Or, “We ARE Neurosurgeons!”
Mom and I are here in New Orleans, the city that sometimes sleeps, and wakes up with a hangover. To be honest, it feels like a completely different trip than the one I’ve been on, staying in a nice hotel and eating at good restaurants, rather than the La Quintas and Cheetos I’ve gotten used to. Mom got in at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon and I picked her up at the airport and we headed to our hotel (we managed to figure out which one it was, which was handy.) Driving in the French Quarter is strange and difficult and not to be attempted unless absolutely necessary, so once we got settled in we set out to explore on foot. Bourbon street has a distinctly third world air (by which I mean, smell) but the next street over had a lot of lovely little antiques shops and art galleries. Mom described the place as ‘a cross between Cuenca (Ecuador) and Carmel.” We picked a promising-looking restaurant and made reservations for dinner and then came back to our hotel for our ‘free welcome cocktail’ in the associated bar. The hotel (the Dauphine Orleans) is very nice, four floors of rooms arranged around a series of courtyards and facing onto a relatively quiet street, but the bar seems to be very much of a neighborhood joint, occupied by a few serious drinkers and a bartender who seemed to have been sampling the wares. When I tried to order a mojito, he laughed and said that they didn’t have any fresh mint- apparently, it isn’t that kind of place. So I got a whisky sour and Mom got a margarita and we took them out to the patio by the pool.
For dinner, we had seafood. Boy, did we have seafood. The restaurant had ‘seafood’ in the name, so that really shouldn’t be a surprise. We ordered a dish (‘serves 2 to 4’) of all cold items: a dozen oysters (half plain, half with a dab of caviar), mussels, shrimp cooked in something spicy, two whole crawfish (shades of Bio 1a), a bunch of marinated crab fingers (little claws), and three marinated fish salads (one calamari, two regular fish- exact species unrecalled). We also split a bottle of sparkling wine, because it goes well with seafood. It was, suffice it to say, a heck of a lot better than dinner at a Cracker Barrel. Also, the whole thing cost more than I have spent on food in the last week. But it was so worth it. (By the way, Dad, we decided that you would have liked this a lot, but you would have had to get your own plate, because otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten enough.)
As we were leaving the restaurant, Mom commented that there seemed to be several large tables of all men there. Since we had been seeing signs welcoming the American Neurosurgeons’ convention to town, I commented, “They must be neurosurgeons.” And apparently I was overheard, because a somewhat inebriated man at the bar called out, “We ARE neurosurgeons.” And I continue to find this highly amusing.
The restaurant was on Bourbon Street, which seems to be closed every night so that people can walk around on it and drink without getting run over. When we came out after dinner things were in full swing, with people- some partying, some just watching- all wandering up and down the street. We joined in, and wandered a bit, listened to some of the music and watched the neurosurgeons getting down. I like New Orleans.