Maybe you think I’m being facetious with the title of today’s entry. I’m not. New Orleans is feather-light. You can even say that New Orleans is ethereal. If we aren’t in Heaven, we must be in New Orleans. At least, that’s what I hear the horse players say at the track. How much does New Orleans weigh? How much do hope and laughter weigh?
Howzabout today’s soundtrack courtesy of Cab Calloway. It isn’t much of a soundtrack, though. You’ll want to watch it, not only for Cab, but also because it features the incomparable Nicholas Brothers:
Look at that zoot suit Cab Calloway is wearing. I need to get in touch with my tailor to get a zoot suit made. It’s just what I need.
The Nicholas Brothers are wearing tuxedoes, of course. I already have a tuxedo. What I need are a few of the Nicholas Brothers’ moves.
Now, where was I before I got distracted? I suppose we should talk about today’s headline image, which doesn’t have much to do with anything. Trenasse is a restaurant in the Intercontinental Hotel on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. The Interconti (as those of us in the know like to call it) was where Frau Schmitt and I stayed during our first visit to New Orleans. We haven’t been back until last week when we decided to try a fairly new restaurant that’s opened off the hotel’s lobby: Trenasse.
I’m not going to knock the Interconti. Let’s just leave it by saying you can stay at a better place, and you know where I’m talking about. You’re on that place’s website. I’m not going to knock Trenasse, either. I’m not going to provide a link for it, either. Let’s just say that there are over 800 restaurants in New Orleans and let the caption below this picture speak for itself:
How Much Does New Orleans Weigh?
We’re finally getting to the meat of the matter, and in more ways than one…
I have to admit, neither Frau Schmitt nor I have ever ordered pickled tips when we’ve eaten out. I don’t recall ever seeing them on a menu for some reason. I’ve never eaten them at home, either. I can tell you they’re popular. The meat markets in our neighborhood regularly drop off flyers at our inn and picked tips (or, more commonly, “pickle tips”) are always on sale—and they’re not that expensive!
How do you measure the weight of a city that has a cuisine all its own, yet some people who live in that city never encounter some of it? New Orleans is more than the sum of its parts. It’s also a city full of secrets hidden out in the open.
Of course, I could walk into King’s Specialty Meats, or any of my local meat markets, and pick up a few pounds, and I tried that recently. I went to King’s this morning because I have an inexplicable fondness for the shop’s name. The shop was closed.
Fear not, the shop’s not closed for good. It was only closed when I was there because I went early on a Sunday morning. On Sundays, they’re open 9:00-4:00.
So, I don’t know how much heft the flavor of pickle tips adds to the ineffable wonder of New Orleans. I also find it difficult to measure the city’s love for pickled pigs’ lips.
What does this have to do with ANYTHING?!?
The New Orleans Architecture Foundation is holding a film festival next week. The theater around the corner from our inn is screening a few of the films, one of them is called, “How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?” British Architect Norman Foster was asked this question by none other than Buckminster Fuller himself. The film is a retrospective and inquiry into Mr. Foster’s career. I’m going to try to squire Frau Schmitt to a showing if we don’t have anything else to do.
Even though August is a slow month in New Orleans, we still have guests checking in and checking out just about every day. We’re much busier than we expected to be, not that we’re complaining about that. Even when nothing is happening in New Orleans, something is always happening. I always say August is the best month to visit New Orleans. There aren’t any lines and you don’t need to make reservations for anything (except to stay at La Belle Esplanade). I guess some people are reading this blog and taking me up on my advice.
Let’s take a look-see at the film’s trailer, shall we?
It looks riveting, doesn’t it? (That’s a little building humor there.)
Spend enough time in New Orleans and you’ll find yourself asking yourself esoteric and existential questions about your built surroundings. This is a city that looks like nowhere else. It isn’t like anywhere else, physically, intellectually, or spiritually. Come see for yourself.
You know where you can stay:
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.
August 7, 2016: Two days without rain (so far). The wind is blowing billowy cumulus clouds across the sky between the shotgun houses in Tremé.
À votre santé!!