Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Mandeville, Louisiana
Fontainebleau State Park

Had a friend in town last week, visiting New Orleans for the first time.  He wanted to dive head-first into Louisiana, dig a little deeper than Nouvelle Orléans and the Vieux Carré.  So the boy and I decided to take him for a long, lovely, lazy day on the North Shore.





Friday, May 28, 2010

Toxic soup

So the top-kill thing is working... sort of... which means that oil isn't hemorrhaging into the Gulf anymore, or at the very least it's slowed down considerably.  That's good, right?

Yeah, sure.  I guess.

Now we just have to figure out what to do with the untold millions of gallons of oil and fuel swirling around.  It's already washing up on the beaches at Grand Isle.  The Chandeleur Islands have been fucked for weeks now.  Everywhere I look I see images of pelicans covered in crude.

Everyone has lots of Very Serious things to say regarding this oil spill/leak/gusher.  Lots of talk about what a tragedy it is, an environmental disaster.  Lots of hand-wringing and pontificating about the poor fishermen whose industry is about to be wiped out for who knows how many years.  How long did it take the Prince William Sound to come back after the Exxon Valdez?  Exactly.

Yes, lots of talking.  Not much action, though, even right here on the frontlines.  I'm not saying you have to go down to the Louisiana coastline with a scrub brush.  But have you maybe started turning the lights off when you leave the room?  Using your air-conditioner less?  Stop leaving it blasting when you leave the house?  "But I want the house to be cool when I get home from work."

Maybe you could take the bus to work, or ride your bicycle.  Maybe you could walk the two blocks to bar down the street, instead of drive.  Yes J, I'm looking at you here.  "But it's hot out.  I don't want to walk.  I need the AC."  To drive to the pool?  Are you fucking kidding me?

Little things, people.  They make a difference...

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Somewhere on the road to Ollantaytambo, Peru
August, 2009

It was a beautiful two-hour journey to Ollantaytambo.  My driver was all personality, regardless of how little English he spoke, and was extremely patient (and amused) with my pathetic grasp of basic Spanish.

"¿Foto?  ¿Aquí?"

He was also very patient and accommodating of my desire to stop for pictures...


We were having a lovely afternoon.  He asked if I was a vegetarian.  ¿Que?  Apparently he knew a place that had good chicharrones, did I want to stop?

For chicharrones?  What's the Spanish word for always?


Seriously.  Best fucking chicharrones ever.  Big, fatty hunks of pork drenched in even more fat.  The most flavor you can fit on a fork.  Red onion relish, plump, juicy corn, spicy peppers.  Sr. de Huanca has got it figured out.  The "two pigs fucking" logo is just an extra bonus, really.  Like lagniappe...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Things I miss about San Francisco

The Bridge




Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

New Orleans, LA
Down the street and around the corner




Saturday, May 22, 2010


It's a beautiful morning...


One egg over easy.  Wheat toast, no butter.  Boudin from Big Fisherman.  I know I've mentioned Big Fisherman before.  That's right baby.  They're more than just seafood.

Good stuff

If you don't already know about it, I probably shouldn't tell you.  The line is long enough as it is.  All the damn time.  Back when I lived at the Compound, Hansen's was only three short, sweet blocks away.  Now I'm over in the Beautiful Bywater, so it's a bit of a hike.  Takes a long time to get there, even in the car.  I pass countless snowball shops on the way, and I wouldn't dream of stopping.  Not even if you paid me.


Eye Candy

New Orleans, LA

Oh my.  The kitchen staff down here is SO accommodating...


Friday, May 21, 2010

No, you won't


For some reason, I took great offense to that sign.  I saw it at a gas station somewhere along I-40, I think in North Carolina.  I found it to be entirely too presumptuous.  I won't be back tomorrow.  Man, I don't even fucking LIVE in this state.  I'm just passing through.  Even if I DID live here, why would you automatically assume I would be coming back tomorrow?  Maybe I won't need to buy gas tomorrow.  Or maybe I'll find somewhere cheaper down the street.  Maybe I didn't much care for your selection of soft drinks and iced tea.  Maybe your cashier was rude to me and I'll never come back.  Actually, that's not true.  The cashier was really nice.  The bathrooms were clean.  Everything was fine, to be honest.

Maybe I just think too much.  I guess that's what happens when you're in a car with twelve more hours to go and no one to talk to.  Maybe that double latte in Asheville wasn't such a good idea...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

That river in Egypt

I've been swimming around in it for about a month now.  Since April 20th, to be exact.  Doing my best to stay deep beneath the surface.


On April 20th, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing eleven human souls, injuring seventeen more, and completely fucking up the Gulf of Mexico.

I avoided the pictures.  Ignored the newscasts.  Overlooked the articles.  I couldn't do it.  I couldn't think about it, because when I did, even just for a minute, the magnitude of the situation was overwhelming and I would become frantic with anxiety.  One morning I cried the same way I cried after Hurricane Katrina, when I saw my beautiful city on television, simultaneously underwater and on fire.

We cut the fucking Earth open, people.  She's bleeding, profusely, and poisoning herself.  We're not supposed to be doing that shit.

So of course I don't want to cry and have anxiety, so I've been trying not to pay attention to what's been going on, trying not to think about it.  But then I saw the video of the oil gushing out of the broken motherfucking pipe.  Have you seen it?  It's right here.

After that, the same friend sent me this and this.  The oil slick can be seen from space now.  Well isn't that just fucking fantastic.

Now, it's all I can think about.  I devour every article I can find, I listen to the news in the car and scream at the radio.  I lay on the couch with my fancy internet phone...

Me: "Motherfuckers!"

Him: "What, you reading about the oil spill again?"

Me: "Yeah...  Fuck.  Damn it.  Do you want to know what's going on NOW?"

Him: "Well, I have a feeling you're going to tell me either way..."

I'm starting to get obsessed.

I'm trying not to go too crazy.  But fuck man.  This is some really fucked up shit.  We're only just getting started, too...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Well said

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"  "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to" said the Cat.  "I don't much care where..." said Alice.  "Then it doesn't matter which way you go" said the Cat.  " long as I get somewhere" Alice added as an explanation.

"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if only you walk long enough."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Rural Hall, North Carolina
Leigh's front porch



I told you. We're everywhere

Seen at a gas station somewhere around Granite Falls, North Carolina



Lazy day

Wilson Creek, North Carolina

I still don't know where I'll be living in two months.  New York?  New Orleans?  Who knows.  But wherever I end up, North Carolina is poised to become my new favorite distraction.  It's only a day's drive from either city, and there's tons of places like this to lounge around all day with your friends...






Saturday, May 15, 2010

So she's enjoying penis a little bit more, is she?

God I love New Orleans. I really, really love New Orleans.

Change of scenery

Rural Hall, North Carolina

I'm settling in beautifully here at Leigh's.  It's gorgeous here, and being around that woman is like slipping into a nice warm jacuzzi.  It's been far too long since we've been able to stay up until four in the morning talking about everything and nothing.  She's got a nice big house in the woods with funky stuff on the walls and a cute car in the driveway.  Can you tell a New Orleans girl lives here?

What a difference a day makes.  Twenty-four hours ago I was in a studio apartment on the upper west side in the middle of a concrete jungle.  I woke up today surrounded by this:




I think I'm going to like North Carolina.

We're everywhere...

Somewhere along I-81, Virginia



Road trip

Had a busy week in New York.  Had lots of fun, saw lots of friends.  Spent a lot of time Getting Things Done.  Life is looking good.

In the middle of a long drive back to New Orleans.  Resting here with Leigh for the weekend in Rural Hall, North Carolina.  We're going to visit Wooo Bobby tomorrow.

I had fun on the road today.  Got into a long conversation about rolling papers with the cashier girls at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania.  Folks are so darned friendly in that state.

I got hungry in Virginia.  I saw this sign somewhere off I-81, and was skeptical:


Truck stop BBQ?  Could be hit or miss.  I've had some pretty good truck stop food before.  I still dream about that chicken-fried steak from that greasy spoon off I-10 in Texas.  So I decided to give it a shot.

I recommend the pulled pork plate, Carolina style, with applesauce and coleslaw.  Douse it with some BBQ sauce and a little hot sauce.  Mix some applesauce and coleslaw in with the meat.  I don't know if it's the best in Virginia.  But it's pretty fucking good when you've been in a car for seven hours.  Maybe it was the rolling papers.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Things I miss about San Francisco

These Two.  So, so much.


I've been scheming.  Looks like These Two might have some company pretty soon...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

New Orleans, LA
Botanical Gardens, City Park



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Not THAT kind of bone...

New Orleans, LA
Jazz Fest 2010


Get your mind out of the gutter.  We're talking about TROMbones here, people.  I love this band.  They do an awesome cover of Black Sabbath's Iron Man.  I took Julio and Jorge to see them a few years ago in San Francisco.  This was when they both still had long hair.  They started headbanging.  I can still see the two of them jumping up and down, black hair flying everywhere.  Good stuff, great night.  I miss those guys.

The band sounded great at the fest this year.  They did a late show over the weekend that I really wanted to go to, but I got distracted.   They're all over the place this summer, including NY.  Lucky me.



New Orleans, LA
Jazz Fest 2010

The best dish at the fest.  No contest.  No kidding.  I eat it every day that I go.  It's unbelievable.  It's a thick, rich, flavor explosion, all dark and delicious.  I had a gallon delivered to me in San Francisco once, for the party I threw when KKV was leaving town for South America.  They shipped it frozen, overnight delivery.  The shipping cost more than the gumbo.

Worth.  Every.  Penny.

Look them up.  Call them and tell them you want the Jazz Fest gumbo.  They'll know what you mean.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Master

New Orleans, LA
Jazz Fest 2010




New Orleans, LA
Around the corner on Dauphine St.

This might be my favorite block in the city, at least in the springtime.  A whole wall of jasmine, half a block long.  The smell will knock you out.  No lie.  Intoxicating...




Thursday, May 6, 2010



I hate to say it, but it is.

I'm sorry.  I know it's the most famous dishes of Jazz Fest Dishes.  I know that there's an army of New Orleanians out there who would have me tried for treason right now.  But it really is.  Overrated.  So fucking overrated.

People line up for that shit, as you can plainly see.  You know what, people?  It's just crawfish in cream sauce, with some Tony Chachere's thrown in.  Seriously, that's all it is, more or less.  You can make that shit at home, so easy.  Plus, they always overcook the fucking pasta.

I hate mushy pasta.

Although, if you don't live in south Louisiana and don't have easy access to crawfish, crawfish like they were coming out of your fucking ears, I guess I can see the fascination.

Mmmm, crawfish...

Supply and demand

My job asked me for a favor the other day.  They asked me to work a breakfast shift, which is something I don't ordinarily do.  Getting up at 5:30 in the morning isn't really my thing.  Yeah sure, I'm awake at 5:30 in the morning every now and then.  But it's usually because I haven't gone to sleep yet.

There was some big convention in town, they had eighty-something people coming in for a breakfast buffet and needed some extra hands.  I really like my job, I really like the people I work with, I really like my owners, and I really like my managers.  So, I really couldn't say no.

Of course I was running on about four hours of sleep, because my bartender brain refuses to shut itself off and go to sleep any earlier than one or two in the morning.  I really wanted a cappuccino.  Like, the minute I woke up.  I was so bleary-eyed I wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep my bicycle upright.  No problem, I thought.  I'll stop and get one on the way in.

As I pedaled from the Bywater to the CBD, I passed many, many bars that were open.  Many bars that had never even closed.  Checkpoint Charlie's.  The Abbey.  Aunt Tiki's.  Three Legged Dog.  That bar I used to work at that has a new name that I can never remember.  I could go on, but you get the point.

I also passed more than a few coffee shops.  PJ's.  Closed.  Community.  Closed.  The Orange Couch.  Closed.  Rose Nicaud.  Closed. Cafe Envie.  Closed.  Even Starbucks.  Closed.

So let me get this straight.  I can get a Maker's Mark with a beer back on my way to work at six-thirty in the morning, but I can't get a fucking cappuccino?

I know what you're going to say. "Why didn't you just go to Cafe du Monde?  They're open 24 hours, they're right on the way.  You should have just stopped there."

But I didn't want a cafe au lait.  I wanted a fucking cappuccino, and Cafe du Monde doesn't sell cappuccino.  They only sell cafe au lait.  I'm very particular about what I want, particularly when I've only had four hours of sleep.  I really wanted a cappuccino.  Nothing else would do.

But I was shit out of fucking luck.  No cappuccino for me.  At first I was annoyed.  Then I had to laugh. I mean really, was I surprised?  Guess I had just forgotten where I was for a minute there, and the simple business concept of supply and demand.  Not a huge demand for fancy coffee that early around here, it seems.

But Bloody Marys and bourbon?  Oh yeah, baby.  Make mine a double...