Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cowboy Mouth loves New Orleans


I finally got to see Cowboy Mouth. I only stayed for a little while. The temperature in NOLA right now is about 200 degrees. It didn't affect the crowd though. The place was packed yet again.

I've never been to any CM live shows so I was kind of surprised to hear one song and then 5 minutes of talking, one song, 10 minutes of talking, etc. I guess that's their thing. The theme of the monologues was basically that NOLA is the greatest place in the world. Obviously everyone was really receptive to that message. They even talked about what high schools they went to and everyone would cheer. They feel about NOLA the same way you might feel about America - fiercely patriotic.




That brings me to a thing I've noticed about New Orleaneans in general. People here seem intent on letting you know that they grew up here. If you do anything that indicates that you might be from out of town they will point it out. I really don't think it's a disrespect thing. All the same, it's still odd. We lived in Atlanta for a few years and no one ever did that. I guess that's because nobody that lives in Atlanta was born there.

You don't have to be here long to understand that NOLA is a one of kind city. The people here really love it and are proud to call it home.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Free wireless internet

I had to set up my new laptop this week and one of the first things I did was to configure it to the wireless network we already have set up. It was there that I noticed our system, about three from our neighbors, and one marked "City of New Orleans."

Apparently they made WIFI free after Katrina.

They're talking about a new plan for city wide wireless over on Library Chronicles and Metblogs

This is surely a good thing. As always, though, I'm sure you get what you pay for.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Streetcar videos

Here are a few videos I took of the streetcar rides.


Here's the streetcar pulling into the French Market stop.



Both of these next two are from inside the car sitting on the Mississippi side.


Here's a video going from the Riverwalk to the French Market.




Here's a video of going from the French Market to the Riverwalk. Apparently the guy had a hard time connecting the rods above the car to the cable. It was pretty slow.

A NOLA public transit story


I broke my sunglasses this week so we had to go to the Riverwalk to get a new pair. The trip gave us a chance to check out NOLA streetcars when we decided to get lunch in the FQ. The plan was to go to the Riverwalk, catch the streetcar, eat lunch at the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, ride back and get my glasses.

When we got to the Riverwalk we saw a streetcar passing by but we didn't have any one dollar bills and as we learned last time - you have to have exact change.



So we walked up the Riverwalk escalator - it is still broken - and got change. We went back down to the Julia Street stop and waited.







We sat and waited, and waited, and waited. It turns out we had to wait 40 MINUTES. For some reason there was only one car on the line at the time.
The only reason we were taking the streetcar was to ride the streetcar. Any sane people would have walked for any other reason. In fact we met two guys at the stop who decided they didn't want to wait anymore and did just that. They too were going to the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. We saw them having lunch when we showed up!

While we waited we talked to an older couple from Maryland who were there to play volleyball. Apparently the national championship for club volleyball is being held in NOLA this week. (It's all free if you want to go check it out.) That would explain the remarkable increase in foot traffic we noticed along the way. Anyway, the folks we talked to were really cool and talking to them really helped to pass the time.

There was a big cheer when the streetcar finally showed up. The horrible ironic thing about it was that all public transit in NOLA is free until July. We basically waited for nothing but what are you going to do.

The line runs all the way to the French Market, the location of the pizza kitchen, so we rode it all the way. It took about 5 minutes.





The ride back was a lot easier. We waited at the French Market stop for 2 or 3 minutes tops. We also noticed a lot more cars along the way.

Uninteresting side note: everyone we talked to referred to the streetcars as trolleys! Tourists! What are you going to do?



Along the way we noticed that the Audubon Aquarium is next door to the Riverwalk and it has just reopened. We also watched the riverboats in that area. We should check out both of those soon.




P.S. I made a couple of videos of our streetcar ride. I'll have to put them up in the next post.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Video at the Square

It's Wednesday again so that means there are bands playing in Lafayette Square. I spent a grand total of 5 minutes there on my walk home but I thought it would be a great opportunity to try out putting up my own videos. I hosted them on You Tube. Trust me it takes forever.

It took me a long time to put these up because I had to edit them. Aubie said she got sea sick from watching me move the camera so much. Both of these are really short. More videos to come!





Sunday, May 21, 2006

Link #2

Thanks to Library Chronicles for the link. Unlike this website you can go there and actually learn something about NOLA politics.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ray Nagin wins

It's all over but the crying. All the networks are calling the election for Nagin. Landrieu is conceding as I type.

I guess this proves that all the money in the world won't make you mayor of NOLA.

Election day redux

Today is the biggest day in the history of the world. At least that's what they say on the NOLA news. The mayoral campaign will finally come to a close tonight and some unlucky guy will be put in charge of one of the toughest jobs in America. I for one will miss the campaign. Oh well, the congressional races will be here soon enough. The Times-Picayune is having one last laugh.

Huge fire Uptown

Wednesday morning was pretty interesting around here because there was a Five-Alarm fire near the river. I had a good view because I work on one of the higher floors of one of the big buildings in the CBD. The window in my office faces directly toward the fire. You could see people in every office on my side of the building staring out the window. I gotta tell you it was really impressive. Flames and smoke shot up to a phenomenal height. You could see it from all around the city.

I know I think about this blog too much because I watched it with a mix of awe and disgust. I DIDN'T HAVE MY CAMERA!

There were so many awesome shots I could have taken. I especially liked watching the helicopters with big buckets pick up water from the Mississippi and then dump it on the fire. We thought it was going to go all day but it was basically done by the time I got back from lunch.




UPDATE

Aubie got this shot.

It's good to be home

We just got back from a trip out of town. Along the way we managed to pick up our mail that hasn't reached us for some reason. There were literally close to 50 magazines. We had two bags full. That's gonna be a lot of stuff to catch on. I'm happy to note that we found the newest issue of Time magazine in our very own mailbox so things are looking up.

Also my sweet new laptop got delivered while we were gone. It's sitting in the office here at the apartment so I'm gonna have to suffer thinking about it until Monday afternoon. They did leave a big box full of software in front of our door though. It must have been sitting there for a few days. That says a lot about our neighbors. Everybody missed out on a free PC Relocator.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

NOLA mayor humor

I love YouTube.


Landrieu




Nagin

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Braves win!!!!!

This really has nothing to do with NOLA but ...

The Braves were down by one against the Nationals in the bottom of the ninth when Jeffrey Braden Francoeur launches a shot to deep left for a WALK OFF GRAND SLAM! You really have to take your bright spots when you can get them this season. Oh well, it's a win and that is awesome.

I guess we are supposed to root for the home town triple-A Zephyrs. That will never happen, though, since they are the farm team for the Nationals. This makes them evil.

Dinner on the Riverwalk

Cross another thing off of our to-do list. Today we had dinner at the Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk is basically a huge mall sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River. There's a food court on the side that's near us so we went in and had a bite to eat. I got some pizza and Aubie got some Mexican. We ate on tables that overlook the river and the CCC.

A lot of the shops have reopened but the food court area is really hit or miss. Most of the places haven't opened yet so your options are really limited.

We noticed that there is a trolley street car line in front of the place that will take you to the F.Q. We would have taken one but you need $1.25 in exact change and we don't carry quarters. It's still awesome though because now we realize that we have a quick way to get to the F.Q. The Riverwalk is only about 4 blocks from our apartment so we could walk that, get on the trolly and ride it to wherever we need to go. It goes all the way to Esplanade, which is the edge of the Quarter on the opposite side from us.

This sure beats a 30 minute walk. Especially when it rains.

D-day museum trip

Today we actually went to the D-Day museum like we've been planning to forever. It was worth the wait. Very interesting stuff.


When you first walk in the door there is a big area with all the cool stuff that I've heard about. You haven't even paid at this point. You just walk around and check stuff out.

Airplanes are hanging from the roof.
Here's the inside of a Higgins boat. These are the ones that troops rode onto the beaches of Normandy.

The side view of a second one.

After you pay for your ticket (which is $14 dollars- btw) you go upstairs to the second floor. Everything is designed in a line so everyone walks the same way the entire way through. As you walk the events of WW2 unfold in chronological order.

The walls tell you a story.

There are also posters from the era hanging up everywhere.

Along the way there are guns and uniforms.















Every so often there is a little theatre which has 6 minute movies about the time period you are at. Right past that there are little booths with audio of people who were there.



The third floor details the Pacific theatre. Up there is an electronic map of the Pacific ocean area. Points light up as a narrator describes battles leading up to the Japanese surrender. This picture is horrible but trust me it is awesome. It lasts about 6 minutes and everybody we saw stayed for the entire length of it. Definitely one of the highlights of the museum.




At the very end there is an area that details the plans for a Japanese invasion if the atom bombs weren't dropped.





The museum web site has a slide show with pictures of a lot of these things as well as tons of the stuff that I didn't include.


All in all, I think the movies and the electronic board were the best part of the museum. There are two longer movies that play on the bottom floor but we missed the last showing of them. We might have to go back just to see those. That will be my excuse, at least. The sights and sounds are fascinating and the atmosphere is great. You get the feeling that you are in a church. I could see the respect and awe on the face of everybody in the building. It's a wonderful place and will be one of the first spots I want to take anyone who visits us here in New Orleans.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Warehouse District bar hopping - or what passes for it

An observation on the Warehouse district in New Orleans at 10pm on a Friday night. If you are not on Tchoupitoulous Street the place is a freaking ghost town. We literally saw no one on Magazine, Julia or any other street until we crossed the Tchoup. The recap goes as follows.


Around 9:30 tonight we decided that we should go to the bar. The original plan was to go to Polynesian Joe's because it was ridiculously close, has a sand volleyball court and I walk past that court every day. It turns out that polyjoes doesn't re-open for 3 more days. I guess we have to make plans to check that out another day.

The next plan was to go to Lucy's but that didn't work out either because frankly the place was packed out. It kind of had that "meat market" kind of vibe.

Next option was Vic's. It is an Australian themed bar. We like it and there were a moderate amount of people there. It had the most important thing any bar can ask for - a crazy drunk guy at the bar who was in a heated discussion with some dude he just met. That other guy's girlfriend was, of course, desperate to leave.

We went upstairs to play a game of pool. Guess who won? :)

Before we left I had no choice but to put my money in the jukebox and play "Sweet Home Alabama." Then we went about drunk dialing a certain blog spammer who shall remain nameless.


We left and walked past Emerils. It was filled with people, in their Sunday best, sipping wine. Of course we couldn't stop there. I guess we really need to check it out someday though.

The next and final stop was Tchoup-N-Joes. (I don't think they even have a webpage). I did my research before and found that some people don't care for the place.

I don't know what they were talking about. We got some chicken tenders and fries and they were PHENOMENAL. As we expected there were a grand total of about 3 people there. They had two big flat screen TV's though so we watched the Suns-Clippers game (Clips lost - boo) and had a ball.


The whole experience convinced me that

1) We are capable of having fun without other people

and

2) We really need to make the effort to walk to the French Quarter (the F.Q. as I have decided to start calling it).



Don't look at the time stamp under this post. If anybody asks we are still out partying with the kids.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

NOLA mayor update 5/11

Earlier I predicted that Ray Nagin would close the huge fundraising gap now that it's just him and Landrieu in the runoff.

Apparently, I don't know what I'm talking about.

That last link might require registration so here's the skinny. Nagin has 200K and Landrieu has 1.5 million. I was right about one thing though. I see Landrieu's mug constantly.

Random litter

One thing that amuses me is the things I see laying on the ground as I'm walking to work.

Today, I saw the newest Trace Adkins CD. Not the case, just the CD. Apparently someone thought it sucked so much that they threw it out of their window. I really can't say that I blame them. It will be really funny if it's still there tomorrow.

Plans for Saturday

Aubie has a big test coming up next week so there's not much going on these days. I forgot that when I told her that this Saturday would be a great day to FINALLY go to the D-Day museum. She informed me that she was not leaving but I could go by myself if I wanted to. Or as she put it - and I quote - "If you need to leave, that would be great."

Apparently, I distract her from studying. Also, apparently, she isn't as excited about this little field trip as I originally thought. Oh well, her loss.

So the plan for me this weekend is to check out some boats and guns and stuff. It looks like "flash" photography is not allowed in the "main" galleries. I don't know what I can take pictures of but I guess we'll find out soon.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Myspace can be cool

I mentioned earlier that Cowboy Mouth will be playing at the square this month. I just found out that tonight they are playing at a bar a few blocks away called the Howlin Wolf. It costs about 50 bucks as compared to zero a few weeks from now.

Anyway, I'm checking out the Cowboy Mouth site and found out that you can hear some of their new songs over on Myspace. Here it is.



I imagine that I'm the last person in the world to find this out but here are some links to hear your favorite band's music and even see their videos.


Search for songs
Popular songs

Search for videos
Popular videos

Friday, May 05, 2006

Missing my magazines no more!

New Orleans has lifted the magazine ban! Bama and I were wondering why our mags weren't being forwarded, now we know. I think most people would agree that it adds a little skip to their step at the end of a long work day to open the mailbox and have a magazine laying there waiting on you.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

TGIW

It's Wednesday again so this time I took a couple of shots of Wednesday at the Square on my walk home.

Before (around lunch time)


After





Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Hurricane Plan - Get out of Dodge

I was watching the news today during lunch and saw that the mayor released his new evacuation plan.

He will call for an evacuation for any hurricane that is category 2 or higher. Katrina was a category 3 so that makes sense. Still, it's easy to say that people should just evacuate when the storm comes. What people don't talk about is that evacuating really sucks. You just get used to living in your house, sleeping in your own bed, etc. That is not a minor thing. Leaving your home rearranges your whole life.

Our area didn't flood last time so I'm not worried about anything like that. If another bad hurricane comes though, we might lose power and maybe water. Then again, we live near the CBD so I imagine we'd be the first place to get all of that back.

Just thinking about this sucks. I really hope there isn't a category 2 to test us. I really, really, really don't want to evacuate.