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    New Orleans Part Trois

    July 4, 2016

    Lazy day.

     

    Except for a blog post and some laundry, not much transpired during the daylight hours on Sunday.

     

    Everyone in the house designated the day marathon nap day.  

     

    The back-to-back late nights had caught up with them.   

     

    I spent the day blogging, calling friends, and sending emails.

     

    Meanwhile my aunt, (the one who mailed me a knife), busily worked her magic for me to meet a dear childhood friend of hers.  

    Aunt Ada's plan worked.  

     

    Jennifer sent me a message and asked that I call her.  

     

    We never spoke; instead, we played phone tag and ping-pong text messaging.  

     

    I gave her my address, and she picked me up for a curry dinner around 7ish.  

    Wearing a stylish bohemian straw hat, big sunglasses, and a flowing white dress, she greeted me on the sidewalk with a warm hug.  

     

    I had not expected to see a caramel-colored flower child of a woman.  

     

    Her son Christian -- around 12-years-old -- was in the front seat.  He kindly moved to the back seat to allow the stranger, me, time with his mom.  

     

    Jennifer and I spoke in the car about everything from NOLA slum lords to gentrification to music.  All within a span of 10-minutes.  

     

    We picked up her 23-year-old daughter, Taja, from work on Magazine Street and headed to an Indian restaurant called Nirvana.  

     

    For about three and half hours we shared stories from our past; we exchanged future hopes and dreams; we even talked politics and what constituted a quality television series (definitely find a BBC series called Luther).  

     

    Oh -- did I mention, we both have a shared crush:  Ryan Gosling.   

     

    (Pause.)  

     

    Although I was not able to extract any juicy stories about my Aunt Ada, we agreed on one thing:  my aunt has one of the biggest hearts in the world.  

     

    As the evening and discussion wore on, I picked up on a go-to word Jennifer used:  cultivation. 

     

    That word has stuck with me.  

     

    It's not a word I hear people use.  

     

    Cultivation.

     

    Unfortunately, we ended the evening just before 11 p.m.  

     

    I wanted to stay up and hear more from this fascinating woman.  

     

    Instead, I hugged mother and daughter goodbye, and shook Christian's hand.  

     

    I was grateful my aunt cultivated her magic to facilitate our connection.   

    I walked into an empty house.  Pablo was at another birthday celebration.

     

    He arrived back about an hour after I did.  

     

    We both called it an early night.

     

    On Monday morning, we shared how our separate evenings went.  

     

    While I had my cup of tea, he enjoyed a bowl of cereal.  

     

    Somehow we ended up talking about relationships.  

     

    Considering neither of us were technically in one, I found it comical.

     

    It's hard enough being 43 and attempting the dating scene; I cannot imagine being 23 and trying to get something serious started.  

     

    Too bad our insights were cut short due to his work schedule.  

     

    He left just before 10 a.m. 

    During last night's dinner, Jennifer's daughter, Taja, asked me to visit her at work, so I did. I stopped by in the early afternoon.  Because she was busy, we kept the discussion on somewhat of a surface level.  She assured me she would read my blog.

     

    I look forward to keeping in touch with her.  I am excited to see what the future holds for such a talented photographer and jewelry designer.  

     

    After I left her workplace (the vintage Funky Monkey), I walked along Magazine Street hunting for nourishment.  

     

    Instead, I came across an artisan shop called Zele where local artists pay for space collectively rather than having to rent out their own individual shop.  

     

    I purchased several postcards and note cards to mail to family, friends, and acquaintances. I wished I had had more space to pile in some extremely affordable art.  

    Oh, yes, food.  

     

    I was hungry, and I wanted to start my correspondence writing.  

     

    I had the postcards, the pens, the stamps, and the addresses, I simply needed a flat surface -- preferably in air conditioning.

     

    Along my culinary search, I stumbled upon some modern wall art 

    dedicated to one of my favorite Spanish artists:  Joan Miro.

     

    I have no idea what's going on in most of Miro's work.  Instead, I focus on the colors, the composition, and the bewilderment of it all.  

    Further along my walk, I found a bar/restaurant called Tracey's.  

     

    Because it looked pretty dive-esque and because it had a long shelf life (1949), I decided to try it out.  

     

    I ordered a crawfish sausage, some fries, and a lemonade.  

     

    The guy at the ordering area hands me one of those vibrating contraptions (not a double entendre), and I begin my postcard correspondences while patiently waiting for the buzzer.  

    My sandwich did not take too long, and man did they give me a huge basket of fries.  

     

    I sat back at a table across from the bar facing the sidewalk and continued both eating and writing.  

     

    Many people walked in the door bedazzled in 4th of July attire.  

     

    One young woman created an amazing Wonder Woman lookalike outfit.  It was tastefully done with glitter and gold.  Hard to describe, but I can tell you it wasn't one of those hussy looking Halloween get-ups.  

     

    I very much wanted to ask her for a picture, but I just couldn't conjure up the nerve to do it.  

     

    When I finished my meal and my correspondences, I headed back to Pablo's house.  Although I knew he would not be home until 6 p.m. or so, I wanted some time to get cleaned up before the outdoor festivities. Moreover, I needed to do some research on my next destination.  

     

    Baton Rouge?

     

    St. Francisville? 

     

    Tunica Falls campground?  

     

    Also it appears that the west side of the Great River Road has more scenery than the east side -- at least in Louisiana.  

     

    Decisions.   

    Pablo and I departed around 7:30 p.m.  He took us to Algier's Point to see the dualing barges fireworks display over the Mississippi River.  

     

    Definitely an outstanding way to finish my stay here.  

     

    Walking through one of the oldest neighborhoods in New Orleans was an architectural treat.  He also stopped for a cold one at the Crown and Anchor English Pub -- another must see!  

     

    We parked ourselves to the right of the ferry boarding area.  

     

    I tried to capture as much of the skyline as I could. 

    Overall, the fireworks display lasted about 20-minutes.  

     

    Moving my head left then right and right then left -- to keep up with the show -- was taxing on the neck. Nonetheless, I found myself unable to resist the urge.  Following the show, we meandered back to Pablo's car.  

     

    We arrived home around 10:30 p.m.  

     

    Last 4th of July, I spent the evening in Gunnison, Colorado; today's was just as memorable.  

     

    Thank you little brother for excavating fresh sights (for me) in New Orleans!  

    Until we meet again, my friend. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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