Monday, April 16, 2007

New Orleans Day three

After a cup of tea at Sounds café Charles and I headed out to find some grease. We went to some Soul Food places around the 7th ward but the most of the grease looked pretty nasty. I don't kow why Charles is giving this grease trap the thumbs-up. It is clearly thumbs-DOWN!

We did manage to find some good gease at Orleans Seafood/ Chinese Restaurant at Claiborne and Toledano. This sweet Vietnamese woman came out and talked to us and told us that her cousin drives a grease car and assured us that this was good grease.

We took about 25 gallons and each ate an order of red beans and rice. Afterwards we drove around the neighborhood and stopped to filter some grease outside the local barber school. We talked to several people as we filtered and the owner of the barber school even gave me a free (fake) haircut!

After we filtered the grease we continued our tour of the neighborhood, looking at at the evidence of Katrina's destruction and how the area is coming back to life. When we turned the corner onto Baronne Street the first thing we saw was a woman working in a giant empty lot-turned rose garden. It stood out in great contrast to the rest of the block. We immediately parked and went to speak with the gardener.

Her name is Jeanette and she created the garden four years ago after suing the city of New Orleans so that she could purchase what was then a blighted lot that they had planned to turn into parking. She has spent untold hours working on her garden which she built to use to demonstrate DIY gardening skills to local youth. The garden suffered some from Hurricane Katrina but she built it up again and it is thriving! She showed us so many kinds of flowers and plants and made us an edible bouquet of herbs and nasturtiums. We stayed there for over an hour, looking at so many things and talking with Jeanette about the neighborhood. She seemed very happy to have people to show it to. Before we left she gave us her card and said that she would be going to her other property near Jackson, Mississippi the next day.

When we got back to the French quarter I told Charles about ditching my bike and he said "Why did you do that? You could go fix it at Plan B!" So I said "Let's go see if it's still where I left it, if it is, I'll try to fix it" We walked over to Elysian Fields and Decatur where I had left it 24 Hours earlier and unbelievably it was still there!

After that, Charles helped me take some photos of my eBay stuff and we had a ball, running through the French quarter and me changing outfits in the park on Frenchmen. Yay!

After the sun set I treated Charles to a well deserved dinner at Anjeli on Decatur. My pasta was over-cooked and the bowl was full of water. I asked for it with sautéed mushrooms and got them raw and cleverly hidden by sauce so that I wouldn't notice. There was not even a hint of anchovie in the Caesar salad and the staff said "absolutely not" to my request to charge my camera batteries. The only good thing was that we were joined by Lisa, who had called me at the request of Mr. Joey Burns of Tucson, Arizona to make sure everything was going okay. After dinner we went to The John on Frenchman for a drink. I looked in my wallet and saw that I had not a single note of cash on me so Charles bought me a Herradura Reposado for $4.50 and then we went into the back room to play pool. Lisa lost to Charles and I played him and won. Before our second game a young man and his date came into the back room wanting to play so Charles let them have the table while we went out to smoke. I took my purse outside with me and considered whether to also take my computer bag. Since I was going to be standing right outside the door and there were only 4 other customers in the bar I decided that my bag would be safe on the table. When we went back inside the young man and his date gave up on playing pool and left.

Charles won the second game and we called it a night. I went back to sleep outside Frank's house with a plan to leave in the morning for Mississippi.

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