Friday, May 1, 2009
Around midnight, Frenchman Street, Faubourg Marigny
I came upon this band playing on a streetcorner tonight. An accordion, a violin, a gleaming white bass played by a tall boy with a voluptuous beard, and a guitar; a mix of gypsy, Klezmer, Stephane Grapelli and maybe a little rockabilly thrown in. It was heavenly. They were playing beside a Honduran taco stand, a trailer that served up a mean vegetarian burrito with a green sauce hot as the music; there was a lot of people gathered around, both eating pork-and-pineapple tacos and taking in the music. It seemed like an occasion of delight all around. New Orleans is one of the holy cities of the imagination, and somehow no amount of disaster, tourism, and governmental ineptitude seems to have been able to destroy that. Water, maybe, in a while, but I think there have to be some fiercely protective spirits here too.