Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

 New Orleans, LA
Mardi Gras 2010, part two
Part one can be found here.

The kids...




       The adults...





I usually have the best intentions of photographing beautiful dishes of delectable goodness before I tear into them.  But sometimes a plate of frog's legs gets in front of me and I just can't help myself.  It was a beautiful plate of frog's legs.  Trust me.  Unfortunately, this is the only evidence I have...


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Evening commute

In the mornings, I usually pedal down Royal St. because more often than not I've woken up later than I wanted to and I'm hauling ass trying to get to work on time.  But in the evenings, I can take my time and go where I please.  I like to ride down by the river.  It's pretty down there.  Made it in time for sunset today.


What are the odds?

So I'm at work yesterday and this guy...


...walks in and orders a Kobe beef burger and a rusty nail.

A big part of my job involves talking to people.  Which is great here, because generally, in New Orleans, I enjoy talking to people.  Generally, in San Francisco, I didn't enjoy talking to people so much.  Generally, in San Francisco, I wanted to smack the fuck out of people after talking to them for even a short length of time.  I generally enjoyed working the service bar out there.

But down here in the Big Sleazy, talking to people is generally a pleasure, and I really enjoy working the front bar and socializing with the people.  Tourists like talking about New Orleans, as do locals, and I LOVE talking about New Orleans.  It works out well for everyone.  So when homeboy came in, I ducked in the corner, finished the last two bites of my sandwich, and came over to make conversation.

It started off in the normal way.  Whereya from, whadaya do, yadda yadda yadda.  Turns out his name was Matt and he lived in Albuquerque.  In town for business.  Delightful man.  While digging into each other's personal lives, we discovered that we both had lived on Long Island.  While reminiscing about his time on the East Coast, he mentioned that he had worked at the beach at Robert Moses State Park.  This is where things get interesting.

"No shit," says I. "My father worked there years ago.  Maybe you know him.  They used to call him King Rat."

Matt: "You're shitting me."

Me: "No I'm not!"

Matt: "Rat was my boss!"

Me: "You're shitting me."

Matt: "No I'm not!"

Turns out they were good friends.  Hadn't seen each other since 1973 or something like that.  So of course I text King Rat.  We get him on the phone, the two of them get to catch up on the past thirty-something years.  Matt was headed to NY in July anyway.  Now he has another reason to go.

Love when life throws shit like that at you.  The odds?  I would call it about 3,987,645 to 1.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

New Orleans, LA
 Mardi Gras 2010, part one

This is what my street-corner looked like Mardi Gras morning.  It was a bright sunny day.  Shadows everywhere.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Long overdue

Today I marched in one of the most significant jazz funerals this city has ever seen.  We've waited a long time for this one.  Best jazz funeral ever.  Whose death were we marching for?  The 'Aint's, of course.

The coffin, in all its glory...

We shall wear paper bags on our heads no more.

Yes.  We're STILL celebrating the Superbowl down here.  We'll be celebrating all year.  Forty-three years we've waited, OK?  We'll celebrate as long as we damn well please.

Some of you are asking, "What's a jazz funeral?"  Allow me to explain.

Around here, we don't have funerals.  We have parties.  We don't spend the day mourning a loved one's death.  We spend a day celebrating their life.  How does New Orleans like to celebrate things?  With music and parades.  What else?

A jazz funeral starts off somewhat somber.  The band generally breaks into "A Closer Walk With Thee" as the procession leaves the starting point.  But it's not long before they start to funk things up a little bit, and the funeral party following behind starts dancing.  It looks something like this:

The whole thing ends with a big party with even more music and dancing.  That's our reaction to pretty much everything around here.  Music and dancing.  It's a pretty good life.

Who dat!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Eye Candy

Mardi Gras 2010
Pretty in Pink


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

The evidence around the house this morning indicates that we had a pretty successful Mardi Gras.


Costume stuff and bags of beads in the living room:



My room.  At least I drank a bottle of water before taking off my costume and throwing it all over the place.  Or maybe it was after.  I'd been wearing it for sixteen hours, including a full bar shift.  It really needed to come off.


I was having a really hard time hanging up my dress, so I just shoved it in the closet.  It needs to be dry-cleaned anyway.  At least the wig was in decent shape:


This is where I woke up:


My room-mate's bed is extremely comfortable, and I like to steal it whenever possible.  It was covered with costume stuff, I guess they had been home at some point to change.  I was too tired to even put it in the other room, so I moved it to the side, crawled in, and basically didn't move until he came home.  Eleven hours later.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010


It was happening right in front of me, and I still couldn't believe it.  A headline we've been waiting forty-three years to see...


People were, ahh, happy.  Especially this guy...


More people in the French Quarter than I had ever seen.  Bourbon and St. Ann:


Standing on St. Louis:


Walking down Decatur:

The whole thing was pretty fucking surreal.

Yes they did. Who dat? WE DAT!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Who dat said females don't like football?



These wonderful women were their own one-car Saints parade, rolling down Royal St. throwing piles of beads to a happy crowd.  A perfectly logical thing to do.  I mean, that's what they were doing Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis, right?  What's that?  They weren't?

Oh.  Wow.  Sucks for them...


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


The French Quarter was at its best.  The chaos of Mardi Gras is a beautiful and wonderful thing, precisely because of the disorganized chaos of a million different kinds of parties happening all at once.  This was different, and a thousand times better.  It was the jubilation of Mardi Gras, but it was like our own (public) private party.  A million people celebrating one common cause, and all wearing the same costume.  BLACK AND GOLD PATROL!!

I've never seen so many happy people in one place.  Move over, Disneyworld...


This guy is my hero.  I can't imagine being on crutches in the French Quarter this weekend.  Actually, yes I can.  Broken knees suck.


The beauty of complete strangers hugging and kissing on the street never gets old to me.  Post-game, on Frenchmen St. some guy grabbed my friend and starting screaming and hugging him.  Then they grabbed each other's arms and started jumping up and down screaming, "WHO DAT!! WHO DAT!!"

"Earl," I said, "Who was that?"

He said, "I don't know.  But I feel closer to him now..."

It was a beautiful thing.  I myself have been picked up and spun around by so many random dudes this weekend I'm still dizzy.  These two were walking past each other and started shrieking and hugging.  For no apparent reason.  Oh yeah, wait a minute.  The Saints were about to play in the Superbowl!


The best part is, I hadn't even been back in town for twenty-four hours yet.  What a welcome home party!


Monday, February 8, 2010


I really don't have any eloquent words for you right now.  The New Orleans Saints just won the Superbowl.


Satan must be ice-skating to work.

Last night, this city erupted into an explosion of ecstasy we never knew was possible until now.  It was Carnival times ten, Mardi Gras jacked up on steroids and speed.  Tears of joy everywhere.  Grown men crying, complete strangers, hugging and kissing and dancing in the streets.  Everybody high-fiving everybody.  Police cars, fire trucks, flashing their lights and waving.  Brass bands spontaneously breaking out all over town.  The screaming.  I'll never forget the screaming.

It was frantic.  Screams that had been building for over forty years, finally released.  It was the most beautiful night in the history of New Orleans, in the history of HISTORY.

I really can't even talk about it right now.  It's too soon.  I haven't had time to process it yet.  I'm still in a state of semi-disbelief...


It's not going to sink in until after the parade tomorrow.  Then, get ready.  This is going to turn into the "All Saints, All The Time" channel for a while.  Tune in for full Superbowl aftermath coverage right here, photos and video coming soon!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Finish Strong

Because at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.



Shadow Shot Sunday

 New Orleans, LA 
January 3rd, 2010, about three pm

The Calm Before the Storm


This was just a few minutes before I got a phone call that would turn my world upside down.  Crazy day, crazy past few weeks.  Total monkey circus.  Looks like things are settling down now.

  This was also a few minutes before the Saints lost their final game of the season, finishing at 3-13.  They may have dropped their last three, but they finished strong and that's what matters.  The New Orleans Saints are going to the Superbowl.  For the first time ever.  I wish I could explain what it means to this city.  What it means to me.  I couldn't have picked a better time to move back home...




Saturday, February 6, 2010

Storm Warning

New Orleans, LA

Hurricane Wanderlust is due to make landfall this evening.  Floods of joy are expected in the Bywater, Faubourg Marigny, French Quarter, Mid-City and Uptown neighborhoods.  It is advised to remain indoors, especially when the Saints win the Superbowl tomorrow.  Those outside their homes during this time are subject to hugging, kissing, screaming, and tears of pure, unadulterated Bliss.

But you knew that already, didn't you?

It's been a long road home.  I have driven for days.  Battled snow, sleet, torrential downpours.  Just to get Home.  To my beloved bayous and lakes and rivers.  To the magnolias and crepe myrtles.  To the Spanish moss in City Park.  To the music, the dancing, the crawfish.  To the biggest motherfucking Superbowl party this country has ever seen!


Oh wow.  Homeward bound.  Only a matter of hours now.  Yeah you fucking right!!

Dining on the road home

Austin, TX

When I'm in Austin, I like to have migas for breakfast:


Beer for lunch:


 Bar-B-Q for dinner:


And these?

These I like to have as often as possible.  Careful.  They're addictive.