Touring NOLA, Vintage Trouble, Latin Parade and More!
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L.A. TO N.O. LA, October 13, 2015 - Having guests is always a great excuse to hit some of those tourist spots locals tend to shy from. So when my dear friend since high school finally came to New Orleans for the first time, we “toured” the sites. Angela arrived Thursday night and we headed straight for Coop’s so she could have her first jambalaya. We stayed in to catch up that night and headed to Cafe du Monde for insanely tasty beignets the next morning. On the way there, I spotted a familiar face down the street. I said loudly, “Do you know who that is? That’s the lead singer and trumpet for Treme Brass Band!” Angela looked to the t-shirt wearing, blood-shot-eyed man holding a trumpet just as he smiled.
He put his horn to his mouth and played her a song, sometimes putting his arm around her and playing with one hand. A crowd gathered as he sang with his gravelly, Louis Armstrong-like voice, “Well, hello Dolly…” It was a fairly magical way to start the day. We made our way down the steps to the Mississippi River and talked about the city and its history and culture.
In front of the Rouses on Royal, we were lucky enough to catch Doreen, the clarinet queen entertaining a crowd. Angela and I grew up around museums and she’s a gifted painter with a deep appreciation for art, so after wandering the art galleries of Royal Street, I took her to one of my favorite shops in the city, M.S. Rau Antiques. We were greeted by my favorite showroom host, Ludovic and my Pussyfooters dance team “sister,” Caroline. Ludovic took us on a tour through the rooms of carved alabaster lamps, exquisite jewels and animal skeletons from the Ice Age – resting to demonstrate a player piano topped with 3 violins. It had an ingenious spinning apparatus as a bow and air pumps to press the strings of each chord. Sometimes I get to see the most rare of things.
Then we passed through a hidden door and entered another series of rooms. There were paintings by Monet and Renoir and an etching by Rembrandt all leading to the Egyptian King Farouk’s guilded bedroom set inspired by the furnishings of one of Napoleon and Josephine’s palaces. But we weren’t done yet. We got to see works by that most American of artists, Norman Rockwell in preparation for the upcoming collection being displayed November 6th. See it if you can – I know I will because the best part of M.S. Rau is that it is open to the public so we can all take in these treasures before they find homes in some lucky collector’s possession.