Monday, 22 February 2021

New Orleans 2019

Jazz and meals, Antoine’s, Louisiana. Exhib, preservation hall jazz, snug habor jazz. I had Sunday brunch at the jazz restaurant Antonine’s and my friend Tom Gillis’s brother played in the band there. I mentioned this to the maitre d’hotel and was given an excellent seat in the room where I watched them play. Antoine’s oozes 150 years of restaurant history. A photo of a young Bill Clinton was next to seat. There were many New Orleans folk having brunch. The jazz was easy. I ate oysters and had glass of Buck’s Fizz. I chatted to Tom’s brother and photographed him and his group in the bar. In Jackson square and saw an excellent exhibition about Hurricane Katrina and the local response. The exhibition had an impressive collage of voices and responses. One experienced the storm and the horror of the aftermath. the gap in emergency service provision, became very clear. The national guard should respond to flood damage but they lacked leadership and were unable to do so. The disaster itself was on film the responses and the people crowding into the super bowl for shelter. I remember seeing pictures of those people. Docs at the Charity hospital responded and were then vilified. Maybe the lack of response is linked to the absence of a national health service and fragmentation. Survivors stories were told, one guy returning said his memories of 30 years of playing jazz with people kept him going and could not be taken away. A video installation of different people speaking about being New Orleaner ended the exhibition. There was excellent explanation of why the levels were damaged and the different modes of water damage. V interesting and reminiscent of Holland. My grandfather, a water engineer would have appreciated the display. I enjoyed excellent exhibition about the many forms Mardi Gras in NO and Louisiana, it is a remnant of Catholicism. I had not appreciated how formal the Mardi Gras is. I experienced being atop a float in a video installation. I knew more about Louisiana culture after this museum visit. I queued for the Preservation Hall band show at 18.00., I sat inside and enjoyed a 6 piece band playing Dixieland jazz, 2 trumpeters, drums, guitar and playing regular favourites. I walked across the French quarter to a bar called Snug Harbor to hear an excellent group play modern jazz, the highlight of the day. I joined a small walking tour of the French Quarter(FQ), by a retired academic. We walked down to the river and looked out over the river front. In the FQ we looked at the original houses with had 4 doors. We examined later houses and the iron work. We looked at Tennessee William’s house. We saw the houses associated with the slave trade, and with a fire, that started from a shrine to the BVM. Yellow fever was common until the 20c and it’s cause unknown. Nobody wanted to hire the new men off the ships cos they were a high risk of dying so men hoped for a mild illness then they could be hired. It was an excellent tour and gave me a good over view of the FQ. I had a Louisiana lunch of shrimps and rice in a large cafe with open doors. Then browsed the shops round Jackson Sq. wandered back to my hotel and went to the airport early by taxi. I had an anxious flight to Atlanta cos a storm had delayed our flight. I had 40 mins to spare and ran across the airport, just catching the flight.

No comments:

Post a Comment