New Orleans Jazzfest, Day 3
We’ve decided to take it easier today. Not much playing that we want to see until about 3ish. We got up slowly walked around the French Corner and then had some breakfast. We went to the Coffee Kettle for breakfast. There were some serious omelettes being eaten. Oysters Rockefeller omelette with a shot of tequila on the side. Now that is the way to start the day off. We stuck with the basics. Eggs, coffee and bisuits. The biscuits are top in New Orleans. Then we wandered into our favorite photography place that carries lots of rocker photos, A Gallery.
Next, we grabbed a cab and headed over to Magazine Street. I found that the city is cleaner and appears to be growing this year. There are a variety of new retail stores. You can feel that the city is in a growth time. Magazine Street goes on forever. We just strolled through some of the antique stores, clothing stores, art galleries and such. But, time was of the essence. It was time to grab a cab and head out to the festival.
We got to the festival around 2:30. First stop, the ribs booth. Smothered ribs, smoked all day long slopped with a rich gooey barbecue sauce topped on the side with a sweet, crunchy, mustardy cole slaw. Yum! Then, we rambled over to my new favorite. Barbecued oyster po-boy. Oh my! I will have to try and reproduce this one at home. Barbecued spicy oysters over shredded lettuce topped with blue cheese and spicy hot sauce on a white bun. It was unbelievable. Of course, had to get the strawberry lemonade to wash that down.
Now, it was time for the music. First stop, Rebecca Malope, the Gospel Queen of South Africa at the Congo Tent. She was ok. We did not love her so we kept on moving. We were lucky enough to push our way into seats (shock!) at the Bellsouth Jazz Tent to see Branford Marsalis. His raw talent and his band’s talent is truly a sight to see. I am not a huge fan of the music, but to watch them all play is truly incredible. Also, the history of the Marsalis family. I’d love to read a book about their roots. His father was a musician and so is his entire family. His brother and father were playing on Sunday, Jason Marsalis and Ellis Marsalis. Branford must have been staying in our hotel because when we listened to our itunes in the hotel, you were connected to everyone in the hotel who was using itunes. Branford Marsalis was using it too. Unfortunately he had a password so we could not see what type of music he was listening to. Would have been interesting.
Time to leave Brandford. We talked over to Rockin’ Dopsie & The Zydeco Twisters. These guys were awesome. They’d be a great band to have at an outdoor summer party. Tons of fun. Next, we went over to see Macy Gray. Her first album was so good. The next 2 had a few hits here and there. I love her voice but wish she’d do a a bit more on the pop blues. She lost me half way through. So, we decided enough is enough.
That night, we went to the Pelican Club for drinks. We were lucky enough to get a table outside and had dinner. What a find. The restaurant is in the Quarter down Exchange Alley. I felt like I was eating in Rome. It was lovely. Before dinner, we actually stopped into a art gallery opening of an artist named James Michalopoulos. Interesting pieces but once you take them out of the context of New Orleans, I am not sure they work. After dinner, we cruised over to the House of Blues to see the Neville Brothers.. We had a connection, so we literally were able to see down in the balcony, front and center. They crooned. When Aaron Neville sang Amazing Grace, tears literally came to my eyes. We left and strolled over to Cafe Du Monde for some tasty beignets.
New Orleans is my second favorite city in the States, New York, of course being my first. There is a vibe there that does not exist anywhere else. The food is unique. The architecture is incredible. You really feel as if you are in a different place. There is music available nightly. The town rocks until late at night. There are a variety of local artists and artisans. There is a true culture of New Orleans where as other towns have become almost all the same. You could close your eyes and be anywhere. Not in New Orleans. You can close your eyes all you want but your senses will tell you that you are somewhere like no where else.