City Park

City Park.

My heart knows what the wild goose knows and my heart goes where the wild goose goes.  We are both going to City Park today.  Wanna come?  If you have the inclination I have got the time.

I used to go to City Park every day but I have gotten out of the routine.  I’m a busy man, you know.  I used to walk Simba, the old dog, up in City Park, in the back, when the golf courses were abandoned and reverted back to wilderness.  This was Katrina-related.  A lot of things were back then.  They still are.  Ask anyone who has lived here long enough.

Katrina happened 17 years ago.  Simba is only 11 so he doesn’t remember any of that.  He used to love going to City Park.  Now he is content to walk our neighborhood.  We do live in a beautiful neighborhood with Treme on one side of the street and the 7th Ward on the other side.  Enjoying a walk around the neighborhood three times a day is all that Simba and I have in common.  Well, that and our devotion to Frau Schmitt, who is the better half of this operation.

So, I decided to go to City Park today, but not to the abandoned golf courses.  They don’t exist anymore.  You can never go home again.  I went to the part of City Park that most people go to.

I’m not going to talk about the art museum, or about the singing oak, or about the dueling oak, or about the sculpture garden, or about the botanical garden, or about Storyland, or about the Carousel Gardens, or about the Children’s Museum, or about the miniature golf course.  Remind me some other time.

I went to Cafe du Monde and watched the world go by.

I don’t go to the Cafe du Monde all your friends tell you that you have to go to.  I don’t go to that one.  I’m not a pickpocket. I am an idle rogue.

I got there through Piazetti Gate. It used to be the grand entrance but nowadays it is considered the side entrance.  It’s where Ralph’s-on-the-Park is.

Piazetti Gate
Piazetti Gate

The whole time I was at City Park I didn’t see one goose.  Neither wild nor tame.  I did see some ducks.  I may have gotten my dates mixed up but I am pretty sure today was the day.

I took a picture of one bridge, then I strolled over to that one and took a picture of the first bridge.  What fun!  Today is a wonderful day all round.

One bridge.
One bridge.
Another bridge.
Another bridge.

I sat outside at Cafe du Monde.  A saxophone player was playing his saxophone.

Since I am partial to wearing dark suits—they’re slimming— I do not order beignets at Cafe du Monde.  I dislike dealing with all that powdered sugar.  I don’t know anyone who loves it so much as they tolerate it.  The Cafe du Monde folks know what they are doing.  They’ve been around for I don’t know how many years.  I do order café au lait at Cafe du Monde, however, and that, in fact, is what I did today.  I don’t know anyone who dislikes the café au lait.  It’s impossible to drink that coffee black.

You  have to be a hardcore rummy with the shakes, long after midnight, to drink Cafe du Monde coffee straight and enjoy it.  It tastes better with delirium tremens.  I know because that’s the time I like to go.  They are the kind of guys who live off of tomato soup made of ketchup and hot water.

I didn’t see anyone I know at City Park.  I was merely a face in the crowd.  Everyone was out enjoying the day.  The saxophonist played Take Five.  The sun was shining.  The birds were signing.  There wasn’t a wild goose in sight.  New Orleans is known as “The City Care Forgot.”

The last time I met someone I knew at City Park it was Frau Schmitt’s friend Lyla.  Another dog person.  She used to be a professional aesthetic athlete.  You can tell.  She has a very nice personality, to boot.

So, I was enjoying my café au lait and taking the pulse of the city.  I am happy to report that everything in New Orleans is currently steady and true, at least in the parts I patrol.

You belong here.  I know where you should stay.  You are on the right website.  Good memories are made on our street every day.  Helping you make them is what I do for a living., mes amis.  Like no other.