Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1st week Jazz Fest 2015

Po Boy View
Phil LaMancusa
Know Jack?
Jazz Fest Scavenger Hunt
            Okay, so you’ve had the best Bloody Mary in New Orleans (or have you?). You’ve have had the best barbecued shrimp po boy at Liuzza’s By The Track and mingled with the throngs in and around the Fest and you think that you’ve got a handle on our city (for Chrissakes, don’t call it The Big Easy!).
            Have you had breakfast at Betsy’s Pancake House, Mena’s Palace, Slim Goodies or The Please U? Had a po boy at Domilise’s, crawfish at the Broadview, tippled one or two at Roosevelt’s or Hanks?  Have you had the Meatballs at Fiorella’s or the rabbit and sausage jambalaya at the joint across the strada from them? Stopped at a fish fry at Little People’s? Had a listen to Action Jackson to learn where the next second line is-- if for no other reason than to get a good sausage or pork chop sandwich? Have you even inquired as to whether Hansen’s is open yet?  No? Then you don’t know Jack.
            Do you know where they make a roast beef and gravy po boy and then deep fry it? Have you had a PBR at Pal’s (red beans gratis on Monday) or seen Kermit at all? Had a beer at Bullet’s? You do know that at The Pagoda on the first Sunday of the month the folks from Domino Sound spin tunes at the pop up dinner and it’s BYOB? Have you visited the Black Penny (new and well worth the visit), Saturn Bar, Snake and Jakes, Ms Mae’s or Brother’s Three? Have you gotten a local cookbook (Kitchen Witch Cookbook Shop), picked up an Off Beat or become an OZillan? Taken a cooking class or a tour? What’s your favorite flavor at Brocato’s? Have you touched the hem of Allen Toussaint’s jacket?
            How about café au lait and beignets at three in the morning smack dab in the middle of City Park on your way to dreamland or picking up stitches at Goodwill on Jeff Davis and Tulane? How come you haven’t been to Parkway? Did you take your little ones to The Children’s Museum, Aquarium or Fairyland? When will you go to Rocky and Carlos for the baked macaroni (onion rings, too!), the Chalmette Theater next door to Big Lots or Dong Phuong for a Vietnamese pastry and sandwich pass? Do you even know where ‘Da Parish is? Did you miss Pho Tau Bay this trip? “Pho Getta ‘Bout it!”
            Have you watched the sun rise in the east over the ‘west bank’, checked out The Backstreet Cultural Museum, House of Dance and Feathers or Broadway Bound? Did you get Ya Ka Mein or the very best shrimp po boy at the Orange house? Did you bother to catch a flick at the Prytania, sit with a cup of Joe outside of Mojo’s or ferry trip it to the Dry Dock Café? Yep, if you don’t know that you’ll have to have at least a dozen different gumbos to qualify entering into that conversation; then, you really don’t know Jack.
            Can you distinguish between Philip Melancon, Benny Grunch and Bobby Lounge? Watched HBO Treme? Know the names of the Doctor, Professor, Fats, the King and Queenie? Have you sung yourself hoarse with “Mai-lei cootie fiyo tee na nai tee na nai!!!!!”, “They all ass for you”, or “Drink a little poison ‘fore you die”? Do you dig the Dixie Cups?
            Listen, picture New Orleans (please don’t call it N’awlins!) as a big WELCOME! postcard; now picture the Jazz Fest as the twenty-three cents postage. Logic tells you that there is so much more than just the stamp. There’s a whole love song here; it says: “slow down, you move too fast; you gotta make the moment last…” It says : “sit beside the breakfast table, think about your troubles; pour yourself a cup of tea and think about the bubbles….”
            It says: ‘come sit on the bridge on Bayou St. John and watch the sunset; rest awhile under the wind chime oak; wander the statuary garden, empty your mind and dance with the devil in the pale moonlight’. It says: “If it keep on rainin’, the levee’s gonna break….”

            Sure, every city has its points of interests and disinterests, infrastructure dysfunctions, disruptive behavior (a mugging can be very disruptive), its facts, foibles and flavors; New Orleans is somewhat amplified in that aspect. We want to say to all of you wonderful visitors that we are thankful that we can show off our funk and sass; we also want to say “now go home”. We’re concerned that those upwardly-mobile-stars-in-their-eyes-thirty-somethings will move here and change the Bywater into Brooklyn, paying higher rents than we’re used to, purchasing houses and putting in granite counters, complaining about music being played where its always been played and negating all those things that attracted them in the first place. You’re not one of those are you? No? Well, I know this cute little half double around the corner from us………………

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