Posts Tagged ‘French Quarter’

New Orleans Lunch

July 3, 2016

I had it today.

Not lunch exactly, although I did eat quite well, but what is referred to as having a “New Orleans Lunch.”

My host at the luscious Air BnB I am staying at in the historic (what part of New Orleans is not historic, by the way) Treme district, explained to me as she was making late reservations for Friday lunch at Galatoire’s in the French Quarter, that a New Orleans lunch is a lunch that lasts all afternoon and is really an excuse for old friends to catch up with each other.

It lasts at least two hours, usually three, sometimes four.

Today lunch was three hours for me.

I have not had a more enjoyable lunch with better company in some time, not in recent memory, that is certain.

She was a new friend, so I suppose that the idea of old friends catching up did not apply, but she felt like an old friend, in fact, by the time we had finished our time together, me teary eyed with gratitude and love for the experience, she had become an old friend.

I did not start out the day knowing that this would happen.

I am so grateful.

Utterly and completely and sincerely grateful that I say yes to things, always say yes, say yes, even when you don’t want to, say yes when a stranger touches your arm and asks you out to lunch.

Say yes.

I had started out the day in a very leisurely manner.

Which was really needed after yesterday’s travel and hit the ground running start to my time in New Orleans.

I was not able to blog last night since there was a problem with the WiFi here at the Air BnB, which is just scrumptious as I said previously, with just enough Southern Gothic creepy, but not too much, I mean, yeah, I did have a moment of wariness when I knelt down to pray last night before the sleigh bed that is four feet off the ground, what is underneath this monstrous thing? But a divine space, even with the cobwebs in the corner, filled with enormous, stunning, astounding amounts of art.  The owners are collectors, artists, collaborators, and are also a part of the CANO-LA organization.

It’s basically an art home.

So chock full of art, it’s almost, but not quite, too much.

The hostess gave me the best suggestion as to how to spend my afternoon, I wanted to be to the conference to check in by 6p.m. last night, so I had the afternoon.

She drew a little map and told me to go to the New Orleans Museum of Art and then take the Canal St. Street Car down to the river and walk about.

I did exactly that.

It was divine.

I decided to walk from the mansion, to the museum yesterday, I wanted to see New Orleans from foot for a while, I find that the best place to discover and experience things.

I took a bath first in the amazing bathroom that is part of my room, which is really not a room, I really have a full suite, huge bedroom, huge ( I mean huge, the bathroom is literally the size of my studio) bathroom, and my own, again, rather large, front balcony with rocking chairs and lounge chairs and a gigantic table, and a view, of I kid not, a huge nest with six (!) baby grey crested herons.

Then I was off to the museum on foot, after a pit stop at the Pagoda cafe to get an iced coffee.

Google maps said 40 minute walk.

It took me two and a half hours.

But.

You know.

I wander.

I meander.

I stop and take photographs.

I had a beautiful, sweet, small lunch at the Degas Cafe, a gorgeous little plate of gulf prawns with okra and corn choux and chili oil.

I walked around the St. Louis Cemetery #3.

I stopped at a wig shop.

Come on!

I had to.

I browsed through a vintage store.

And I strolled around City Park for a little while before heading into the museum.

There was a great exhibition by Bob Dylan, yes the musician, of paintings he did in homage to New Orleans.

There was a spectacular Monet that I had never seen before, Snow at Giverny.

There was also a Warhol, Stilettos, that was amazing, never seen it before either, not in books or other Warhol shows.

I got my art on.

Then I took the street car down Canal Street, wandered around the edges of the French Quarter and after headed to the conference.

I came back to the Treme district and had an amazing dinner at Lola’s and then slept like a baby through the night.

As I said prior, I didn’t have much of an exact idea what I was going to do today.

I knew I would be heading to the conference in the evening.

But.

Other than that.

I was rather in a mood to let the day unfold and surprise me.

Which it did.

In spades.

I started again at Pagoda cafe and got my iced coffee.

I flipped through a little guide book my hosts had left me and decided to go the Marigny district to see the galleries there.

I took a car, it was too hot to spend an hour walking, besides, I walked so much yesterday my feet needed a break.

I went to the Front Gallery on St. Claude.

And.

Fuck.

It was closed for an installation.

However, there were some other galleries in the neighborhood, so I did an impromptu art walk and discovered a gorgeous installation at the Good Children Gallery by Lala Raščić.

It rather blew me away.

The artist was there and explained how she data mined the internet to get the images that she created that were sheets of glass painted with 24 karat gold leaf and mounted on blocks of wood, then she strategically placed lights in areas to create shadows and shapes and the results where shined upon the walls.

I was breathless with the beauty of it.

After that I rather drifted down the road.

I was uncertain about going further, it was hot, there was not much shade, and it was a long patch of road before I would get to anything else resembling a gallery.

I noticed a place that I had passed in the car on the way to the Front Gallery and decided I would just peak in.

So grateful I did.

This is where I met my new friend.

I did not meet her walking in, I met two other artists and chatted with them, told them I was visiting from San Francisco and wandered around.

I was not there all that long, twenty minutes perhaps, and I was feeling the call to move on.

I stepped outside to get a car.

And then I felt a hand on my arm.

“Excuse me, I just wanted to ask you a question,” a lilting female voice.

I turned and smiled at her, “ask away.”

“Well, this may sound a little odd, but are you doing anything for lunch?  I just, well, I like to meet interesting people and I overheard you’re from San Francisco, and you look interesting, and well, would you?”

I was struck with the flattery of it.

I am an interesting person!

Jesus.

Hello.

Carmen.

I have hot pink hair, a wild assortment of tattoos and I am wearing a vintage gingham black and white halter dress.

Of course I look interesting.

And of course.

I said yes.

What transpired next was so astounding I am still in awe hours later.

We went two doors down from the gallery to her house and she gave me a tour of her art collection.

Then.

We drove, yes, I got in a car with a complete stranger, (not that I don’t every time I call for an Uber, but) off to one of her favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.

We talked and talked and talked.

And talked.

I told her my story.

She told me hers.

Suffice to say.

A fast friendship was formed.

She’s an amazing 72 year old woman living a rich, full, wonderful life.

I aspire to be that kind of woman.

She owns her home, has loads of art, goes out to jazz clubs, loves New Orleans, travels, does photography and has just started to become a writer.

There was so much more said and spoken of, matters of the heart, that I won’t divulge, somethings that are best left at the lunch table.

She footed the bill, “a little taste of Southern hospitality,” she said and laughed.

Then she gave me a ride clear across town to Magazine Street, through the French Quarter, sharing stories all the way.

We exchanged numbers, e-mails, and addresses.

We hugged.

I got teary.

Of course I did.

That’s what I do.

Heart on my sleeve and all that.

“Now you have a New Orleans connection, you’ll stay with me the next time you’re in town.”

And what do you think I said?

Yes.

Of course.

I said.

Yes.

I am honored, awed, and thrilled.

New Orleans.

I think I love you.

 

 

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You Look Like

June 30, 2016

Mint chocolate chip ice cream with cherries on top.

He said as I walked by.

“LOVE YOUR HAIR,” he added, giving me the nod for extra special emphasis.

Thanks dude.

Everybody likes to look like ice cream.

Well.

I do.

I did have to laugh a little at myself though for the outfit I was rolling down the street with, or up the street as the case may be, heading to the spot I spend my Wednesday evenings at getting right with God.

I had come home, started my laundry and rubbed one out.

Hey.

Look.

Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Although I could have taken up an offer I was made this afternoon.

“How about ten months?” He texted me.

“Um, hmm, I’ll think about that, let me get back to you,” I replied.

I got back to him a few minutes later, I already knew the answer, but it was fun for a moment to consider.

“Get your year and check back with me,” I replied.

Mother fucker.

REALLY?

Like the third one in a week.

What is up?

Did no one get their birthday last June?

What the fuck is in the air?

My hormones I suppose.

The blood is high, I can tell you what.

My cycle won’t hit until I get back from New Orleans.

Great, I thought tonight as I stripped down to hop in the shower, my breasts a good half size larger than yesterday, great, I’m ovulating or soon will be.

Meh.

I do not need to head of to New Orleans with plans of getting laid, I have other things to think about, do, go to, experience.

Was I heading to New Orleans with a partner, it would be the perfect place to wander romantic in the warm night rains and make out under a lamp post.

Just nibble my neck there and there and then we’ll stroll through the French Quarter and maybe a few cemeteries, because, well, death is sexy, no?

Anyway.

I took care of business, and then laundry and then the shower and in between packing for the trip and being on top of the clothes being in the wash, I had, um, a curious assortment of an outfit as I walked out the door.

And.

I have to say, I pulled it off.

I don’t know how, but sometimes more is better.

Leopard print leggings.

A mint colored nightshirt with candy skulls in pink and white piping, topped off with a sea green sweatshirt and of course a big mountain of cotton candy pink hair with some pink roses and a sequined star clip.

Because sequins.

Hello.

I probably look ridiculous.

But.

Fuck it.

It made me happy and I was cozy as fuck.

Because, bitches, it’s cold out there.

Freaking foggy, chilly, cold, etc, etc, etc.

It was 50 degrees this morning when I got up and socked in with fog, which never really lifted.

It got a tiny bit sunny in the Mission, but the fog that had burned off was rapidly being replaced by 3 p.m. with a fresh batch of cold as fuck rolling in over Twin Peaks.

Hello summer in San Francisco.

They are not kidding.

And the Outer Sunset?

Shut the fuck up.

It was never not foggy out here.

I don’t suppose it ever really burned off.

When I hopped off my scooter and came in and greeted my house, “hello house,” I immediately turned on the heat and lit up some candles.

Welcome to summer, break out your scarves.

I am so looking forward to being somewhere warm for a little while.

I’m sure the heat and the humidity will lose their luster pretty quick, but right now, it sounds fantastic.

A warm run of nights where I can walk outside bare skinned to the air and drift in the warm magnolia scent of summer.

Bring it the fuck on.

One more shift at work and then I’m ghost.

I’ll finish work at 6p.m.

Scooter home.

Grab my rolling suitcase, which is 95% packed, and head out the door to the airport.

I will probably call for a car.

I could try the MUNI and the BART, but I think I’ll also be hitting rush hour commute time and I don’t particularly care to risk being late on the flight.

I would rather get there a little early and blog from the waiting area at the gate.

Tomorrow!

I fly out tomorrow.

My flight is out of SFO at 10:41 p.m.

I’ll have a brief, less than an hour, layover in Las Vegas, then onto Houston, Texas, with another brief layover and transfer.

What with the time change I will arrive in New Orleans at 8:24 a.m.

I’m not excited about the indirect flight, the two change overs are going to wreck me for sleep, but it was worth it to get the discounted ticket, otherwise it was going to be another three to four hundred dollars to fly direct.

I figured that was money for the Air BnB.

Or for the experience of being there, restaurants, souvenirs, tickets to places, should I swing into the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, it’s actually close to where I am staying, or just for riding around the French Quarter on a street car.

The disjointed travel was worth it.

I’m not upset and it worked out well for me timing wise too.

I’ll hang out and have a nice leisurely breakfast somewhere fabulous in the hood where I am staying and roll into my Air BnB at noon.

A swim in the pool?

A soak in the tub?

A fresh change of clothes, a sexy sundress.

And then off to explore a little and a late lunch before for going to the conference and hitting the registration and the big night get together.

I’m so ready.

Saturday I am really going to play by ear.

I know where I will be in the evening, at the conference, but I really do want to do a little exploring, walk, shop, dine, see what New Orleans has to offer, and also, what do I have to offer to the city, since I am such a taker.

How can I go and best be of service to the situation?

Make amends for the time previous I was there and my behavior, it was not so pretty.

I’m wild with excitement.

And I’ll keep you posted on all the adventures.

Promise.

See you next from the gate at United Airlines flight 455 SFO.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Sashay

June 25, 2016

Ooh.

The good timing.

“Are you dressed up for Pride?” My friend asked as she stopped in front of the cafe on Church Street that I was hanging out at doing the deal with another lady before going to Our Lady of Safeway and doing that thing I do on Friday nights at that spot where they do those things.

Wink.

Wink.

Nudge.

Nudge.

I mean.

I always knew I would be a part of a “secret society” but not this one.

Ha.

Oh.

I love it.

“How come you know so many people?” One of my charges asked when we were walking around the Mission and I ran into a friend.

I get around kid.

And I digress.

Back to the original conversation.

“Nope.” I replied to the young woman, herself a portrait of fierceness, “I’m just dressed for me.”

And I was.

And I will continue to be.

Even when I wonder what the fuck people will think, then, I remember, oh yeah.

It’s none of my fucking business what people think of me.

Only what I think of me.

And I like the way I dress.

Twirl girl.

Oh my gosh.

I got two new dresses in the mail today.

I had a feeling they would arrive and I was super happy to see the box in the hallway when I got home tonight.

I ordered them thinking about New Orleans and wanting to have a couple of cute dresses to sashay around the French Quarter in.

Or just, you know, be dolled up in to sit around on the veranda at the HISTORIC MANSION I’m staying in.

I showed my person a photo of the Air BnB and she was like, “you have to take a bath in that tub! You just have to.”

Oh my God.

Yes, yes, I do.

In fact, I was thinking about doing a photo shoot in it.

I have a photo of myself from a few years back, must be six now, in Texas, at a wedding in a mansion in the Hill Country, outside of Austin.

I was wearing this navy blue retro vintage dress with small white polka dots and coral colored espadrille wedges.

I had short hair that was a little retro flip and I was wearing a white head band with a big flower in it.

I looked fabulous.

And skinny.

Fuck.

What was I doing?

Oh!

I must have just come off the AidsLifeCycle ride, yup, my calves look crazy.

Heh.

A good reason to do some bicycle training again.

Fuck.

I also look so young.

It was only six years ago.

Damn.

Time, it does fly.

So.

Maybe I’ll do another photo shoot with me in a dress in a bathtub in a mansion.

I mean.

Why not?

I’ll have to get someone to come back to the room with me and help me out with that though, not really able to do a full bodied selfie.

Not that I wouldn’t try.

Especially considering the two new dresses I got.

They are hella cute.

The first is not going to work for me right away.

The color does not quite work with my hair.

It will, the color just needs to soften a tiny bit.

Right now it has too many magenta pinks going on, it will fade off a little and be the perfect pastel pink in about a week I think.

Then the kelley green dress will look gorgeous with my hair.

Ooh.

I can’t wait.

Until then, though, the other dress works perfectly with my hair color right now and I believe with any and all colors I may do with my hair in the future.

It’s white, has a square cut bodice, A-line skirt, and a large cobalt blue rose pattern that is feminine and fabulous and all that.

Totally on point.

I tried it on and twirled and sashayed down my little hallway.

I threw on a black crinoline underneath.

Fuck.

Even more fabulous.

Added a black cardigan and it looks incredible.

Very cute.

Very sexy.

Very femme.

My curves look good and I didn’t have any sort of upset about that, that I have curves, that I’m not some skinny little thing.

I have been thinner, smaller, but not by much, but I don’t know that I have ever felt quite this relaxed and at ease in my body.

I love my body.

Nope.

It’s not perfect.

And thank God for that.

I would be boring.

I like my flair.

“Your hair looks even better in person,” he said to me tonight, “and the pink flower, you put flair in your hair.”

Yes.

Yes, honey I did.

Later tonight when my friend gave me a hug goodnight he whispered in my ear, “you looked beautiful tonight.”

Aw.

Thanks darling.

It was a nice thing to hear.

I was wearing one of my favorite Modcloth numbers, a swing dress with heart shaped pockets, a heart shaped bodice, and behind the neck halter tie top, my hair, the mountainous pink of it, up off my neck, curls falling all over the place, bright pink rose clip and a sequined star in there too, and I felt really good.

I love being glamourous.

I love wearing makeup and being fabulous.

Sometimes it takes me a minute to get there.

But get there I do.

And I love that I don’t do it for anyone else.

Just myself.

I’m not doing it for Pride, although, I am more than happy to be thought of in that way, I’m doing it for myself.

I’m not dressing for a man.

Although, should I attract one, I’m not going to be upset with that.

As the case may be, tonight I thought I would probably have a date, and it didn’t happen.

But considering I was on three this past week, really not too upset about that, and the weekend is young and I have time.

Especially since the podcast canceled.

And I have a fabulous new dress to wear out and about.

Sashay.

Work, turn to the left / Work, now turn to the right / Work, sashay, shante / Work, turn to the left…

Happy Pride family.

I love you no matter what day of the year it is.

I mean.

Seriously.

xoxoxo


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