I think Allard Avenue is the most beautiful street in New Orleans after Esplanade Avenue.
Let me tell you about my trip home today. I wasn’t in a rush so I decided to take the back streets. It is slower and there is more to look at. Mind you, I am rarely in a rush.
So, I get onto Dumaine and I consider taking it. I love Dumaine Street but it’s one way after the bridge, the wrong way. I take a quick left instead, as I do just about every day.
All of a sudden it hits me that I’m on a really beautiful street, I mean like really beautiful, like Allard Avenue. In fact, this street was so beautiful that I had to wonder if I was on Allard Avenue by mistake. No lamposts. I was just on a street that was Allard Avenue beautiful.
What a beautiful day. It’s hard to describe. I knew where I was, the street is only one block long and I could see City Park Avenue in the distance. I was just marveling at the details in the dapple of the oak trees swaying in the balmy breeze. It is 80 degrees and sunny and the breeze has swept away the humidity. It must have been a trick of the light, or my usual light mood, I was looking at this street with fresh eyes. So much to see.
So, I’m halfway down and I’m thinking to myself, “What street is this? I know I’ve been on it but I think it is as nice as Allard Avenue. This can’t be Solomon Street, I take Solomon Street every day. I’ve never seen this beautiful street before. I’ll check the sign at the end.” In the meantime, I enjoyed the view and play of shine and shade everywhere. Today is New Year’s Eve.
Every day in New Orleans is a new day. You can set your watch by it.
Guess what. When I got to the end, the sign said I was on Solomon Street. I should know because this happens once or twice a week. I can never remember Solomon Street’s name. The only reason I know it now is because I wrote it in my notebook so I wouldn’t forget.
Ask me next week.
Then, I decided to take the bayou home, which, if you have ever followed me, should also come as no surprise. I like to take the Blue Bridge. I have a naughty side. A real menace to society. No car can follow. It’s a pedestrian bridge. No motor vehicles allowed.
Some people were walking in the direction I was headed on the Blue Bridge so I idled and waited for them to cross, which was going to take awhile, the way they were ambling on this beautiful New Orleans afternoon. I was in no rush so I decided to patiently wait and watch the world go by along the bayou. It seems most people have the day off today. I am working, of course, but no one would know it from the look of it. That’s because I love what I do.
The lady turned to see me waiting behind them. It must have the throaty rumble of my 4-stroke Vespa as it idled that attracted her attention. I didn’t rev the engine or engage the horn. I was enjoying the day.
The lady moved out of the middle of the legal right of way so that this lawbreaker could break the law. I don’t know if there is a law against motor scooters on the bridge but there is a sign that says no motorized vehicles. I can fit right through the bollards no problem and you cannot tell me about wear and tear. Me and das scoot together don’t even weigh 400 pouds.
As I passed the couple I stopped and said, “Thanks. I know I’m not supposed to be up here. Happy New Year!” You meet the nicest people on a Vespa.
Bayou St. John was choppy today because of the wind. The water was a dark prism of cat’s paw waves slapping gently against the shores. White clouds were in the sky, reflected in the waves.
It felt so good to be warm today. Another beautiful New Orleans day. Frau Schmitt and I had lunch today and, while we were eating, Merideth from Art & Eyes called. My new eyeglasses have arrived! I said I was already Uptown so I would head right over after lunch. We were in Lily’s Cafe and almost finished.
I enjoy knowing Meredith. We aren’t friends, per se, but we are simpatico in our way. Meredith has chutzpah. Meredith has style.
This whole day has been like Allard Avenue: perfect and intimate in every way.
Sarah, who is not Serra the masseuse, snuck a photo of me while I was reading the Wall Street Journal. The reason I had to head home is because we have guests checking in.
It could have been you.
Next time you visit New Orleans, you know where to stay. We live in a beautiful neighborhood and our stretch of Esplanade Avenue is even prettier than Allard Avenue. Esplanade Avenue has a grander scale.
Have a great New Orleans day today, wherever you may find yourself.