Saturday, June 6, 2009

Of BBQ, Brad, and Dragons

Six days in and the end is sadly in sight. As much as I love this city, I’m beginning to miss the Mrs. Very badly. I wonder if that’s where Mrs. Comes from. Anyhow, I’ll try and recover from starting with a crap joke by recounting my day in the Big Easy. 

Once again, started off with Croissant D’or, but for a change of pace I opted for the Cherry Danish, but I missed the cheese filling goodness. Then we headed back to the French Market to see if an artist whose work I had previously passed up was there again, but to my dismay, he was not. So after wandering around the Market area for a while we headed out of the Quarter again for one last trip around town. 

First stop, a giant Salvation Army where I picked up a brand new looking leather jacket for $7 and a very nice vintage tie for two. Basking in the glow of my purchases, we headed out for lunch at The Joint out in the Bywater. The Joint is your catch all restaurant for all your BBQ needs. They serve up Texas style brisket, but more importantly they also fix southern style pulled pork BBQ which you can have with your choice of vinegar or tomato bases. It’s sad I had to come down to Louisiana to get the best BBQ I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was delicious, as was the Mac and Cheese, but I saved a bit of room just so I could get their Key Lime Pie. It was gone so fast that Mom and Dad never got a chance to get a bite and was so delicious that I didn’t stop to offer one. 

After we were sated with a taste of home and armed with a go cup of sweet tea, (the first I’ve had since I was down here as apparently they don’t do the sweet tea thing around here), we headed out to the 9th Ward to check out the Houses that Brad Built. As you all probably know during Hurricane Katrina, the 9th was one of the places that received the brunt of the devastation. When Brad Pitt was down here filming Benjamin Button, he was shocked at how many of the homes were yet to be rebuilt. 

Teaming with the Global Green organization, Pitt spearheaded an effort not only to rebuild homes, but to make them eco-friendly and sustainable. The homes are beautiful, and while they are very modern looking they also seem to reflect the architecture of the area. Several of them struck me as looking like the traditional shotgun houses by way of Picasso. Say what you want about Mr. Pitt, but this is a damn fine organization, and they are doing some great work. If you’d care to check out more about them then you can find their website right HERE

After a brief detour, we stopped in at Harold’s Plants, a nursery that looks deceptively small from the front. Once we got into it, the plants seemed to go on forever, and I began to wonder if we should have been dropping breadcrumbs along the way. They had some truly bizarre looking plants, and we were able to identify some of the ones we’ve seen around the Quarter. 

After we got back, I had the afternoon free so I took a stroll around the Quarter. My first stop was to have been Arcadian books which is right off Royal. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear the “right off” part of the directions and walked Royal from end to end unable to find it. I stopped by and asked a Jesus statue, but as you see from the picture, all he would do is shrug at me. A friend in Jesus, harumph. 

Once we all reconvened, we planned to head out to DBA once more for some live music, but it seems everyone else in town decided that as well. The place was packed out so badly that the people were in there all the way to the door. So we opted out of that, but did stop by a bookstore where I picked up a tome called From Chuck Norris to the Karate Kid: The History of Martial Arts Cinema and a book on the history of professional wrestling called Whatever Happed to Gorgeous George?

With our plans on shambles, we decided to head up Bourbon Street to see what was shaking on a Friday night. As you would think, there was plenty going on. We were just in time to see a street performance from Dragon Master Showcase, a dance troupe that was recently seen on America’s Got Talent. These guys had no shortage of talent, and that is for sure. They gave a really good show that was both hilarious and astounding. I could have marveled at their skills all night, but once it was over we headed up to everyone’s favorite family destination, the Hustler Hollywood Store. That’s right me and my folks shopping in the porn store. What can I say? We ain’t the Brady’s. As usual everything was terribly overpriced, but since my lighter had just died I picked up a new Hustler brand one. Hope you appreciate it, Larry. 

We were getting pretty hungry by then, and so we tried to get into the Acme Oyster Company. The line was far too long for out tastes, so we headed back up the street to Remoulade’s. I got the stuffed crabs, but they were just average, nothing I couldn’t have gotten at any seafood place anywhere. I should have gotten the Meat Pies which my parents had since they were delicious. On the whole, I felt that the main problem with my dish was that the portion to cost ratio was way out of wack with only 2 stuffed crabs costing $13. 

As a nightcap, we headed down to Café du Monde for a café au lait, and me and dad shot our little glasses of water. Hey, it’s good water. On the way back we avoided the Bourbon Street madness and kept to back streets until we were back near the room. 

All in all, it was a crazy day full of running around all over town, but we sure had fun doing it. Tomorrow, it’s time to start packing up our things and getting ready to head out on Sunday. Not that we won’t be getting out a doing a few things before we leave town, and I’ll make sure I fill you all in back here tomorrow. 

T.L. Bugg  

Your movie location for the day is the house used in the TV film version of Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein. While I didn’t care for the film much, the first book in the series is quite good and I would recommend horror buffs checking it out. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Of Snowballs, Fast Walks, and Mr. Sanchez.

Its day five, and  this morning it was off to Croissant D’or again for another fine and inexpensive start to a day. We followed that up with a quick jaunt down into the French Market were I picked up my wife’s souvenir. I got her a….. you didn’t really think I’d say did you. She might read this, and I mean might. Anyhow, the Market is always fun to look around. 

Then at noon we met our friend Bill to get some lunch at K-Paul’s. If you think you haven’t heard of this place, well, chances are you’ve heard of the founding chef, Paul Prudhomme, who I like to think of as the Dom Deloise of the kitchen. They have only recently started serving lunch, and this is a great way to get a taste of K-Paul’s without the 25-35 per entrée price tag that comes with supper. The choices are more limited with a set menu to choose from each day, but with meals coming in at 10 bucks or so a plate, you can see why it’s nice to have lunch there. I got the K-Paul's In-House Made Hot Sausage Po-Boy, and let me tell you when they say Hot at K-Paul’s you best believe it, brother. Luckily I had the cool refreshing taste of an ice cold Barq’s to cool off with. 

After lunch it was time to head out of the Quarter again, and we made out way to Magazine Street where you can find tons of funky antique shops and clothing boutiques. I wanted to go out there and check out Funky Monkey where I had gotten a couple of my favorite shirts a few years back, but alas, there was nothing for me there. However, next door in Fun Rockin’. I picked up a very nice Lon Chaney Phantom of the Opera patch which will soon adorn something if I can manage to iron it on. We took a little adventure to find William’s Plum Street Snowballs because they had run out at the park yesterday before my Mom could get hers. With a little luck we found it and Mom got her Nectar Crème Snowball, and she enjoyed it very much. Although they looked tasty, the Bugg is not for cold stuff (ice is icky) and passed on it. 

In the afternoon I got a chance to explore the Quarter on my own, and had some time to just walk around and observe folks. I’ve gotten so used to the city from my many trips here that I took some time to slow down and really take in my surroundings. Here’s a bit of advice my Mom’s friend John said when we were walking around with them yesterday, and I feel it appropriate to share it here. He said “people forget to look up”, and it’s true. So many of us are used to having busy schedules and walk around looking at the ground or staring into the distance. In NOLA, you do yourself a favor by turning your eyes skyward and getting a look at all the beautiful floral arrangements that line the wrought iron balconies. There are no two the same, and it is stunning to see their variety. 

My travels took me down to Café du Monde and I kicked back with a Café au Lait and watched the “tourists” walk by. Yes, by the time I’ve been here a while I begin to think a bit like a local. However, I’m a tourist and I have places to be. It would have been nice if remembered that, and as my Dad called me to ask where y'at, I began to hurry across town to get back to our room and head out to DBA for some music. I don’t know if I’ve ever walked so fast in all my life. By the time I got back to the room my calves were burning, and I burst into the room to find it empty as they had gone on without me. With a quick call to them to make sure, I crossed my fingers that I could navigate my own way to Frenchman Street, and headed out again, this time slightly slower. As luck would have it the spirit of King Phillip was with me and I arrived at DBA in plenty of time. 

Tonight our disappointment from missing Paul Sanchez was a thing of the past as we settled in for two hours of songs from the former singer of Cowboy Mouth. His set consisted of a mix of off the wall covers and his own tunes, and I loved every minute. A word has to be said about the covers with ranged from Bob Dylan’s “Dark Eyes”, “It’s Good to be a Cat” from Disney’s Aristocats, and Jelly Roll Morton’s “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say” (a personal favorite of mine and I was thrilled to hear it). As his set closed out he left us on a pair of tunes, the traditional “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans” and his own tune “On the Foot of Canal Street”, that left me feeling both joyful and full of remorse that my trip would soon be coming to a close. 

To end the night it was back to La Peniche for a late dinner, and I choose to get a spot of breakfast for supper with eggs, bacon, grits, and toast. All of which were cooked right well. The bacon was even crispy as I liked it and my Mother lamented the fact that even when she orders crispy bacon she can’t get it. I guess I had the magic ordering touch. 

That rounded out the day, and we headed on in for the night. That’s where I’m speaking to you folks right now. With only two days left (and a travel day), I have had a wonderful time, but the melancholy of leaving is starting to set in. So until tomorrow folks I’ll leave you with the movie local of the day, and a clip of Paul Sanchez doing “On the Foot of Canal Street”

As always, 
T.L. Bugg  

As promised here is the for Hard Target....

And "At the Foot of Canal" by Paul Sanchez...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Of Books, Boudin, and Sousaphones

Starting off Day 4 and the food is beginning to take its toll, so I was plenty happy to have a light breakfast at Croissant D’or, a bakery only two blocks from out Bourbon Street digs. I had a cheese Danish, which was soft and flaky, but a little light on the cheese, and a cup of coffee. The coffee was great, but it came in this massively wide cup and I felt like it should have had handles on both sides. 

Then it was off to do a little shopping and put some Lightning Bug’s Lair flyers around town. That’s right, folks, it might be a vacation but there’s plenty of time to be a shill for myself.  So I found a few bulletin boards and a few stores to drop some in, then we went by a couple of the used book stores. I picked up a Mickey Spillane that is one of the few I need to finish off my set, an anthology of horror tales, a reprint of the shooting script for Dracula with a Bela Lugosi forward, and a great book of interviews between Hitchcock and François Truffaut that covers all of Hitch’s films. (So Lair readers be prepared for some thrillers in the near future.) We also stopped by the Louisiana Music Factory, the best place in the city if you want any NOLA tunes, and I even got a tip on a NOLA film there called Hot Thrills, Warm Chills so you can expect to see that reviewed sometime soon. 

After hooking up with a couple of my parent’s friends, we headed out to lunch which was once again The Green Goddess. I can’t say enough nice things about this place. They had a daily special of Crawfish Etouffee over Boudin Sausage Patties. It was incredible and every bit as good as the last meal I had there. Sadly, there is too much great stuff to eat here and that will likely be my last trip for the year. If you get to New Orleans look them up. Admittedly, the Goddess is a trifle limited on seating, but being back on Exchange Alley (which runs Conti and Bienville Streets) there is open an open seat outside if nothing else. It’s a great place to explore food and explore flavors. Tell them the Bugg sent you and confuse the hell outta them. 

After a hearty lunch, it was time to go down to the corner launderette (or Launderteria as they say here) to get some washing done. I know it’s not thrilling, but hey, it had to be done. Once we had out duds out of the suds, we headed out to Lafayette Square out in the Business District of the Downtown Area. Every Wednesday they have music on the square and we went down there to see Paul Sanchez, formally of Cowboy Mouth. Now I don’t know what the deal was, but instead Trombone Shorty was performing with his band. They were fine, and the Abita Ambers that I was in taking it made it all the better. Music on the Square is some good cheap entertainment that many tourists don’t know about, so if you’re down here, pick up a paper to check to see who’s playing or just take a chance on making the walk out of the Quarter. 

Then it was all the way back across town to Frenchman Street to check out The Tin Men at D.B.A. The Tin Men was touted as being the world’s greatest washboard, sousaphone, guitar trio, and I dare say from scarcity alone they will take that honor. It was a funky little band and I have to give it up for Washboard Chaz who was obviously a master of the instrument. After their set, it was time for a light dinner, and we swung by Mona Lisa’s and I made a light dinner of Spinach and Artichoke Dip which was way too much for one person to eat. 

It was a busy day, and I’m kind of pooped so I think I’ll leave it at that. See you folks all tomorrow. 

Yours Truly, 
T.L. Bugg  

As your bonus filming location, here's the Cornstalk Fence Hotel where Charles Bronson escaped from the bad guys in Violent City. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Of Videos, Burgers, and Rock N’ Bowl.

Day three began a little later than usual, and since the breakfast place we wanted to go was closed, I grabbed a Café au Lait from a local coffee joint, Envie, and ate my chocolate donut from yesterday. Both were a perfect start to what would be another great day in New Orleans. 

We took off after that for another trip out of the Quarter, and this time we ended up nearby to Tulane and Loyola Universities at a little place called The Mushroom. The Mushroom is an independent record store that mostly relies on sales of used goods, and let me tell you they had the stuff. It would take you days to go though it all they have crammed in that little store, and since I didn’t have that time, I focused my attention on my forte, movies.

 After skimming through the DVD’s (where there was some deals to be had), I found they had copious amounts of VHS. While looking though them, I found a copy of Code Name: Wild Geese starring Borgnine, Van Cleef, Kinski, and directed by Antonio Margheriti, and it looks to be a typical ‘80’s actioner from the director of the classic Yor, the Hunter from the Future. Not that that’s a bad thing, I like typical 80’s action flicks. On the way out of the Mushroom, I looked down to see a huge tub of buttons 2 for $1, and I could not resist looking. A few minutes later, I was leaving with my VHS gem and vintage Judas Priest and Samantha Fox buttons. 

Then we were off to Café Reconcile to grab some lunch.  Reconcile is a really cool place. It’s well outside our normal stomping grounds, but well worth the trip. What they do there is take inner city youths and train them in all aspects of the service industry, from waiting to bussing the tables to cooking. With restaurants being one of the biggest draws in New Orleans, this prepares them for a career in food service if they so choose.

I perused the menu and chose the Fried Catfish with Collard Greens and Mac and Cheese on the side. The Catfish was melt in your mouth good, and it was definitely the best I’ve ever had. Speaking of best I’d ever had, I do love me some Collards, and Reconcile had some perfectly seasoned slow cooked greens that I just loved. The Mac and Cheese, I could take or leave, and I left most of it to make way for their award-winning desert, Bananas Foster Bread pudding. I had a hell of a time eating the whole thing, but I was not about to go out without a fight and managed to get it all down. 

It started raining as we headed back into the French Quarter, but I wouldn’t let it dampen my spirits (or apparently my propensity for bad jokes). So I headed out on my own to check out some of the shops on Bourbon Street and pick up a few souvenirs. Unfortunately, a little rain turned into a downpour, and by the time I got back to our room, I was soaked. After drying off, the whole family headed out to check out some antique stores until it was time to get some dinner in out bellies. 

We finally got a chance to eat at one of New Orleans best kept secrets, Yo’ Mama’s. If you looked on commercial sites for recommendations on where to eat, often you’ll come across them touting a place called Port of Call and their burgers. Let me tell you folks, they are dead wrong, Yo’ Mama’s is located in the heart of the Quarter, and serves a burger so good that I’ve spent the last 2 years since I’ve had one comparing every burger I’ve ate to it. Served along side a baked potato (no fries with burgers in NOLA), it really makes for one of the best and most filling meals you can have. Now you might say exactly how good was it, Bugg? It was so damn good that I could not take the time to make a picture because I had to get that damn thing in my mouth!

After dinner, we digested for a while, and then it was back to of the Quarter again to one of the most original attractions in the city. Rock ‘N’ Bowl is just what it sounds like. It’s a bowling alley that also hosts live music. Tonight they had Eddie Zip, a piano player of the traditional New Orleans style, and while he didn’t put on too much an energetic show,  kicking back with a few beers in a bowling alley, and listening to live music can’t be beat. I also picked up a kicking retro bowling shirt that I will proudly be sporting back at the Lair. 

That brings today to a close, and three days in and I’m still having a great time. I hate to think that my time is halfway over so I just won’t. So until later taters….

Yours truly,
T.L. Bugg 

P.S. As you daily bonus here is the exterior of the Rev. Voodoo shop in New Orleans. Anyone who’s seen Hatchet might remember this as the building Tony Todd peeks out of. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Of Waffles, Groceries, and Sweet, Sweet Jazz.

Waking early and refreshed on day 2 of my journey, I walked across the street to the Quartermaster Deli (a.k.a The Nellie Deli) and got a frosty coffee beverage and started the day with the wake up call of champions, a refreshing Camel cigarette. Having got my nicotine quotient up, it was time to head out for breakfast, and we walked down to La Peniche for breakfast. I ordered up my favorite item from there, a waffle topped with peanut butter and bananas, oh, and of course syrup. It may not be the healthiest way to start the day, but you can rest assured that Elvis would have approved. And look at how great he turned out….. Ok, maybe not the best example. 

Anyhow, it was time for a jaunt out of the quarter, and we headed out to do some thrift shopping. Yes, the Bugg likes to thrift. Why? Two good reasons. First, you never know what kind of VHS tapes you might find in a thrift shop, and I’ve often come across some gems. Secondly, the Bugg is a dapper fellow. I like to wear a lot of vintage, but it often comes with a hefty price tag. So if you’re ballin’ on a budget like me, then it’s a great place to go. Sadly, though I did find a Red Skelton Christmas Special tape, there were no new duds to be found. 

On our way back into the city, we stopped in at Dorignac’s Grocery Store. Like any city, New Orleans has its share of local groceries. In many places, I’ve seen this kind of place struggle to get by, but down here, they thrive. Dorignac’s is a great little shop filled with all you could want in groceries, meat so fresh looking it looked like they just cut it off the cow this morning, and a bakery where everything looks good. I picked up some Steen’s Cane Syrup and French Market coffee concentrate for Ms. Directed who had requested these goodies, and then headed over to the bakery to  pick up an Apple Fritter and a glazed chocolate donut. 

Heading back into the Quarter, and then it was time for lunch. That’s right there’s no rest for the hungry. We decided on the Napoleon House, a favorite with both locals and tourists alike. Most people, including my folks this trip, get the Muffuletta, marinated olive salad, then layers of ham, genoa salami, pastrami, swiss cheese, and provolone. Now, I’ve had the sandwich quite a few times and it is good, but I’m not a big fan of olives. So instead I opted for the Veal Parmesan Sandwich on a Rosemary Tomato Bun. The veal was thick, but incredibly tender, and coupled with the Amber Bock I was sippin’ on it made a great meal. 

On our way to Napoleon House, we had passed by Preservation Hall, and my folks saw their friend Ron, who is the manager of the hall and a performer in The Bingo Show. (Have I mentioned how great they were… oh, I did. Well, they still were). Ron invited us back to see The Preservation Hall Jazz Band tonight as his guests, and so we took him up on his offer. We arrived about 20 minutes before the doors opened and got right in much to the consternation of the young fellow first in line. As we were walking in he intoned, “Dude, this is the front of the line.” only to be told by the gatekeeper that we were guests. I guess this is the closest I’ll ever get to being “with the band”, and I didn’t even have to do anything unconscionable. 

We were in for another great show as the band, made of veteran musicians and some of younger performers (including Bingo Show bandleader Clint Madegen. Have I mentioned… oh, never mind.). They ran through some great numbers, and it probably goes without saying that they brought back the flavor of the bygone era of jazz perfectly. I really enjoyed hearing songs like The Tiger Rag, Sugar Blues, and Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? always tugs at my heartstrings. My Dad requested a number called I Wish I Could Shimmy like My Sister Kate which the band’s bass player sang, and it was damn near one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. So if you like traditional jazz, you owe it to yourself to go to Preservation Hall and check them out. 

Getting some dinner on the late side, we thought we’d walk over to Acme Oyster House, a restaurant I’ve always enjoyed, but often gets put down as a tourist trap. If it is, so be it, the food is damn good and I’ll be a tourist for the time I’m there. I felt like something a little lighter so I got the Seafood Gumbo, a side of hushpuppies, and a cold, cold bottle of Barq’s root beer to finish it off. It was wonderful and I ate it all down to the point where if I wanted any more I would have had to lick the bowl. 

For a nightcap, there’s nothing better than strolling down the street from Acme and getting a nice Café au Lait at Café du Monde. They are right on Jackson Square, and with a cool breeze coming in from the river and a thin Monday night crowd, it was quite peaceful to sip my coffee and enjoy the evening. Thus ending a second day in NOLA with a delicious treat. 

Now it is off to bed so we can get up and do it again, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more to report. 

Yours Truly, 
T.L. Bugg

P.S. Today’s Terrifying Tuesday is Mardi Gras Massacre and so I went to the spot where the coppers lost their suspect, the corner of Madison and Chartres. It’s kind of a backstreet, and it made me wonder if they lost him there because they had also “lost” their permits to be filming. For what it’s worth, here it tis. 

Also back on Sunday, when I reviewed The Cincinnati Kid, I wasn't sure where the location of the poker game, The Lafayette Hotel was. After determining there was no Hotel in the area by that name I went around and check some places out. I believe the location to have been the Royal Orleans hotel on St. Louis St. The Hotel in the film is only shown in exterior so this is only my best guess. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Of Stewardesses, Sausages, and Seriously Good Music

I knew I was in for a good time the moment I left town. Driving down to Atlanta on a Sunday morning was just not all that bad. After quite a hike in the airport, I settled in and soon was airborne. As if the light traffic hadn’t brightened my morning, I was greeted by a flight attendant that looked like a Mix of Jackie Brown and Beyonce. If they ever decide to make a bio-pic of Pam Grier’s life, they really need to track her down. So casting agent, I guess you’re just going to have to fly the friendly skies until you find her. 

Needless to say I arrived without incident and met up with my folks who come down here for a few weeks every year. We drove into the city, and it was good to see that in the two years since my previous visit even more of Katrina’s devastation had been fixed. A lot of the outlying areas looked much better than they had in the past. 

After settling in we headed out for some much needed lunch, and our first port of call was the restaurant of one of my favorite chefs, Chris De Barr. Last time I was down here he had a little place in the garden district called The Delachaise. I always had great meals there, and I expected great things from his new place, The Green Goddess. I was not to be disappointed. I ordered up an Abita Root Beer and the Louisiana “Bangers and Mash”, locally made duck sausage over sweet mash potatoes and topped with Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup. To say it was wonderful was an understatement. I cleaned down my plate until there was nothing more I could get off of it, and then topped off the meal with a delightful Strawberry Crème Brule. 

Needless to say I was stuffed so we did a little walking around the French Quarter, picking up a few toiletries that I didn’t feel like taking though airport security and browsing through the French Market. While at the Market, we had some Strawberry Lemonade, and it had a great taste which was like Strawberry juice with just a hint of tartness. While we were out we saw a couple of typically untypical sights that would only happen in NOLA. There was a young lady who was being propped up in an office chair outside a restaurant who took a spill out of the chair and onto the ground. I don’t think she knew it though because she was totally passed out. I mean completely blotto, and this was around 3PM or so. 

The next was a less tragic sight when we passed an Asian fellow checking out some piled up garbage on the street. Now this may seem odd, but I myself have been known to keep an eye on street trash because you never know what you’ll find. (Once I even found a great genre movie, The Walking Dead, just sitting there on the street.) Anyhow, this fellow had pulled a pipe out of the garbage and was knocking things around. As we walked up on him he was clubbing an armchair and said “I think there’s somebody in there. Come out.” I’m sure he was kidding, well, not completely sure, but it was funny never the less.

After some walking it was time for dinner and a show. After getting a great Spinach Pizza at a little out of the way place, Mona Lisa’s, we headed out to One Eyed Jack’s in the Quarter to see The Bingo Show. I had no idea what to expect, but my parents had seen the show in the past and loved it very much. I had plenty of time to dwell on my expectations because they came on about 45 minutes after their 10 PM show time. While it turned out fine, I do have to interject to say that seating was very limited in OEJ and we barely found a place to sit and wait. 

Once the show started, it was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. Clint Maedgen, the leader of the band, came on and fired up the crowd like a cross between a ringmaster, a vaudeville huckster, and a Satanic Cab Calloway. Accompanying him was the band and a couple of guys in pseudo mime makeup. As the show progressed, the tiny club felt like an extravaganza as the music ramped up and the crowd got really into it. The Bingo Show’s music is a mixture between soul, blues, metal, hip hop, and good old fashioned R & B. It’s a hard thing to explain, but it was a great show. If you like music The Bingo Show is for you. If you like genre film, then The Bingo Show is still for you. In fact, if you have ever wanted to come to New Orleans, then The Bingo Show is for you. I know I’ve done the show a disservice in describing them, and while a video won’t capture the energy, check out the video below to see what the show is like. 

Well, that’s all for Day 1, and I’ll be back here tomorrow for more food, more fun, and more New Orleans. 

Until then. 
Yours Truly, 
T.L. Bugg

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Do You Know What It Means to STOP missing New Orleans

Heya folks. Welcome to I Got The Ways and Means. So your dear old Bugg departs in the morning for another trip to New Orleans. This will be my fifth trip to the city, and over the years NOLA has become my favorite vacation destination. So I thought I would take a moment to talk a bit about why I love the city so much…..

1. The Food: Let’s be honest here. I like to eat, and there are few places you can go and eat as well as New Orleans. One person can dine like a king on 30-40 dollars a day, and that’s if you’re planning on eating 3 three meals a day. I always plan to eat that much, but usually wimp out toward the end of the week because I’m just too dang full. I won’t go into my favorite dishes and places, but if you check back here over the course of the week, I’m sure I’ll be bringing them up. 

2. The Music. After you’ve eaten, there’s nothing better than sitting back and enjoying some good tunes, and New Orleans is the place to do it. There are tons of bars in the area, and many of them have live music nightly. It’s always fun to stroll the streets, stick you head in, and if you like what you hear, go in for a beer or two before settling in or moving on to the next place. Plus you never know when you might round the corner and run into a brass band or a second line parade, it's just that kind of town. 

3. The Places. New Orleans, at least the French Quarter, has some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. From the lush greenness of Jackson Square to the shotgun houses that line the streets, the massive churches, and the tiny architectural details, there is so much to appreciate and love. It always brings to mind a lyric from Van Morrison’s Veedon Fleece album, “and the architecture that I’m drinking in with my mind, so fine.”
4. The People. You never know who you might meet or see in a city like New Orleans. Needless to say the streets are always full of fascinating characters, and sitting back on a bench and just watching people go by is a great way to spend some restful time. 

I realize this boils the experience of visiting New Orleans to a few bullet points, but I promise I’ll have much more to say over the course of the week. So until then, I’m going to get my last things together to go, and the next time I speak to you folks it’ll be from The Big Easy.