St Patricks Day
New Orleans, Louisiana
St Patricks Day New Orleans Reviews
Spring Break Road Trip New Orleans Mar 26, 2009
“She’s got a ticket and she’s waiting at the station
She’s got to get away, get away as far as she can
Her problems will arise as sure as the sun will shine
She’s got to get used to life, living on the lam”. (1)
It has been said that you can’t run away from your problems. May be? May be not? May be what they meant was that you shouldn’t run from them? May be responsibilities are like your front lawn. Waiting patiently for your attention but becoming more of a problem after every day of neglect.
Exactly when did my life begin to resemble an Avery Corman novel?
Back in the day, we had a way to deal with these kinds of things. Back in the days before we worried about children, cared for our parents, slept with only one woman. In the old days before waitresses treated you like a geezer. Before drunk driving was a crime.
“When I hit the road I was really wheelin’
Had gravel flyin’ and rubber squeelin’
And I didn’t slow down ‘till I was almost to Arkansas”(2)
Did we indulge ourselves on introspection? No sir. We went drinking.
Two days until St. Patrick’s Day. With a fresh oil change in the family interceptor and a pretty girl I used to know riding shotgun I grabbed a handful of driving music and took off for New Orleans, Louisiana. The Crescent City. The Big Easy.
Laissez les bon temps rouler.
“Well, go on down to Jackson, go ahead and wreck your health.
Go play your hand you big talkin’ man, make a big fool of yourself.” (3)
Interesting City is New Orleans. Well known for the varied dining opportunities and each neighborhood showcasing its distinct architecture and making your evening stroll a treat for the senses. You can have that Mothers place. World famous and all that. It is the fear that the cafeteria at State Prison might be worse that keeps me filing honest tax returns and prevents me from assaulting motorists who don’t signal their left turns because they are too busy blabbering on a cell phone.
But the city is really all about the music.
Knocking about the Vieux Carre the music comes at you from every angle spilling from the bars and clubs and street performers. From Bourbon Street to Chartres and Decatur the French Quarter offers up the music. Hot jazz from a ragtag bunch who somehow defied the laws of physics to arrive on Royal Street by bicycle with trumpets and drums and trombones in cases. How exactly do you ride with a stand-up base? But all of a sudden I am a jazz lover digging on their carefree sounds. Let’s plug them here, they were the Cyclowns and they were great.
Or did I just have too much to drink. Beer and green beer. A great local beer from the Abita Brewing Company is their seasonal strawberry brew. If you can still find some, run, do not walk, and buy a case or two. Half a dozen Jaegermeister shots and then some blue test tube shots. More red test tube shots and of course, green test tube shots. Bottles of Heineken and shots of Irish whiskey with Baileys Irish Crème. Clubs featuring shaggy haired classic rockers and clubs where southern belles danced naked on stainless poles.
Frozen strawberry drinks and frozen mango drinks and more frozen drinks that gave the nasty head pain of brain freeze. Shops with t-shirts spouting every vulgarity known to man and shops featuring the odd, the occult, the spiritual and the voodoo.
“Police are patrollin’
Well I’m sick of where I’m goin’
Took the man in power with a K-9 unit
Nazi cops *uck you
Attack on the back streets with you” (4)
If you can ever get enough of the French Quarter restaurants, bars, strip clubs, parade floats, and paddy wagons then maybe it is time to wander out of the quarter and over to the Frenchman District.
Fewer tourists and cheaper drinks. Here the vibe is less commercial nightclub district and a couple clicks clockwise on the desperation dial. Music spilling into the street from every open doorway. Less drunken college kids on spring break from Alabama and Mississippi and Texas and more kids from the school of hard knocks. Skinny kids sporting a much too authentic heroin chic out panhandling for a couple bucks to score a rock or a forty. I handed out ten or twenty bucks and now wish I had given more.
“I had to have this talk with you,
My happiness depends on you,
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene” (5)
From a darkened doorway on Frenchman Street came the beckoning siren song that would be the highlight of my evening on the town. Three young women playing the most soulful harmony ever for a crowd of four. I will plug them here and now and hope that fortune will someday smile on them because they strummed and sang like they were playing for ten thousand ticket holders instead a pair of tipsy middle aged tourists and a couple kids too destitute to throw any bills in their cardboard box. Cheers to you Magnolia Beacon, may someday your considerable talents be rewarded with fame or recognition or riches. I am no sucker for chick bands but their harmony was as sweet and free as it was haunting and sad.
“With an old suitcase, I swear I’ll leave this place
I’ll get you back in time
Can’t drink you off my mind, so I’ll see you when I’m sober” (6)
(1) St. Mary / Rancid
(2) Uneasy Rider / Charlie Daniels Band
(3) Jackson / Johnny Cash
(4) Ghetto Box / Rancid
(5) Jolene / Dolly Parton (covered by Magnolia Beacon)
(6) Midnight Train to Memphis / Kid Rock
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