Katie lives a block off of St. Charles Street. St. Charles Place? Whatever. It's gorgeous. There are huge towering trees on either side, so big, their arms reaching over everything. I coulda sworn Scrow said they were oaks, but they didn't have oakey leaves, so maybe he'll chime in and set the record straight. The road is long and straight, and down the center is the streetcar line.
I loved the streetcar. Scrow said he hated it, and I suppose if it were my main transportation option, I'd agree. But as a tourist -- a tourist schooled in the ways of Urban Planning and the evils of automobile dependence; a tourist who far far prefers the breeze of an open window to air conditioning as a cooling option; a tourist who loves to look look look at everything my eyes can get their hands on, and the creaking of wood, and the greasy smell, and my fellow passengers -- it's wonderful. The houses on St. Charles all have big columns, just as they should. The streetcar costs $1.25, exact change only, and it runs from practically-Katie's-doorstep to practically-the-doorstep of the Queen and Crescent, the hotel at which Manning and Tami (and Jon, I was to discover) were staying. Manning and Tami's room had a brick wall behind the bed. I told them they should poke every brick, to see if the wall would swing around to reveal a secret laboratory, or a superhero's lair, or a strip club. Or something.
Our first meal was at Mother's. I had a po'boy. It was okay. So here's one thing about my trip: I was almost never hungry. One because we were always eating -- we were on vacation! And we must sample the local fare -- and two because I wasn't smoking pot all weekend, as I normally would. I didn't miss it at all.
We also went to the Cafe du Monde a couple times, to have beignets. It's pronounced "ben-yays", which is like Ben Gay but with a Y instead of a G. They are French doughnuts and they are essentially just fried dough with three pounds of powdered sugar dumped on top. Which makes them suspiciously similar to zeppolli, and also very, very, very, very yummy. And the tables are outside, so it's nice, but under an awning, so it's cool, and a man comes by with a trumpet. And first he plays "Amazing Grace" which is one of those songs I love, don't you? Can you help it? And then he sings it, and he really does have an amazing voice. And then he asks you to buy his cd.
We took the streetcar down to the French Quarter, where Everything is Interesting. We ate at a place called the Cafe Maspero that had strawberry daiquiris for a dolla, and I had red beans and rice which made me think of some thing I saw on MTV . . . oh, ten years ago, and Flea kept saying "beans and rice! BEANS AND RICE!"