Arcade Fire at Jazz Fest at the Fairgrounds

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S. and I have been talking about going to the second Friday at Jazz Fest since we saw Arcade Fire on the schedule. I don’t really know anything about music–I’m amenable, and if you say you like it I will listen to it and probably like it to. My sister sends me songs sometimes, and she sent me some Arcade Fire songs because she liked them, and of course I liked them too, and I keep them on my little ipod, along with other songs E. thinks I’d like by Metric and Snow Patrol and Cold War Kids (who are these bands, anyway?). Do I want to see them outside with S. on a perfect Friday in New Orleans? Oh, yes indeed. After picking up a ticket from I. and getting some grading done, I got on my bike and pedaled along in the sunshine, happy to have nothing in the rest of my day but festivaling. We locked our bikes up to a fence–Jazz Fest doesn’t provide anything like enough bike parking–and went inside. Crawfish enchiladas, seafood stuffed mushrooms, some rum punch, and a whole bunch of music later and we were waiting for Arcade Fire. They were great, with their playfulness and overwrought endings and stage banter that sounded like how I used to break the ice with my students as a very shy, very nervous teacher. S. and I split up, trading time to see Willie Nelson (“You Were Always on My Mind” is such a beautiful song) and Lupe Fiasco, and then I was back for the last couple songs, and they ended with that one that I like to pedal to when I’m taking the Wisner bike path–it fits my cadence perfectly. I have never listened to that song with anyone but me, and here we all were, dancing to it. What magic! And then it was over, but they brought a dulcimer on stage, which is a total give away that there’s going to be more–the dulcimer must be played. And then they were back, and Cyndi Lauper was with them, and they played “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” I literally started shaking and then burst into tears because I was just so happy. Then it was over, we were back to our bikes, and we headed to her place, got the dog, did a lap around the neighborhood, and settled in to sit on her stoop and split a beer having conversations, variations of which we have most certainly had before and will again. As I was leaving, she wished me nice bike ride home, said she was pretty sure I would enjoy it. I did. Oh, I will miss S. and I will miss festival days like this one when I move away.

Parked Cars on a Lawn on S. Lopez Near Esplanade

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I got to get up at 6:30 this morning and ride my bike to work–yes, all of this is happening on a Saturday–to give a final exam. We all sat there dutifully, them scribbling along, me looking busy, for four hours. Sigh. I was tired, but the day was lovely, so I rode over to Mid-City to see R.’s new apartment and then just pedaled around until I found D. on a porch. It’s Jazz Fest time, so everybody is on the porch and watching the crowds roll by. I snapped this picture from a most beautiful porch while D. and M. moved cars around like Tetris pieces. Yeah, I’m glad I took my bike, as were those folks walking the wrong way down Esplanade who could ask me, because I wasn’t locked up in a car, “Where is Jazz Fest?” A couple beers and several conversations later and I was pedaling along empty streets on my way home, smooth and mindless circles. I picked up Bicycling Magazine from home and grabbed a salad on the corner. Colin McEnroe writes, “Look what I’ve accomplished, and I have 14 whole gears I haven’t even touched yet.” Oh my, exactly.

Lining Up For Ice Cream at the Creole Creamery

A Long Line For Ice Cream at the Creole CreameryThough I haven’t blogged in a few days, I have been on my bicycle.  Yesterday I rode to Jazz Fest, and then later to a bar in the Bywater for more music.  I took so many fantastic pictures of the jazztastic festival that I wanted to share, but by the time I got home, I was toast.  Continue reading

Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue at Mimi’s in the Marigny

Gal Holiday and the Honkeytonk Revue at Mimi's in the MarignyI love to dance.  No, I really, really love to dance.  If you know me, you know I’m telling the truth.  So when M. put out the call to meet at the bar for Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, I was in.  Continue reading

Free Vegetarian Dinner! at the Hare Krishna House on Esplanade

Free Vegetarian Dinner!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.  Continue reading

Jackson Square Crowds at French Quarter Fest

Crowds at French Quarter FestThe weather reports promised thunderstorms today, but the sun was out, and despite a late night, I was up for another bike ride.  I rode down to the Quarter to see the crowds out for French Quarter Fest and hear a bit of music.  I, like lots of folks, can’t really afford Jazz Fest, so I really appreciate this free party.  I snapped this picture of the many people crowding in to Jackson Square, with the church and the Cabildo in the background.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Continue reading