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504ever May 4, 2009

Posted by The Typist in 504, meme, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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Because today is 5/04, the 504ward group is asking people who Twitter (where I am @wetbankguy), to write up their best reasons to live in New Orleans, limited of course to 140 characters. I rarely do memes (with one recent exception), but thought I’d tout this one as it sounds like a fun challenge.

Here’s my entry. You can make your own by going to your favorite Twitter client and entering your own with a hashtag (keyword preceeded by a hash or “#”) of #504ward.

@WetBankGuy Food smells and horn swells over the funky shuffle drumming parade in the bright costume of naked joy, down to the river, forever. #504ward

Glory at Sea December 3, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Vid this me droogies: a film titled “Glory at Sea”, courtesy of Court 13 and NOLA Slate, who has some background on her blog. Go over to the You Tube Screening Room and catch the high resolution version.

“Everybody had their thing, that thing that made it through the storm that had some luck in it, that may help find the person just by its own magic.”

Feel Free to Cry Along At Home December 1, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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There were a handful of songs that sustained me over the last several years, tracing in crescendo and diminuendo curves the path of grief and recovery. First was Eliza Gilkyson’s Requiem which I first heard driving through snow-bound Fargo after dropping my child at school. When she and her daughter sang the line “Mother Mary lead us to a higher place” I had to pull the car over. Then there was “Do You Know What It Means (To Miss New Orleans)”, especially this version that so touched my wife we started down the road to Toulouse Street. After I was settled in New Orleans, I picked up the New Orleans Musicians Relief C.D. via on-line download, and I first heard Susan Cowsill’s “Crescent City Snow”.

Some time after the slow cowboy-Celtic lament of the song’s beginning, between the part where the drummer starts into a Jacobean march then segues into a second line parade, one steps out of the sheath of memory and into today, sashaying down a street where grief is transformed into the steps of a shuffle in the shadow of a parasol, the old ritual unfolded again in the new day. And it’s all good.

Drive-by Tagger Strikes the Gray Host November 18, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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I have been tagged.

God, I hate this sort of thing. It takes me 30 minutes to figure out what to write on a birthday or retirement card, and now I have an obligation to write six random things about myself for all the world to read. I think that last sentence was No. 1 And then I have to visit this unhappy task on six other people, which at least allows a certain sense of shadenfruede.

Thanks a lot, Ms. Slate. But for you and Polimom, I will oblige.

OK: First The Rules.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

The first one is easy and already said: 1) as verbose as I may seem here, if you put a greeting card in front of me at work and I need a quick, trite phrase or sentence, I am stumped. That does not make this task any easier.

2) If my hair grew like my toenails, I’d look like Sidney Torres instead of a bald wookie.

3) Like most men I can’t help but look at women appraisingly. At my age, if they look back with anything like a hint of a smile I immediately check my fly, then my shirt for stains.

4) The most popular link on this blog is Middle Aged Men Gone Wild in the French Quarter. I think these visitors are terribly disappointed.

5) I have never been one of the cool kids, and I’m puppy-grateful that they let me hang around anyway.

6) I picked up the nickname Dancing Bear when I was a teenager (after Captain Kangaroo, not the Grateful Dead) because when we would get popped at Pinecone Forest at the lakefront I would do a fake soft shoe dance when the Beatles When I’m 64 came on. It got to be a routine where people would demand I do it. To this day I have friends who still call me Dancing Bear, or just Bear for short.

Four is a cop out. And I (or at least the I who lives on this block of Toulouse Street) is a non-conformist, so here’s another. Think of it as Lagniappe.

6 1/2 ) I tear up at the end of West Side Story. And Cool Runnings.

There. That wasn’t so bad. Now I have to tag six other people, for which I imagine they will forgive me if I avoid them long enough then buy a a lot of drinks when we do meet.

Let’s see: Peter; oh most definitely. Oh, and Skooks because the snark (if he does it) will be endlessly entertaining. Next, Le Mom Noir Pistolette. I think I’ll tag NOLA Notes since all I know about her I learned on Twitter, which is sort of like the relationship you might have with the priest you’ve only met from behind the confession screen. New Orleans Gypsy gets tagged because her blog is fascinating, she doesn’t post enough and her answer would be as interesting as her posts always are. Umm, and Tim just as good natured harassment.

Doing Exactly What You Said November 12, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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I started off the day reading this cheerful piece on the Times-Picayune/NOLA>com site about the New Orleans City Council’s efforts to extract someone’s head from their ass (the Mayor’s, the Recovery Czar’s, their own) so they could figure out when the pretty signboards announcing progress in recovery might be replaced by something like actual progress on city-controlled recovery projects. Typical happy reading down here in Year Three.

Thankfully, I got over to read what Cliff of Cliff’s Crib said on a similar subject. Cliff does a better job of summing up what’s going down and going wrong (and right) than anybody else in this town. I wanted to call out this from his last post:

Brad Pitt had a radical idea for hurricane recovery. He presented a plan, people gave him money to do it, and then he did what he said he was going to do. Sometimes great plans are very simplistic. I was wondering. Has the city council or the mayor recognized this man for this work? Has he gotten a key to the city? Does he get to ride in the Zulu parade? What about a good pot of red beans? Maybe we can give him and Angelina a second line in their honor when they are in town. I would like to nominate Mr. Pitt for a new position in the city. He should be the Director of Doing Exactly What You Said You Were Going to Do.

And I nominate Cliff for Director of the Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power, for at least the salary the mayor’s half-dozen press hacks are getting.

Godspeed Y’all August 30, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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Everyone on the Hurricane Coast, and most of all my people of New Orleans: I’ll see you on the other side. We are the people who came through, the people who remember. Whatever happens, we will rise above.

Toulouse Street is strangely quiet. I haven’t seen a bird today, but as dusk approaches they are callling from the trees. About half of us are still here, but by dawn tomorrow I expect our street’s population to be one or none. (That one is not me).

Toulouse Street is singing off for now. For more Odds Bits of Life in New Orleans, you can check me out on http://www.twitter.com/wetbankguy.

More back here perhaps after we unload in Memphis and pour the frist evac drink.

Five Years August 21, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Three years August and the storms are being named like epic ships, a doom upon our shore, and I think of the levees still leaking and of the flood-walls patched with paper mache, our Potemkin defenses are not ready and we are not ready and the Big One is out there, invisible, a mighty wind, waiting for us. Someone empties a pistol into the night and I think of Jessica and Chanel and Helen and Dinerral as I watch the MPs in their Humvees roll by like armored ghosts. I think of the streets running into blocks running into miles of houses houses houses houses houses empty eyed with plywood doors and ragged lawns. And I think I’ll have another drink and light another cigarette and then another drink and then–I stop thinking. That is when this song comes into my head. It is a compulsion, like bitting ones nails until they smart and bleed, this thought that what we blog may not be our Genesis but an Apocalypse, the history of the end. And yet we stay because to live here is to walk through wrack and ruin counting the flowers in the weeds and discover you are not alone, everywhere there are people smiling, people with crumpled souls and rough stomachs, suffering what you are suffering, worse than you are suffering, suffering beyond your imagining and all for the sake of this place, because they see this city as you do, because they are the figures in the frame that make the landscape. A terrible beauty spills out of their eyes like tears and bathes the city in light.

Dinerral Shavers Jr. Sits In On Snare with Hot 8 April 27, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, Jazz Fest, New Orleans, NOLA, Remember, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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I don’t know how many of the happy hippy mud dancers or tourists at the Jazz and Heritage Stage at Jazz Fest Sunday understood what it meant when little Dinerral Shavers Junior took the stage holding his father’ s instrument, the snare drum, with his father’s band, the Hot 8. For a kid who didn’t look much older than seven or eight he did a creditable job. I just wish I’d gotten a decent picture. You can see a bit of a blur in one picture of one of the two young men from one of the marching clubs that joined the band on stage. Seeing those three young boys walking in their father’s steps was impressive and encouraging.

May the line of warrior drummers be unbroken in New Orleans.

Remember, you can contribute to the education of this young man who lost his father tragically and at such an early age at The Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund.

N.B. Looking at the pictures while less tired on Monday, I went back and checked then fixed the reference to Dinerral Shavers Jr.’s age to be seven or eight, per this post at NOLA.com.