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. 

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