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

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