Mary Jane's Shoes

Mary Jane's Shoes

Musings of one person among many. Not exceptional in any way, as with all, I have exceptional experiences and varied reactions to those events. Mine is one of many life stories and how I manage and cope with the events which make my life my own, I attempt to put forth by way of my writings.

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Greenwich Village on the Banks of Big Muddy or Is This a Dream?

September 21, 2010 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was sitting in a jazz club in the Vieux Carre of New Orleans, listening to slow, sexy jazz.  A saxophone and a sultry soulful voice stood out to me personally.  We all have our preferences.  This was heaven, or at the very least took me there.  A table to myself, a glass of wine my drink, bread and real, unsalted butter satiated for a bit my hunger and taste buds, and I as well delighted in hearing each note that passed into my ears.  I noticed the cool cotton tablecloth beneath my elbows.  A wood stool kept me cooler than the enclosed booth next to me seemed to be.  I felt as though I was dressed appropriately for the heat and humidity of the Crescent City.   A simple, white sleeveless shirt and cotton white skirt felt cool and free, so far.  I added just sandals, a hat and my favorite bracelets and earrings; I was secure in the fact that I was good for the day.
Old photographs adorned the aged walls.  These mostly black and whites pictured the club roughly 50 years past and indicated to me that this place still had the character it owned at their shooting.  Maybe adorned is not the precise word.  Old photographs were  “hung” on the aging walls, as they seemed to be placed for purpose not for design.  Refreshing this was.  I wondered if those captured on film were locals or tourists.  I as well imagined the likes of Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Degas enjoying a favorite pastime of many, people watching, perhaps drawing from the passers-by the next character for a short story or model for a piece of visual art.  Wall hangings, chalkboard menus, glass racks were all slightly askew. Rugs were not square with walls nor tables.  As a person who errs on the side of correct parallels and perpendiculars, this was somewhat disconcerting, the desire to adjust framed portraits had to be pushed aside.  At the same time, it was a bit liberating and in keeping with a leisurely, unstressed attitude.  Just what the doctor ordered so to speak.  The doc inside myself.  I had also prescribed for myself savory food.
Food.  The Cajun, Creole and mixes of both are an awakening, particularly for whom it is new.  Uniquely Gulf Coast and Southern Louisiana cooking.   Delicious.  Eccentric.  Earthy and succulent.  Adore the last two words.  Work well with the earthy, sexy jazz.  The dishes express a sumptuousness that cannot be described; it has to be tasted, experienced.   True self – indulgence is experienced through the food here in the Big Easy.  My indulgence here always involves okra, well almost always.  Shrimp Remoulade, almost anything with a nice roux as a base, or any sauce one has to clean off of the chin before it lands on the blouse to be seen as a sign of complete yielding to the sense and enjoyment of taste.  The stain can be seen as a badge of honor that a highly enjoyed meal was had.  Crepes of many different colors, fillings, Monday’s red beans and rice….I best quit with this unending list.  Suffice to say, the food choices are ample, and as well, are global in heritage.
The food, art and music lover’s dream, for those that do not reside here, is Jazzfest and it never finds me without a plate of cabbage and smothered pork chops. My personal fest ritual is this.  The years I have been fortunate enough to attend, I am secretly amazed at the talent of a great many music lovers, and now myself.  We manage hats, (and those of kids tired of wearing them), backpacks, passes, cameras, plates of food, beer or wine wearing muddy shoes in pools of water (on those periodic rainy fest days) and we make our way through people clad in the same basic tools of the festival.  We do this in many attempts to get very close to the front of stages where the music we find most desiring is up next on the schedule.  This is never an easy decision.  Three days of an “all you can eat buffet” for the ears, for the soul and palette.  Jazz, in many different styles. Gospel.  Zydeco.  Hip-Hop.  Country.  Rock.  Blues.  Jazz.  Yes I wrote it again and yes I missed some different genres, families of music.
I was more than enjoying  the sounds as I ate from my loaf of bread, which had come to me in a small brown bag, when I noticed that newcomers had taken up residence at a few of the tables near me.  I had drifted into my happy place and missed the change of patrons.
Blissfulness.  Completely self-indulgent was this period of time.  Hard not to feel a touch guilty as one is carried to another place by luxurious smells and tastes from the plate on the cotton tablecloth.  I lingered; hardly taking notice of the smell of freshly lit cigarettes. +
 This town which runs along the Big Muddy, she sits south of Lake Pontchartrain and she carries a very unique history.  New Orleans is a true melting pot of ethnicities, races and language.  She represents the best of the ideas that our Founding Fathers desired and detailed in the written plan of our nation, although she can feel as another land.  New Orleans can seem a bit misplaced, though she is as all places and peoples should be, at least from this visitor’s, now periodic resident’s, eyes can see.
As my dish was nearly finished, I reluctantly made the decision to leave this soul-filling locale.  I paid my bill, soaked in the last notes of the song, and on my bike ventured out into the humid air to my next destination. No doubt it will stir the senses as did this venue.
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Your blog post is like reading a story. I love it!


October 19, 2011

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