And now, direct from the City That FEMA Forgot, it's...
SAL'S NEW ORLEANS REPORT!
Not a great start to the long-awaited trip to New Orleans. I was stopped at JFK. My bag was unpacked--if they only knew how long it took to pack--by some humorless, scary guy who claims they detected explosives. Piece by piece my clothing was removed and placed on a table, as he swabbed random things with what looked like an eyeglass cloth. "Don't put your hands over the table please." "Stop touching my underwear, you freak!" Once most everything was removed, they scanned the bag again, and still weren't happy. The problem turned out to be my Altec-Lansing iPod speakers. "Ok, you can go. I'd help with the bag, but I'm no good at packing," said the creepy security guy. (Top imbecile.)
Flight was smooth and on time...early actually. This was no doubt due to the last 15 minutes, where it seemed the plane picked up speed and almost snapped in half.
Two days later, and I'm finally over the humiliating airport experience. The weather is gorgeous. The people are filing into, what at first, seemed like a lonely, desolate town. My first night in, and the French Quarter seemed like, in the words of Nick Tosches, "a death row, blowjob, downer." It is now Thursday, and the Quarter is alive.
Caught Susan Cowsill's short set at the Louisiana Music Factory, her voice better than ever. Met some old friends and discussed our music picks for the next week or so. Dylan, Bruce, Iguanas, Germaine Bazzle, it's all good. We may see it all, or none of it. That's sort of the way it goes down here and that's never a problem. In the words of Tom Tresh, "I'm just glad to be here."
Right now we are about to drive to the Garden District for some dinner and hopefully some music later on. If not, back to the room. You'd be surprised just how great "Will & Grace" reruns are when you're watching them in New Orleans.
6 HOURS LATER:
Had a mixed green salad with dried bing cherries and duck confit, as well as a braised rabbit (hind quarters) with potatoes and carrots at Martinique Bistro, a beautiful Garden District restaurant with a courtyard right out of a Tennessee Williams play. Although, I don't remember anybody getting abused for ordering rabbit in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." (I thought these people were my friends) No music tonite. Everyone had their ideas, but too much food stopped us in our tracks. In the words of Peter Roaman, "Can I have a banana?"
There will be plenty of music at the Fest. I'll tell you about the best. There won't be a worst. In the words of Ernie K- Doe, "Ain't nothing but two songs gonna make it to the end of the world, 'Star Spangled Banner and 'Mother In Law.'"