Yesterday morning I was hanging out in the hotel, getting some work done when I heard from Number One Son Sam, who was practicing with Olive*, then hanging out with The Understudy* and Real Life Princess Avery a little farther uptown.
I can now say ‘a little farther uptown’, not because I finally figured out the difference between further and farther (and don’t get me going on physical vs. metaphorical because if you have been reading for any length of time you know that is not necessarily a clear-cut identifier for me (and I apologize to the entire literary world once again)). Anyway, I can now say ‘a little farther uptown’ because I am getting to know New Orleans. When I can find my way to Mid City and Lakeview without a map I’ll let you know.
So Sam would not be headed down to the French Quarter, where I was (I totally know where I was), for a couple of hours so I had time to spare and I thought I would be all adventurous and head over to Cafe du Monde all my byself. Sam said it was far away, but my phone said ‘no sir, it’s only a 15 or 20 minute walk’ so I was all ‘I’m going!’ (because that is how defiant and adventurous I am).
So I grab my camera and figure out my route and start walking… Canal Street, Royal Street, Something Street, and finally Decatur Street and then turn left and POOF! Cafe du Monde, baby.
Canal Street was great – sunny, about 78 degrees, not too crowded.
Royal Street was pretty good. A little stuffy (small street, humid day), but good.
Then I turned onto Something Street and noticed the day seemed a little darker.
Then came the corner of Something Street and Decatur… and the sky opened up.
Like, seriously opened up.
It went from a spit or two of ‘hey I think it might be raining a bit’ to “OH HOLY CRAP!” in less than ten seconds.
So, in New Orleans, rain is a bit different than it is at home – where we have words like ‘drizzle’ and ‘fine mist’ and ‘pitter patter’ in our rain repertoire. Not so here.
Here, there are Rain Bombs.
That is not a ‘drop’ people.
That’s a kerPLUNK.
Hang on, let me find another one…
That drop cannonballed it’s arse in and caused kick back!
It got to the point where my favorite Puddle de Carpet Bomb (New Orleans has this whole French Creole thing so I see a lot of ‘de’ in titles. Signed, Lisa de Dingle).. anyway, it got to the point where my favorite carpet bombed puddle began to provide me with strange monster-y shapes… like rain scarabs (with occasional Nessie necks):
And also Hydro Geckos:
Seriously. It was a waterborne freakshow.
And, of course, you have to imagine this lunatic tourist – me – who, in the midst of a life-threatening rainstorm – go with me here – is frantically pulling the right lenses from her camera bag, struggling with their attachment to her camera whilst attempting to shield all from the killer rain, and then walking into the heart of the storm, as any war-time photo journalist on the hunt for a Pulitzer would do…
To take photos of a freakin’ puddle.
Look. We all have different risk tolerances.
And speaking of risk, ought we not talk reward?
Shortly afterward – okay about 30 minutes afterward – the clouds stopped showing off and moved aside. The sun came out, the rain bombs stopped, and everyone seemed to suddenly start moving at once. It really was like a paused movie coming to life.
Suddenly people were moving and talking and the French Quarter began anew.
I headed down and across Decatur Street and into Cafe du Monde, got a table right away (never happens) and a wonderful woman brought me the best reward I could have asked for…
And a saxophonist I could not see began with Amazing Grace, moved to Summertime, and got a pretty dang good reception when he leaned forward and began When The Saints Go Marching In.
Rain or no rain…
What a perfect afternoon.
Thanks for readin’.
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*The Understudy is Sam’s new car, replacing The Star, which was crunched and can no longer go on.
*Olive is Sam’s upright bass