Arrived in New Orleans and wandered around the Vieux Carré. Res­isted the impulse to revert to Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite fangirl wor­ship (but did go to Bourbon St for Lost Souls’ sake). Ate oysters there. It’s an awful strip of strip clubs now.

The rest of the quarter is gor­geous: old ter­races and iron work. Razor wire strung with mardi gras beads is the only odd note, an indic­a­tion of the poverty here and the crime rate.

Doug went to bed early, having slept badly last night but I wanted my New Orleans exper­i­ence, so, after dinner at Kyoto near where we’re couch­surfing (and one of the res­taur­ants recom­mended by PZB), I went out to see John Rankin play at a nearby hotel. While I was there, I got chat­ting to someone at my table who said that if I was only here two nights, I had to go see the Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf because they were the coolest band in town right now.

Sho’ nuff. I went there and they are awe­some. They are Ozo­matli quality and energy with an extra dose of soul and jazz and minus the hip-hop. No time for a proper review, sorry.

Tomorrow, jum­balaya and gumbo and other delights.