|In front of the Basilica de St. Louis|
When the sun goes down, the freaks come out.
|The Freak: Steampunk|
The Nerd took to the streets of New Orleans on Friday the 28th, admiring the gas lamp-lit streets and gazing longingly at the running lights of Harrah's casino. Entranced by having returned once again to dear New Orleans, my friends and I immediately set out for good food, and of course found the alcohol first. We took shots of Rebel Yell at a bar to the north of the French Quarter. Our desire to explore the city at night was inevitably put on hold, though.
This was also the weekend of the Cresent City Open, the Louisiana division annual fencing tournament. For two days some very legendary fencers came head-to-head to decide who the best in the south would be. Adam Brewer, Justin Mehan and Thomas Stusinsky are a mere handful of names that made fencing the Cresent City Open a worthy challenge. Though B-rated saber fencer and personal friend Adam Brewer did not win--as many of us hoped he would--nothing stops Adam for long, and you can guarantee that he will recoup his losses at his next event. He took 5th this weekend. The Polish saber fencer and World Cup winner of 2010 Thomas Stusinsky went on to win this year's Cresent City Open. Stusinsky is a studied fencer, whose tactics easily make any lesser fencer easy prey. Though I no longer fence, it was clear from the number of bouts I watched that there is no one as adept at the feint and disengage as Thomas Stusinsky. Many a fencer fell into his traps this weekend.
and a very real pipe.
"Since Katrina," friend Adam Brewer said, "New Orleans is a very different town."
|Notice the banners|
in the background.
|Me and Techno Satan|
|Street vendors selling art and jazz performers to name but a few of the sights|
in front of the Louisiana State Museum, next door to the Basilica de St. Louis
It is hard for me to describe the feeling I get walking through the French Quarter. I am often struck with how young I feel. I am surrounded by architecture and style from a part of a city that is hundreds of years old. There are times when I step out of my year and am transported in time. We were interested in sitting most of time, so Jeremy could study his pipe and waiting for Adam to join us. A coffee shop caught our eye, though the door to the shop was not immediately visible. Lidia led us out of the warm street and under an alcove, following the signs to the coffee shop. We stepped out of New Orleans in 2011 and into a French courtyard in the mid-eighteenth century. I remembered stepping through the door of a pub, The Druid's Head, in Brighton, England, and it was the same feeling. The courtyard was cool and shady, trees not native to the area and creepers covered the peeling white-washed walls, and taller buildings helped to block out the sun light from the street. The Royal Blend coffee shop occupied the bottom floor of a building cadi-corner to the courtyard. The french doors to the sitting area and food counter opened on the courtyard. An orange and white striped tom cat came out immediately to greet us. I never could get his tag around to see his name, but he sat with us for a few minutes and followed me up to the register. Dusty tables and chairs lined the walls in a way that was neither orderly nor trendy. One girl stood along a chipped and warped counter using the all-too modern free wi-fi offered by the shop. We ordered our coffee and spent a half an hour under the vines and leaves in the cool arbor. Lidia and I contemplated the upstairs area over the coffee shop, wondering if it was inhabitable and planning our futures as a starving artist and an anthropologist perpetually in school. Our respective husband and live-in boyfriends speculated where they fit in to our plans. We confessed that we did not know.
Our stay was cut short by a phone call that was to herald our departure. We left with about as much ceremony as we when we arrived--arguing in a PC fashion over who should drive and why a Dodge Caravan is not a go-cart. We had a few set-backs this weekend, but nothing that could truly take the fun and grandeur out of visiting one of the most romantic cities in the United States. Au revoir, New Orleans. See you next year.
Enjoy this video, dear readers, of the biggest block party I've ever seen, next to Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day. Not bad for a video shot on my HTC Inspire, on the Fastest 4G Network. In case you can't tell, that's sarcasm.