All posts tagged new orleans

Playlist: New Orleans Jazz Fest 2016 (weekend 2)

This year, I’m hoping to actually head on vacation (finally!) so my beautiful wife and I can take that honeymoon we’ve been talking about doing since we got married.

Keep in mind, we got married back in 2014, when the weather was hot and New Orleans came to Sydney. That was the dream, since both my wife and I had left our hearts in New Orleans. I left mine back when I was a kid, and when I went back on holiday with the girl who would eventually be my wife, she left hers there too, and I knew she and I would be linked.

The wedding was on November 14, 2014, and there’s a webpage showing the day, but there hasn’t been a honeymoon yet, due to the constraints of work.

This year, though, we’re hoping to change it, and Jazz Fest is on the agenda.

I don’t need much to get myself geared up for New Orleans — the music, the people, the food, the vibe; sheesh, I’d probably live there if I could — but just in case you wanted to get a glimpse of what Jazz Fest will be like on the second weekend, which is when we’re hoping to be there, I’ve been working on a playlist.

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Fortune favours the bold.

Before heading to New Orleans in April, one of my friends suggested to me that I visit a fortune teller while I’m there. Apparently they go hand in hand.

So while I was there for the music of New Orleans Jazz Fest, I also aimed to visit a fortune teller.

I also intended to visit a strip club – a proper American strip club – only for the idea of comparing an American one to the idea of what I see in the movies.

Trying to do that back home turned out not so brilliantly the last (and first) time I went. Sydney’s strip clubs seem to be little more than overpriced cement boxes where uninspired women dance to even more uninspired music while you drink what barely passes as fermented sugar water grape juice from a plastic beer cup. Did I mention you had to pay twenty-five bucks for the privilege?

I digress.

While in New Orleans, I aimed to see a fortune teller. For the next few days, my mate and I wandered the streets as tourists, occasionally seeing psychics sitting under worn umbrellas on the side of the park at Jackson Square.

“There’s one,” my friend Ross said, but it just didn’t feel… right. Plus I was hesitating. I mean, what if they told me something horrible? What if they told me something absolutely disastrous? Should I really know that much?

It wasn’t until our second last day in New Orleans (technically the last day of exploring) that we found the “Bottom Of The Cup Tea Room” that I thought we’d found our place.

Plus, it was on the same block as Laura’s Chocolates and if that’s not a good omen, I’m not sure what is.

Just looking at this picture of one of Laura's truffles makes me hungry. Anyway.

Still skeptical over the entire process, I went and had a 15 minute reading done. The fortune teller was quite good, and to be honest, I didn’t expect it to be about who I was currently. I expected it would be able who I was going to become, and the two are quite different.

What I got was a combination of both, and you can hear some samples of the reading below. I’m obviously not going to put it all online for you as I’d like some of my reading to stay private. Ish.

It started with me finding out I had to cut something out of my life. I’m guessing this was my ex, which has more or less been cut out of my life. Ripped. Torn. Severed. Take your pick. It’s all relatively the same.

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At one point, she mentioned my friend Ross. Or at least I think it was Ross. I don’t have many friends-who-are-guys, so am only assuming it’s Ross.

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Apparently passion was a big part of my reading, too.

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I do consider myself a curious person. Hell, I found it rather surprising that I actually went through with the psychic reading in the first place. So when the fortune teller asked me if I had any questions, I was curious about something I’d faced in my life. People had told me that my overly sexual nature was a result of me being Scorpio, so I wondered if the whole starsign thing had anything to do with personality.

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You can claim that what I heard was guessing, looking for a tell, predicting what I was going to say based off of mannerisms and facial characteristics or a bunch of other things that would scientifically explain what happens, but all of that is mostly irrelevant.

Even me – the first one who would normally stand there next to you, with you, and tell me that – thinks that all of that is irrelevant.

You know why?

Because what I heard that day made me feel good. In a way, it made me think that the psychic reading was more an affirmation about one’s self than anything else. It might be someone just telling you how it is, how you are, the way you are, and if that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Raw Orleans

The city is gloomy, hot, sweaty, alive. Raw and awake, energy surges on every corner.

It’s hard not to notice the life here. Perhaps it’s the surge before Jazz Fest really hits. Perhaps it’s the notion that everyone here can get drunk easily, will get wasted in ten minutes flat.

You can. You can do that here.

Alcohol is cheap. So cheap that you can wander into a pharmacy – I shit you not – and buy almost a litre of Corona or Vodka-hybrid-something for under three bucks.

Insanity.

And on Bourbon Street where all the action is, you can find yourself with a plastic alien filled with all manner of colour and alcohol while five bucks goes missing from your wallet.

Down several of these and provided you’re not me, you’ll think the alien is real.

And it might be. And then your attention, your lifeforce, and your energy will be a part of the throng that floats in this place.

Walk up and down that place, the red and blue and green and gold slushy in your hands and you’ll see people.

Crazy people, happy people, lost people, found people, we’re-going-to-shit-ourselves-if-we-don’t-find-something-to-screw people, and no one is sad. It’s the life here. It keeps you focused on nothing, alive and relaxed, provided you realise that New Orleans is that.

It is everything and nothing, and to be honest, it’s best not to think about what New Orleans is or isn’t.

It’s far easier to look at the strip clubs that line the roads, the beer sold on the side of the heavy traffic crowding Canal Street, the fluorescent red lights on a pharmacy that sells liquor, and the smells of a place that cannot be denied.

It’s far easier to take all of this in, to breathe it all in and realise that this is New Orleans. This is raw, uncut, and completely fucking brilliant.

So why the bloody hell aren’t you here?