Only have a few minutes to spare before I have to meet a pal and share my tales of the Big Easy over a drink or two at the Waterfront Ale House. But, I think it would be downright rude of me not to share a few tidbits about my trip. So, with what time I have, I think I'll riff - jazz style - with a pastiche of memorable moments from my holiday, leaving the major foodie reviews and revelations for tomorrow.
Some scenes worth recalling...
*Sipping a cool, slightly spicy Pimm's Cup on the grand balcony of the Garden District's historic Column's Hotel, watching the St. Charles Streetcar go by in the warm afternoon sun.
*Catching the flash of a Cheshire cat smile from trumpet impressario Maurice Brown after he finishes an electrifying solo during a performance at the legendary Snug Harbor.
*Zig-zagging through the dizzying array of bric-a-brac and fine antique jewelry on display at the historic collectible shops that line the French Quarter's Royal Street.
*Biting into a tart, juicy loquat offered by a loquacious Southern gentleman who plucked the fruit from a tree in front of the charming Cornstalk Fence Hotel (pictured above).
*Hearing a haunting rock-a-billy rendition of The Beatle's "I Will" by Heather and the Monkey King while downing a smooth pint of chocolate brown Abita Turbodog at the Monaco Hotel's trendy Cobalt Restaurant.
*Having a so-so cup of Joe and an even more so-so croissant in an attractive, non-descript coffee house-cum-bar at fringy Decatur and Barracks. Slowly slurping the hot brew, speaking with the sole counterperson about the trials and tribulations of serving tourists, a new explosion of construction in the Quarter and the web of corruption that is practically an institution with New Orleans' attorneys, law enforcement and government officials.
*The site of a little boy attempting a full-on Marlon Brando impersonation during the "Stella!" shouting contest in Jackson Square - truly a theatrical highlight of the Tennessee Williams Festival.
*A delightful cab driver who, at a ripe 73, was kind enough to share his pointed thoughts on marriage, while lovingly sharing a few snippets about his own. Before I left the car, we passed by the New Orleans branch of Hooters. He admitted that since his wife passed 12 years back, he had darkened its door a few times, sagely noting that "no one gets arrested for eye balling."
*The sweet strawberry-lemonade from tow-headed, 7-year-old Mary Frances at the Crescent City Farmer's Market.