I wish y’all could have seen the big smile on my face when a message from the New Orleans Public Library turned up in my inbox a few weeks ago. The Milton H. Latter Memorial Branch on St. Charles wanted to know if I’d come visit as a guest storyteller on Dec. 29, you know, while the kids are out of school for their holiday break. I couldn’t get my fingers on the y-e-s keys fast enough!
Mike, Hanni and I have been to New Orleans many times, we all just love this city. The place is a blind person’s paradise, really. The smell of green peppers and onions cooking in butter, the sound of live jazz in the streets, the feel of warm air, the tastes of decadent meals and drinks…New Orleans is the only city I know of where sight takes a back seat to the other senses.
We arrived on Christmas Day and have already enjoyed long walks, terrific food and sensational street music. The New Orleans Saints had a home game on Sunday. The team lost, but we still felt like winners. We are lucky dogs, enjoying the sunshine, fun and food. Some of my faves so far:
Best Jambalaya: Coop’s. The version I had featured rabbit (sorry, Lydialyle!) and andouille.
Best music: Palmetto Bug Stompers. I was raised on traditional jazz music and this group could really swing. Plus the trombone player was wearing a White Sox cap.
Best Music Venue: Spotted Cat. The women’s bathroom has a piano near the sinks — after washing my hands I played along with the band for a few measures -–the tune was in B flat.
Best Waiter: The guy at Adolfo’s. He found me waiting in line for the bathroom after dinner and asked if I wanted dessert.
Best Beer Joint: Fahy’s. We have a new friend in Chicago named John, and his sister Katie owns the place. Besides friendly bartenders and a great beer selection, it has two pool tables.
Tomorrow Hanni and I are giving a presentation at what is sure to be the best library branch in New Orleans. For now we’re off to Ignatius for lunch.