In the past 48 hours I have slept 8 hours, mostly sitting in the driver's seat of my Ford Escort. Twenty-six hour drive from Nj to NOLA since last night. John Tuttle guided me in on the phone while Googling Bordeau, (Waffle's street) As I wound through the the rough narrow streets, they felt almost familiar about them. Perhaps because I have been roaming the streets online with Google map.
On each trip to my packed compact to retrieve another bag, I found myself wondering down the street in a daze. I checked with Waffle to make sure the area I wanted to explore was cool at night. He said "Come on man, check this out." Seven blocks down Magazine street we had passed five or six art galleries. From the white walled chic to the eclectic thrift store looking ones.
Waffle stopped in front of a small pub where two college age men were sitting back in front sipping drinks. Waffle had never met them before, so he introduced them to me. "My buddy's first night in town..." "Stay away from Bourbon Street.." one joked. If this had been Jersey, they probably would've given us a dirty look and ignores us.
Even the buildings that are worn and weathered have style and charm like none I have ever seen. We stopped to look in a window of an almost dark gallery. A woman was intently putting a brush to a canvas under a work light. My friend taps on the window, startled she looks up. We wave, she smiled and waved back. In Jersey it would've gotten us a finger.
We passed another bar, the sign read "Bar grill, arcade and Laundromat." More galleries, coffee shops,glass shops, costume and vintage clothing. We only walked seven blocks. The police station is two blocks away, the cops have a huge stain glass window above the door. In the same block a monstrous gray and burgundy Baptist church, "SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE 3 PM." Perhaps I'll stop in some Sunday to say thanks.
On the way back, and attractive redhead in her early forties stopped us in front of a bar while sipping a drink. She asked if we had anything to smoke. "I'm coked up and need to come down" "Sorry sweatheart, he just got into town." We continued home, Waff told me "It's a very 420 friendly town. You could burn a joint on the cop shop steps and get away with it. Don't let a cop catch you pissing on the side of a building, you'll spend a night in jail."
Here's a town with it's priorities straight. The few blocks my tired and beaten body could manage to explore were more than I even imagined. Creativity is worshiped here like money is worshiped on Wall Street. I have only seen a tiny sliver of this city.