It’s been quite a week. I’ve been out for a walk at least once a day. Some days I’m headed somewhere specific, sometimes I’m just going. For example, today I went out 3 times.
The first outing was to take Dug for a walk, plus there’s a bakery nearby that keeps promising that they are opening “soon”, but the city seems to keep creating roadblocks. The owner told me that they were going to hand out free samples this morning so…of course I had to make it worth her while. And I must say…that mushroom and gruyere puff pastry hand pie was delicious! Well worth the walk. Hopefully they will open before we leave.
Later I went out because I’d walked past this house that’s a museum a million times and I finally made a reservation to visit this morning. (It was a very enlightening and interesting tour. Stay tuned.)
As I was walking earlier with Dug, I noticed that several roads were barricaded so I knew that something was going on…of course, that meant that I had to head in that direction! That’s the thing…you go in one direction and might end up in a total different place because there’s ALWAYS something going on in the French Quarter. Or just the opposite, you see that there’s something going on and you don’t want to be anywhere near it! (Read – Bourbon Street revelry aka daily drunk fest at all times of day and night.)
And I digress…but one of the great things about this town is ALL of the music. It can be the greatest of distractions when you think you have a plan for where you’re headed including your path. It often feels like you are surrounded by music; as I walk along one sound fades and another is picked up. I hear music coming from the houses – maybe it’s just a speaker blasting reggae, but it could just as easily be someone playing the piano or a saxophone or a tuba. Some of the bars make it hard to carry on a conversation as you walk by because they have live music that is LOUD! Outside of Rouse’s Market where I often go for our groceries, there is almost always a street jazz band. On the back side of the cathedral on Jackson Square there’s always a violinist or some other solo instrumentalist. Especially during the Jazz Fest and the French Quarter Fest, it was fun to see the musicians walking into town in the late morning with their instruments on their backs heading to their gigs.
More than once I’ve seen music videos being filmed. One day right in front of our house (circa 1781), there was a singer walking along in front of a camera man and the guy who holds the light reflector thingie. They also carried a “boom box” (I know, not a thing anymore) playing the singer’s song. so she could mouth the lyrics. I guess our Creole plantation house makes an interesting backdrop for the video. (Remind me to tell you the history of the house some day.)
One of my favorite stories is the day that there was some sort of a community celebration going on in the park that is directly behind our house. I was sitting outside (in the front) and I could hear music, but I couldn’t identify its direction. The sound of music always makes me jump up and go see what I’m missing because I have a serious case of FOMO! I couldn’t figure out the locus of this music, but then I realized that people were literally pouring out of the houses nearby with “soccer mom” chairs (here they’re called “festival” chairs) and heading to the park to enjoy the free music. Of course, I had to go, too.
Our block on Governor Nicholls is actually directly off of Bourbon, but luckily, our place is half a mile or so away from the crazy part of the street and is pretty residential. Today when I headed out to the Gallier House, I turned onto Bourbon because it was barricaded to cars. In a couple blocks, I ran into a group of teenagers with a videographer, light reflector thingie guy and other people with equipment PLUS a Second Line! They were definitely taping a music video for some purpose and the street was closed because they were in the middle of an intersection right by what is known as the oldest bar in America – Lafitte’s Blacksmith.Bar. These filming events always gather quite the crowd of lookie-loos…like me!
I got so distracted by writing about music that I didn’t get to telling you about the Gallier museum house that I visited which is what I thought the topic of this post was going to be. I’ll get back to that in another post because…
I need to tell you about my third walk of the day…and I got Glen and Dug to go with me…I was feeling a bit sluggish in the evening and needed to move so what better way to make that happen than to walk down to Verti Marte for some Ben and Jerry’s? I think that counts as a walk/wander. Yes?