Friday morning saw me crawling out of bed around 9:30 a.m. again. I decided to walk to the Fauborg-Marigny, a.k.a. simply “The Marigny.” It was probably a 20 minute walk, give or take, from my apartment. Aside from restaurants and coffee shops, not much was open yet. Breakfast at Rose Nicaud Café seemed like a good idea; ordered a grilled cheese (pear and provolone on 9-grain), along with watermelon-cucumber juice. They were fine; not outstanding. I could probably make both at home and jazz them up a bit, though.
There was another quick dash through The French Market in hopes that new vendors might be there with the Spanish moss voodoo dolls. No such luck! I didn’t take the time to really peruse any of the other things for sale.
I stopped in at Rouse’s Market, formerly A&P, on Royal Street. This is my go-to place for Cajun/Creole spices and packaged mixes, as they’re always cheaper than the tourist places and generally cheaper than places like Walgreens as well. Since the heat and humidity was beginning to get to me, I loaded up on drinkables instead – the non-alcoholic kind (for the most part).
After dropping the beverages off at the apartment, I finally dared to venture into a few of the antique stores on Royal Street. Although James H. Cohen & Sons specializes in guns and coins, I’d found a nicely-sized loose cameo there about 12 years ago. They’d had a small, medium and very large one, all decently priced. I’d decided on the medium one, and the saleswoman even gave me an additional discount. I eventually took that cameo to Los Angeles and had it set as a gold pendant. Whenever I wear it, people comment on how pretty it is. Makes me forever regret not buying the large one, too! There were no cameos in their store this time, though they had Roman, Greek, Spanish and even Japanese silver and gold coin jewelry. Moving on to Keil’s Antiques and Naghi’s, I came to the realization that everything seems to have increased in price from my last trip a mere year and a half ago. All of the pocket watches, cuff links, Creole bracelets, cameo jewelry and Russian lacquer boxes are now far out of my price range. My last stop was at David’s Antiques because they were having a sale – 50% discount on silver and 10% discount on gold. There were several nice silver pieces, some were antique and some were not. Naturally, the cameos set in silver that I liked were huge and elaborate, which still made them pricey. Fortunately, I spied several very small loose cameos which were quite affordable. I bought a few of those and intend to make them into gold rings on my next trip to Los Angeles. They were trying to talk me into looking in-depth at several other pieces, but I had to rush off to my lunch reservation.
Muriel’s Restaurant bordering Jackson Square was my lunch destination. They started me off with turtle soup with sherry, then followed that up with a wood-grilled beef tenderloin salad, which also had cherry tomatoes, parmesan and tart blackberries. Blackberries remind me of my Grandmother’s backyard, where raspberries and blackberries grew wild. Both the soup and the salad were good, but, once again, not outstanding. Service was in the good range as well. On the menu, it instructs customers to ask their server about Antoine. It turns out Antoine was the former owner of the house that the restaurant is in. He was a ne-er-do-well who drank and gambled heavily. Once he ended up losing the house in a bet, he hung himself there. That’s why it’s supposedly haunted. I’d also heard before that specifically the bar and/or upstairs/slave quarters were haunted. After lunch, I moseyed on over to their bar to treat myself to a Honey Child - Cathead honeysuckle vodka, blackberries, basil and Chambord. Honeysuckle reminds me of Grandma, too, as it grew on her front porch. When I asked the bartender if the bar was haunted, he merely said that, if anything fell or broke, he blamed it on Antoine!
The French Quarter is dotted with plenty of cute boutique clothing stores. Of course, it was the “Sale” signs that were drawing me in. Hemline was having a sale with certain items at 80% off. I went in, honed in on a flowing cotton top, tried it on (fit perfectly) and purchased it, happy to know that I’d saved more than $100! Then I went back to the apartment, freshened up and put said purchase on immediately!
Another place that’s been talked up a bit these days is Patrick’s Bar Vin, connected to Hotel Mazarin on Bienville Street. Various reviews comment on how friendly and welcoming Patrick himself is, while a few proclaim him to be a drunk. Either way, I had to check it out. The place was cozy and maybe half full, mostly locals, but with some tourists. I squeezed in at the bar and ordered a glass of merlot. I was sipping and observing when Patrick walked in wearing a red seersucker jacket. Men in the South carry off seersucker so well! He was working the room and eventually made his way over to me. He was charming; taking a real interest in what I had to say and attempting to introduce me to people. Which reminds me, the locals sitting next to me asked the tourists (next to them) where they were from. When the couple answered “Rhode Island,” the local woman proclaimed “They’re Yankees!” Made me laugh! After my glass of wine, as I was gathering my things to leave, Patrick asked where I was going. I was off in search of sustenance. He strongly suggested that I return by 6:00 p.m., as a “drinking” group/club would be there from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., or thereabouts, and it would a great opportunity for me to meet more people, thus I promised to return.
After 4 meals at nice sit-down restaurants, it was time to get down and dirty. Much ado has been made about the peanut butter and bacon burger at Yo Mama Bar and Grill on St. Peter, just off of Bourbon. There was both a downstairs and an upstairs area; I opted for upstairs. In the future, however, go for the downstairs as it’s too dim and dark upstairs – the perfect place to eat and drink after you’re already hammered and don’t want anyone to see/recognize you! Feeling guilty from all of the heavy foods over the past few days, I ordered the burger with a salad as my side, rather than a baked potato or fries. Of course, there was that beer, too. The burger was a mess to eat, but a unique and tasty combination! It’s not something I would eat every week, but maybe once a month. Yet again, I could probably experiment at home and get the right peanut butter to bacon ratio for me.
True to my word, I returned to Patrick’s Bar Vin. The place was packed and even more lively by then. Patrick saw me walk in and immediately gestured to the bartender. The bartender poured my preferred merlot and handed it to Patrick, who personally delivered it to me. I found myself sitting in the sofa area next to a few local couples. Jeanie, I believe that was her name, started talking to me and introducing me around. She told me that she frequents The Grill; often also walks past there, bangs on the window and dances. She said that I should go there and ask for John. Another suggestion of hers was a foot massage place a few blocks away. While we were talking, Patrick tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to find another glass of merlot on the table next to me. When it was time for me to head out, Patrick gave me hugs, kisses and his card, pointing out his cell phone number!
My feet led me in the direction of Frenchmen Street in the Marigny. Since Frenchmen is the main thoroughfare, most of the bars and restaurants were already filled to capacity. Rather than paying a cover and/or fighting with a crowd, I listened to a brass band playing on one of the corners for awhile. There’s also a new “art market” that takes place during the latter half of the week on Frenchmen, starting at 7:00 p.m. It was my first time checking it out as it probably started within the last year, but nothing caught my eye.
As if I needed more alcohol, I made my way back over to Cane & Table. That Shamu glass would be mine, come Hell or high water! By then, as you might have imagined, I was toasted, so can’t remember my order. As the bartender got ready to mix, I inquired about the Shamu glass. Oddly, he seemed a tad perturbed and informed me that my order wasn’t appropriate for the Shamu glass. When I asked which cocktail would best compliment the glass, he suggested a Hawaiian something or other. (Why does anything deemed Hawaiian always contain either pineapple or coconut?!) Rather than piss him off further, I let him mix one up for me. The Shamu glass WAS cute, but the drink failed to impress me. Honestly, in my opinion the 3 male bartenders that night were rather dorky. The woman next to me started a conversation, but, being toasted, I don’t recall anything! My consensus is that Cane & Table is overrated on their drinks (and bartenders), the glass IS cute and the ambience has potential, but their food menu doesn’t interest me, either. Probably will never bother with that place again (and I’ll buy my own Shamu glass).
Cut to me now stumbling through the French Quarter, nearly home. As I passed The Grill, more food to soak up the alcohol seemed like my best bet. Another burger, something called The Hickman, seemed to fit the bill. I inhaled as much as possible, but couldn’t finish it. In fact, the guys were teasing me, asking if I was enjoying it. So I asked for John, who was right there in front of me; we talked about Jeanie. He said that she’d already come by and wanted to go dancing at Oz at 1:00 a.m. Was I in? Ummm, ok. In the meantime, Leonard and other guys were joking around with me, assuring me that they were going, too. It was 11:30 p.m., but felt like 2:30 a.m. I informed the guys that I’d be at my apartment taking a nap, half a block away, but would be back by 1:00 a.m. to go dancing with them at Oz.
The nap came easily (i.e. quickly). My alarm went off at 12:30 a.m. and I put my contacts back in. It would only take 5 minutes for me to walk downstairs and to The Grill, so I sat watching TV. Wouldn’t you know it? I passed out again! I woke up later, thinking that maybe a 10-15 minute cat nap had taken place. It was 1:44 a.m.!!! Oh no, I thought, I’m late for the party! Assuming that they’d given up on me and left without me, I promptly went back to sleep!
A few bikes
A Little Nature in The Quarter
Art in Jackson Square
Simpsons Pipes at a Store on Decatur Street