

After dropping my stuff off here, I went over to the Lions Inn in the Marigny, where my fellow travelers Jeff and Mari are staying. The bride- and groom-to-be were throwing a pool party there, complete with a crab and shrimp boil. It is the first time in my life I ever walked away from a table of shrimp before the shrimp ran out. I actually got full first. Drank three kinds of Abita (wheat, golden, and the ubiquitous amber) as well as some Flying Dog Pale. (Sidenote: The mosquitoes here, contrary to what you might think, are actually smaller and they fly faster. You can barely see them as they attack your ankles. But they love them some Dave blood as much as the ones back home. Consequently, I have about 4000 new bites already.)

Everyone sort of conked out by midnight, so I strolled over to the Spotted Cat, a little joint on Frenchmen, where a jazz quartet were playing, and had a few more beers. An old dude danced vigorously with a young chick he grabbed from the bar. She had extreme difficulty keeping up. When the band quit, I went across the street to dba and had a Chimay Trippel and chatted up some chick named Kelly, who was also in town for a wedding and originally from Metairie.

Then I stumbled home and wrote the previous blog entry.

I should say that on previous trips I would have probably been afraid to walk the six or so blocks from the Lions' Inn to Alan's place, alone, late at night. But this time, it didn't seem scary at all. Maybe because half of the population of the city is gone and there just aren't as many folks hanging around, I don't know.

Tonight it seems I have a decision to make... there is a bachelor party for the groom, and Alan is throwing what he's calling a "geek party." I'm a bachelor and not a geek, so the former sounds fine to me. But I'd also like to see Alan and meet his friends too. Maybe I can manage to attend both.

Well, time to shower up and go in search of some more delicious food. Maybe it's time to hit up Central Grocery for a real muffuletta, not the funky imitations they serve in places like the Quarter Bistro!