It's so humid that the water was actually falling out of the air. I don't think it was rain. I think it was the air sweating, just like the rest of us.
Show floor shift done, left the hotel is search, still, of something to like about the city of New Orleans (aside from the amazing food).
Who knows why, but I headed back to the French Quarter. I guess I was banking on the collective taste of mankind. The area couldn't be known world wide just for bawdy strip clubs and alcoholic squishies.
Smack in the middle of the joining of Decatur street and North Peters is a strip of grass with a statue of the city's founder, Jean Baptiste Le Movne de Bienville.
Haughty lookin', isn't he? He must have really pissed off the Native American and the monk up there with him. They won't even look at him. He founded the city in 1717, and died in Paris in 1767. Call me old fashioned, but I think it you're gonna found a city, you should arrange to die there.
Uh, gee... I dunno... who does it compare to Mauwie Wauwie?
I plodded along in the rain, the kind of rain that falls in occasional drops, big drops, that cold fill a water glass, seeing the same old stuff.
Until I crossed St. Peter street.
There, right smack in front of me, was Jackson Square.
This was what I'd been looking for. This was what an international city is supposed to feel like.
Oh, and there was a fountain.
The excitement was fueling my legs as I headed deeper into what I'll always think of as "The nice part of The French Quarter".
Just a couple blocks off from the square, the tourist crowd faded, but the feel stayed. The skank, and the stink, and the depressing aura of gawdiness was replaced with an air of permanence, and calm, and culture.
I reached what felt like the edge between my new favorite place in NOLA and the ordinary rest of NOLA, so I hung a right to linger.
This sign was behind a fence around a building that didn't look at all like a fort...
I don't know what surprised me more, that someone with considerable pull had used that pull to put up a sign memorializing these executions, or that there was a Spanish governor named O'Reilly.
Now this, boys and girls, is a market. Long, open, airy, and lots and lots of stuff, none of which is a T-shirt or a 3-foot tall daiquiri.
This is little cafe. Love, love, love, the stable doors. I want to eat here every day.
Form here I ducked into a small area near the river. It was a gold mine. It felt like Europe. It smelled like Europe. It looked like Europe.
And, in a little sunken garden, there was a fountain.
And just a few strides away, I finally heard my first live New Orleans Jazz...
at the Gazebo Cafe.
Tell me that this sign doesn't make you hungry. Now imagine eating it in a breezy outdoor cafe with a jazz trio. I want to eat here every day, too.
But, I had to get back, so time to push out these last couple... Hey, another fountain!
This fountain featured a (very small) parade. I'm assuming they were playing "When the saints come marching in."
Ok, now... hup-to dude. We gotta get ba-... Ok, this is getting ridiculous...
Last one, promise...
Finally, cruised by our breakfast destination for tomorrow morning.
This is what The Big Easy is all about. I'm so relieved.
Numbers: 2.75 miles of roads and bricks.