Oyster Fest Part II

This morning I went to brunch with a friend of a friend, a woman named Virginia who is a
New Orleans native. She was so friendly and incredibly helpful in getting me oriented in terms of the city’s layout. She printed out maps for me and wrote up lists of places to go, and after we ate she drove me around and showed me how to get to those places. It was really fun meeting her and so valuable gaining that understanding of the city from her, especially since I’m generally bad with directions. And now I have several more pages of recommendations that I’m excited to try out, as well as a new friend in the city. I am so appreciative of how friendly all the people I’ve met have been. Even when we were in the restaurant and Virginia was drawing out a map for me, the girl at the table next to us overheard and spoke up to welcome me to New Orleans. Moments like that remind me how glad I am to be here!

• • •

Fish and Fruit (and oysters!)

 Bad news yall: last night, Katie’s fish Spotty went belly-up. I mentioned earlier that I felt guilty for shopping at Walmart. Ironic because I’ve driven there four times in the past three days. I had to go back today to return the fish, because apparently you have to take the dead fish back in order to get a new one. I thought that was absolutely disgusting, but somehow everyone at Walmart seemed to be totally cool with the idea. I figured it would be better to get it over with sooner rather than later, so this morning I scooped the fish out of the bowl and dumped him back into the bag he came home in. Drove him back to Walmart, just me and this dead goldfish in my car. Waited in the customer service line—gingerly holding the bag away from me—for ten minutes (apparently Walmart is busy at 9 o’clock on Saturday mornings?). The woman at the desk told me I had to bring her the new live fish as well as the dead one in order to make the exchange. So I went back to the fish tanks and found an employee to help me. She paged someone else to come, but no one came. So I found someone else to help me, and he paged someone else to come too… but no one came. By then I was going to be late to work if I waited around any longer, so I left. Just me and poor Spotty in the car again. I stopped by the apartment to drop him off, because no way was I leaving him outside in the heat (or in my car, ugh). Wrote a note to Krissi apologizing for the dead fish on the kitchen counter, and left for the market just on time.

• • •

June 1st: the start of hurricane season!

This city is bursting with creativity. I spent most of my run this morning admiring the striking architecture of the houses lining the street. And I see such creativity everywhere: from the music to the art to the food to the way people decorate their shops and homes. And in instances that are hard to categorize as well: like the man I saw today riding a bicycle that he somehow attached a motor to so that he didn’t have to pedal. Or the front porch showcasing a handmade skeleton-band display.* I don’t necessarily understand all of the things I’m seeing, but it makes me happy to see such creativity in action.

• • •

NOLA Day One!

After a 950 mile drive that took about almost 24 hours to complete (stopped in Clemson for dinner and spent the night in Montgomery), this afternoon I finally arrived in New Orleans! My Uncle Jimmy (a New Orleans native and the best tour guide I could ask for) took my dad and me, along with my housemate Katie, to a local lunch place for some of the best po’boys in the city. There were Christmas lights all over the ceiling and lots of random stuff on the walls in this restaurant. Dad called it tacky but it reminded me of my dorm room… oops. But we all agreed it was a fun atmosphere.

• • •