Notes from STYX on the Road #42
Yes, we are still here, enjoying two days off after six shows in a row.
Yesterday Jeanne and I walked down Rue Royal and back up Bourbon Street, enjoying the unique atmosphere of this city which defies comparison to any other in the South. Since I personally used up all my partying tickets in the 70's and 80's, it was only natural to make our trip a daylight adventure, which is probably not what most folks think of doing in New Orleans. Frankly, the scene was very tourist oriented, akin to what you find when you visit Los Angeles and go straight to Hollywood Boulevard (keep in mind, we are somewhat jaded from all the traveling we have done over the years). A few cool photos, some tasty fried food and we had seen enough.
Today, we took a cab over to the Garden District, where we found a much more interesting world of antiques and specialty collectable shops. Vintage clothing, furniture, odds and ends of all types as well as some very interesting shopkeepers who were very into their work.
Our favorite store of all, and undoubtedly the neatest, was a store called "Bep's," run by a sweet German lady whom we assumed to be Bep. My first impression was just how impeccably organized and clean her store was, especially considering the large inventory she had on display. As we began to look around, we realized just what a remarkable store it was for someone like Jeanne and me. We both appreciate old bottles, tools, porcelain, etc. Bep knew each and every piece, and could tell us what country each one came from, whether it was recovered from dives or from digs, what century it came from, what it once contained, and so on.
Honestly, the most precious treasure we found was Bep. Her appreciation for these simple artifacts, tender loving care of her inventory and her willingness to share her knowledge with us was the best thing we found on our trip to the Garden District. (I collect black glass glob-top bottles from the 19th century--I just happened to buy one once when I arrived earlier than expected on a trip to Jack Blades' part of the world and stopped in Petaluma to kill an hour--and have accumulated a collection now) As we were just about ready to wrap up the things we had picked out, Bep took a little tube-like bottle from a locked cabinet and explained that it was a French perfume bottle from the late 1700s. I was not that interested until she explained to me the way old glass feels compared to new. I took it in my hands and began to feel its silky smoothness. It may sound silly, but there was a magical feeling in this glass bottle, and it now rests in bubble wrap in my suitcase, along with a great memory of our trip to New Orleans.
This tour has been magical in so many ways. As I look at the list of "Notes" here, I realize that I have only told you a fraction of the great experiences we have had. I don't know exactly how much tonnage the "Information Highway" is capable of handling, but I think the collective experience of The Brave New World Tour could most certainly exceed its weight limitations.
And we are nowhere near the end of the road!
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