Weird and Wonderful: nu-orlinz

New Orleans – nu orlinzn – Dr. John; Marcia Ball; any one of the Neville Brothers; bananas foster at the Palace Café; Gulfaid at Mardi Gras World; Allen Toussaint; beads that grow on trees; oil on water; lobster ravioli; tromboners everywhere; French Quarter; palmistry; tarot; Congo Square closed for repair; muddy Mississip; Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (see image left); Esplanade; St. Charles Ave streetcar line; Loyola and Tulane both; shrimp and grits; zydeco/Cajun; Tab Benoit; Frenchman Street; who dat; NOPD; mule before the cart; and mostly: all that jazz.

Sue Lange
Sue Lange’s bookshelf at Book View Cafe

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Weird and Wonderful: nu-orlinz — 5 Comments

  1. Most of my memories are from childhood: Eating beignets and milk with my mother and sister in the French Market, my sister (maybe 6 at the time) trying to peek around the bouncers into the strip clubs on Bourbon Street, dinner at Antoines, buying a carved box in an import shop on Royal Street (I still have it, use it for jewelry), and fantasizing about living in one of the little apartments with balconies overlooking the street, the ones with elaborate wrought iron work.

    If I’m trying to sound local, I say “nu-ar-lens” with the accent on the “ar.”

    My whole family last visited about a year and half before Katrina. It was a nostalgia trip, though we found good oysters on the half shell in a place not in the Quarter. I haven’t dared go back since.

    It was probably risky to eat oysters from the Gulf even then. With all the oil, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to eat those treats from my childhood again.

  2. I loved New Orleans in my two lengthy visits there. It felt like Europe, with the added vibrancy of its kaleidoscopic heritage. I was also keenly aware of the precariousness of its existence, both physically and culturally.

  3. Yeah, it’s precarious. In a lot of ways.

    Nancy, I ate the oysters while I was there. They assured us they were from a clean area, not from the oil spill. Curiously though, I am feeling a little weird this week. Could just be culture shock.

  4. It’s probably culture shock, Sue; I’m sure no one would serve oysters that had been affected by the spill. But that oil and the chemicals they’re using to clean it up have the potential for doing so much damage. And hurricane season starts next week.

    Precarious is a good word for New Orleans, and maybe the whole Gulf Coast.

    Meanwhile — Marcia Ball, the Nevilles, and Doctor John: Just seeing any one of that group would be fabulous.

  5. They were all on the stage at the same time. It was cool to see them altogether, but to be honest, they’re much better on their own with their own bands. These star-studded get togethers are not much better than a pick up band because they don’t rehearse together. They sort of know each others’ material, but not well enough to be formidable. The numbers that worked well were the ones that had no chord changes and were heavy on rhythm. The group didn’t really start to bust out until Monk Beaudreaux consolidated them at the end. Still I’d never seen Marcia Ball before and that was nice.