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Thursday, April 28, 2016

NOLA between the weekends

Today begins the short three days between the weekends of Jazz Fest. I slept late. I did a laundry. I went shopping. I did some online work. I took a twenty-mile bike ride along 39 along the River in the Delta, what a treat. I cooked a big lunch before going into town to catch-up with Tim and his friends. I arrived at 3 and Tim and Terry were getting ready to pick up Ed who was coming in from SF. During their trip to the airport I went into town and parked by Washington Park and walked down to Crescent City Brewery on Decatur St. On the way I found some postcards, a NOLA sticker for the Scamp, and an Off Beat magazine. I arrived and the bar was filled so I took a hi top and ordered a flight and a dozen raw oysters. I read Off Beat while I enjoyed the Belgian style beers on this hot and humid day. I returned to Terry’s house on Gallier to meet their friend Ed. The architecture of these houses is very interesting. They are very like the railroad flats of NYC. It was an area in early NO history that was settled by the workers as it was the second highest ground, behind the French Quarter in NO. Soon we made our way a block and a half away to listen to a large 24-member brass band of musicians under 25 from France. They are here to learn and to play. They did a couple of lesser festivals and will be marching in the jazz fest parade on Thursday. It was in the backyard of this lady who owns a large house and lives in a smaller adjacent house, she has converted into a dormitory for visiting musicians. She has a large yard where the concert was held and a space for us to eat all the food that was brought and cooked for this event. A real community event. The group played two very intense two hours sets with a half hour break. It was a magical time to have this private concert in a backyard in the Bywater in NOLA during jazz Fest. One of Tim’s friends Jerry and Carol also live next to this house and have hoisted such events in the past. He is a professor of English in a Mississippi college and hour and half away. He makes that trek one a week and tomorrow was one such date so he was gone by the end of the first set. Jerry and Terry are a duo and we will be hearing them Tuesday night. I got home early, did some reading, which I have not been doing, and had a good night sleep in prep for Tuesday’s events and long night. I woke and read some more and slowly emerged from bed for a leisurely morning before another bike ride. I had an omelet with salmon. After lunch I headed into town to meet up with Tim. I met him and Terry at the Junction, a restaurant on St Claude before the train tracks that have trains crossing that crossing dozens of times during the day. I had a beer while they ate. Terry had some chores. Tim and I headed out to do some breweries. Second Line was closed, Courtyard didn’t open until 4, and NOLA was having a music festival. We just wanted to taste the beer and didn’t want to pay $35 to get in. So we headed to Crescent City brewery, but we went back to pick up Ed, Tim’s friend from SF, quickly found a parking spot and walked to the brewery. I had a flight, they had pilsners. I ordered a dozen raw oysters and they shared a dozen and ordered burgers. I took a Weise and a Belgian IPA home for later consumption. We stopped at WWOZ so I could get some stickers. We drove to the Raw Bar and walked past Terry who was sitting outside the bar. We didn’t see him. He finished his beer and had to go home to prepare for tonight. After our beers we headed to Siberia to attend Linnzi Zaorski’s CD release party. She is such a great performer with a unique voice. It was a fun event. Tim knows her and we had a lovely chat with her before heading to Le Roch’s to hear Jerry and Terry. Jerry writes their songs and writes very well. I’ll go next Tuesday so I can hear them again and get a haircut. There was a barber chair in the Raw Bar too. Seemed odd. When the lads finished their set and we chatted, Tim, Ed, and I headed to Chicky Wawa to hear an all-star group with Sansone and Osborne. We seemed to have missed Erica and Klon, who must have left when we were parking the car. After a very enjoyable performance, we decided to call it quits, even though it was still early, midnight. I dropped the boys off at Terry’s and went home.  I took a shower and went to bed.
I woke to a very dreary cloudy day with a sky that promised rain. Today was Chazz Fest, number ten and last. Chazz Fest started after Katrina when the musicians didn’t have places to play. Also it provided a venue to those performers who didn’t get a gig with Jazz Fest. This was the tenth and last Chazz Fest. Chazz sold the place. In his backyard he carved in two stages, a café area, food vendors, and typical vendors at a concert. The event began at noon and continued until midnight for $35. There would be fourteen bands played on the two stages. I met up with Tim and Erica. During the third performance the skies opened up for about forty-five minutes. I had an umbrella and wish I had brought my raincoat too. During the wait we all huddled under the roofs of the open sheds that scatter about the property. Since the topic of rain was in the air, the projected forecasts for Jazz Fest convinced me I will carry my rain suit. The rain stopped and the rain drained away and the music resumed, a bit off schedule. Klon arrived to meet up with Erica and they and I had lunch at the Junction across the street, while Tim had to check into a new place he was going to with Ed and to prepare for his daughter to join him. When Tim and I met up back at Chazz Fest, Ed showed up and we enjoyed the Fest until 10 when I had to go home to rest up for the first of four days at Jazz Fest and evenings filled with some events as per Tim’s direction.

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