Saturday, May 05, 2001

Saturday Night in New Orleans

After we returned from the Jazz Fest and cleaned up some, it was time to call a cab and head down to the French Quarter. And wait. And wait. And call again to check on the cab, to be told they'd call it again. And wait. And call back to ask how long it would be for the cab to get there. And be told, "Look, it's Jazz Fest, we're busy," and be hung up upon. And realize the cab was never actually going to show up. This is why I hate "calling a cab". (But have little problem with "hailing a cab".) I'd much rather take public transportation than have to depend on one of those undependable companies to show up. Just so the search engines can hear me, that's United Cabs of New Orleans. We called for a taxi, one didn't show up. Draw your own conclusions.

So I drove the rental car (still no flats) into town. It wasn't that hard to find parking, although driving constrained me from enjoying too much of the New Orleans spirit. By this time, we were starved, so we followed our guidebook to Cafe Maspero. It was a nice, inexpensive way to experience New Orleans cuisine. I had jambalaya washed down with some beer, and then we were off on our walking tour of the French Quarter.

It's clear that the walking tour in the guidebook was never really meant to be done at 11 or so at night, but we pressed ahead. The Spanish architecture was really neat, but after a while we grew tired and wandered over to Bourbon Street. Wow. I don't know what I expected, but what I got was "World's Biggest Frat Party." Uh, pass. So we stopped in a voodoo shop, then wandered home, leaving the post-midnight revelry to those more dedicated than us.

Thursday, May 03, 2001

Jazz Fest

Saturday morning (the car still sans flats), we got up and headed to Jazz Fest. We parked at City Park, 5-10 minutes from where we were staying, and took the shuttle in. Apparently parking near the Fest is pretty atrocious, so this was a good idea. When we got to the fairgrounds, it was time to head for the most important destination -- the food. Our food tally:

  • Fried Gator Po Boy
  • Crab Stuffed Shrimp
  • Gator Sausage Po Boy
  • Crawfish Bread
  • Mango Ice
  • Fruit Salad
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Crawfish Remoulade

Oh, yeah, there was music too. We listened to the Soul Rebels Brass Band, who had a unique rendition of Wham!'s "Careless Whisper". We caught a bit of Los Hombres Calientes, but were really too far away to hear them very well. Then we wandered over to hear the tail end of "Süroit of Canada w/ Hadley Castille" -- Cajun music. Later, we heard some torch songs (Little Jimmy Scott) and some folk music, before ending with the Wallflowers.

OK, I know it's somewhat cheesy (although not as cheesy as the crawfish bread -- mmm, mmm) to go to Jazz Fest and really only be familiar with the Wallflowers. (For those of you who aren't, it's an alt-rockish band fronted by Jakob Dylan (pictured above) -- yes, Bob's son.) But you know, that's what I know, and now I have a little bit more exposure to other types of music.