I’ve Always Wanted to Go There

Friday 31st January 2020

Why are you going to New Orleans? people asked. I’ve always wanted to go there. I suppose I imagined there would be antiques and old families. The journey from Orlando by air was beyond belief.  Everything in America is sleek and monied and glorious. Everybody knows that.  So grubby old plane, frightful rabble of people making a ferocious noise the whole way. The only person in an outfit looked as if she would die of the on-board horror. When the pilot said, ‘We’re coming in to land,’ it turned out he meant it. Crash! Bang! Screech of brakes. Right! That’s it! We’re here. Amazing scenes at the carousel. No baggage at all for 20 mins. Then, announcement, ‘Your carousel has been changed…’ which was cue for cases to appear on original carousel. Lucky I noticed. Mine had been dented. Only from TKMax. Such a worry. Uber was choked to the rafters. Terrifying women running the ‘line’. Ordered to take another kind of taxi for $19. All very well, but strange intermittent demand for back-seat driving from the driver who at times appeared to know the way and at others not.  Eventually I lost patience trying to mastermind entry into a city I’d never been to before in my life from my own Google Maps. ‘Haven’t you got your own device?’ I snapped.  Whereupon scrabbling about. He’d got two but neither in working order. Near the destination he was about to turn right but I shrieked ‘Left’, misreading Google Maps. Served him right. Finally achieved very dark street in the Garden District. Picturesque facades, old, but otherwise feeling of a slum – cracked pavements, weeds, rough patches. No idea where I was. My lodging had been arranged for me by Lanard Massonny Ashbrooke and Santon Dupree Spring, those friends of the Multis. It turned out to be a whole house! Completely thrilling. I selected a bedroom and laid out my creams in the bathroom then skipped out. Lanard had been messaging from a ‘work-do’ with dinner recommendations. I turned into ‘Magazine’ looking for ‘Lilettes’ (I know. Unfortunate name. Lanard said he’d heard that in UK it means something else). Magazine simply incredible – boutiques, antiques, wares. Quite belying dark, cracked streets off it. One pretty old house with veranda after another. V. low, like a toy-town.  Into Lilettes – freezing cold from the air con, as in Florida. Everywhere indoors icy. Boiling outside. But they don’t compromise. Still in shorts, polo shirts and flip-flops although only a few degrees above. Eventually I worked out it’s that they’re all quite stout, well-lined. Just don’t notice. I’m put at the bar in Lilettes, next to a very disagreeable woman with pink champagne hair. I have European type dinner – sophistication of artisanal pasta ribbons, a duck arrangement with blobs and a banana-based ‘dessert’ in a glass. ‘Is a parfait?’ the woman who had replaced nasty pink-champagne person inquired. I didn’t know what they mean by ‘parfait’ so banter never got going. Old Venetian red velvet on the walls of Lilettes. $100 plus tips.

So New Orleans began.

My Lodging in New Orleans, Garden District

My Lodging in New Orleans, Garden District

Another View of the Lodging

Another View of the Lodging

Magazine Street at Night

Magazine Street at Night

Inside the Lodging

Inside the Lodging

Posted Friday, January 31, 2020 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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