NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.
New Orleans you are a relentless vision. We sipped from Her elaborate courtyards. The high walls and houses were overflowing with plants, creating curtains of green. Potted ferns hung in the heat and fell into the alleys of jazz. Saxophones wailed and weaved through the skinny streets, lost, orphan notes finding us and snaking us by the soul. The music swirled around and around and swung and punched, it wounded us with its style and poetry. All the disparate parts of the city breathed in unison as if a treaty had been signed to never forfeit the Beauty even if the tourists did continually lower the collective aesthetic. Old Bobby Love forever stamped his voice and piano onto our hearts as he ripped into a song called, “Okra Man” and we were hit again, a straight shot to heart, with late night songs with Kermit Ruffins as he told the essence and history of his hometown through trumpet blows and those trombone solos threw our worries into the Mississippi River and paired well with tequila on the rocks somewhere off Frenchman St. It was then when I wrote a song in my head called, “Espolon pass Esplanade” Yes, yes! It’s all coming back to us now and maybe one day, if we’re blessed again, we will come back to you.
Ace Hotel, New Orleans
EAT / DRINK
Cafe Amelie - a calm courtyard tucked away from the storm of Bourbon Street serving the greatest of shrimp n' grits
Seaworthy - oysters, locally and sustainably harvested seafare, prime cocktails, dim lights, incredible date spot
Verti Marte - this local spot has a massive deli selection you would never expect at the back of a tiny corner market
THINGS TO DO
Cruise around Louis Armstrong park
Find Doreen Ketchens sitting on a folding chair and playing the meanest clarinet with her band on Royal Street
Catch a show on Frenchmen Street; if Kermit Ruffins is playing, don't miss it!
URBAN COWBOY. NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE.
We were offered whiskey upon arrival, a lovely liquid protocol. On the rocks for Her and mine neat. Our throats burned beautifully as our eyes took a breath. This place! These walls! The décor in all its placements and choices was an invitation to observe. Subtle enough to not jolt the senses but rare enough to flare the spirit; its colors, woodwork and lighting all working together to weave a feeling of calm wonder and mysticism. It’s the feeling of falling into a story and each room is essential to the plot. We fell on its giant bed and stared at its high, elaborate ceilings. Magee took a bath in the shiny, claw foot monster and outside the window the Nashville skyline winced. The falling day brought us to a small table in the restaurant behind the Cowboy called the The Public House. The covered, dark kitchen was fashioned like an old-time blacksmith’s office with its iron and steel everywhere and it produced a smell rich as heaven that made our stomachs wake and stretch. Before we knew it, we were high on Tequila again, our souls had wings and we ordered some plates and ate like desert vultures. Emerging and after having exhausted ourselves with laughter and conversations about brass figurines and God’s telephone it all seemed possible and impossible and the Tennessee night swallowed us.
Public House Bar & Kitchen - described in the best of ways in the Nashville story
Butcher & Bee - order every appetizer on the menu
Two Ten Jack - authentic, deliciously rich ramen and Japanese comfort food with southern ingredients
THINGS TO DO
Vintage shop in East Nashville
Watch the sunset and cheers the city from The Crying Wolf bar
Drink beer while digging through a vast collection of records at Vinyl Tap