[TOUR DIARY] NOLA: Part II
It was a sweaty and slow-moving Wednesday afternoon. We attempted to lug our unjustifiably large bags across town [cue Ms. Badu's "bag lady"]. We have become quite familiar with New Orlean's public transportation and footpaths by now -- so we used these forms of transportation to get to our next destination of residence just off of Magazine St.
We were greeted by the excitable and well-vested arms of our new couchsurfing host. After a hip-hop trade off and ice cold beers, we seized the warm New Orleans evening and ventured out to Frenchmen Street. On our way to meet a friend, we were stopped in our tracks by the busking talent that is Salvatore Geloso and his band, 'Up Up We Go!'
Salvatore first caught my attention when he was an emerging talent contestant for a Rolling Stone competition. His eclectic style is reminiscent of Devendra Banhart; something we have a lot of time for. Geloso plays a 1938 Regal arch-top guitar accompanied by his soulful and unconventional vocals.
The night evolved quickly into bar hopping with local friends, acquiring new friends along the way, pit stops in Caribbean-esque outdoor swimming pools, hypnotism, palm readings, cheese disasters, more bars and late night drives around the city. 5am arrivals at home have become quintessentially Nola, and we have learned to just roll with it.
Thursday afternoon was solely devoted to discovering the Bywater district – the newly gentrified and artistic hub of the city. The area has all of the components to become the new Brooklyn, Dalston or East Austin; disused warehouses, industrial neighborhoods, a large concentration of creatives and interest. We grabbed a coffee at Satsuma whilst attempting to productively send emails….[we all know how that went]. The previous evening we drove around the area and sourced a disused warehouse space from the car that would be ideal for the area’s first music venue. Naturally, we revisited this space during the day and mapped out what our venue/session space/rehearsal space/WW HQ would look like and how we could make this a reality. Successful ventures start somewhere, right?
We drove around the 9th ward and neighboring areas before retiring back to our living quarters for local beer and more musical trade-offs. Since we have become Nola locals, we met some more friends for drinks on the way to meet other friends for tattoos. Yes, we got tattoos. The duration of the night was devoted to Frenchmen St, French Quarter & the Lower Garden District bar hopping with a cheeky stop for gravy-infused fries.
We promised to have a quiet night on Friday, as we were waking up early the next morning to drive to Nashville. We had every intention of sticking to this, but around midnight we made a slight detour to say goodbye to our friends – aka dance to ‘Bounce’ music until 4am with gay sailors for ‘Gaycation.’
The hospitality in New Orleans has been quite overwhelming to say the least. We have been adopted by some of the most kind and generous people we have ever met. “Southern Hospitality” is a term that was loosely used to describe the type of people we would encounter in New Orleans; to say that we experienced southern hospitality would merely be an understatement.