It’s Jazz Fest weekend, something one can’t fail to notice here in New Orleans. I spent yesterday at the fest in Lafayette and today recovering. But when folks were gathering on a porch in Mid-City this evening, I decided to hop on my bike and head over there to watch the crowds stumble home and hear tales of festing from my friends. Unfortunately I got a flat tire in the CBD, and had to walk home, where I grabbed my other bike. I learned some important lessons: bring extra tube and pump for quick fixes on the road, because these streets are paved with beer bottle glass. After the thwarted first ride I made it down to Mid-City and was thrilled to not have to wait with the throngs on the corners of Canal, waiting for public transit or in cars, sitting in traffic. The bike is the only means of transport for Jazz Fest, and if you’re coming to visit, you need to rent a bicycle. End public service announcement… I stopped to snap a photo of this Free Vegetarian Dinner! at the Hare Krishna house on Esplanade. The picture isn’t good, but the scene was. The dinner was winding down at this point, but when I first rode by, the place was packed with folks enjoying the cool evening together. And I bet they didn’t all know each other. That’s my favorite part of a festival–how everyone really is in it together, how somebody’s always got an extra beer, sunscreen to share, advice on what to eat and where to sit. I’ll be there next weekend, but tonight it was enough to ride around and see friends old and new wrapping up the first weekend of Jazz Fest.