NONPICTION -- Stephen Allard


   Annette and I had been craving pho, so after the Sunday evening AA meeting Uptown, we headed down St. Charles to Pho Orchid for dinner. We were halfway through our spring rolls when none other than Morris Bart himself strolled in. Morris Bart is a NOLA based personal injury lawyer known best for his catch phrase "One call, that's all!" His face can be seen on numerous billboards around the city. If I was on my toes, I would have told him that I got ran over by an 18 wheeler or something, just so that I could have enjoyed pho every night for the rest of my life.

   The new desk Thomas designed and built for me (I helped but most of the credit goes to him). Before I left for New Orleans I was in need of a desk, and I really wanted one with removable legs so that it could be easily transported with the corolla. The top still needs to be sealed, and the legs need some attention, but it's otherwise good to go. This really inspired me to get into woodworking. I might try to build a box spring for my bed as my first project, since the one I had wouldn't fit up the spiral staircase in the apartment. (1/2).

   The construction phase -- laying out the boards for the top of the desk. After moving out of the apartment in Starkville, we brought home a bunch of junk that we weren't sure what to do with. To the garage it went. It's difficult to do a good job with projects if you don't have a good work space. The mess really needs to be cleaned up -- maybe one day we could park a car in there! (2/2).

   Last night we hit Carrollton Station to see blues masters Grayson Capps and John Mooney. This will be the third time I have seen Grayson live in a month -- Annette is in love with his long hair and adjusts her schedule whenever he is in the city. He has the lonesome voice and rough expression of a western ranger, but transplanted onto deep south Alabama. Also, his ballads are incredible -- check out "John The Dagger."

   One Shell Square, from a window in the Hotel Modern on Lee Circle. TSI has stationed me there on the 33rd floor -- in the heart of downtown New Orleans, in the tallest building in the city. Riding in on the bike from Uptown feels good -- I like getting swallowed up by the big buildings of the urban landscape. Just months ago, I was seeing rolling green fields and long stretches of highways in North MS.

   From July: out of respect for the World Cup, we kicked the soccer ball around Jesse's front yard. Once the heat became too much to bear, we sought refuge in THE carport, one of the finest locations to light a cigarette in all of Pass Christian.

   A lonely alley off of Tchoupitoulas. I got to wandering around after fetching chicken livers and sauerkraut from Whole Foods. Every now and then I like taking Tchoupitoulas because you get the exposure of industry -- railroad, ports, shipping, and whatnot -- it can be a nice break from the quaint yuppie feel of the rest of Uptown (not that Uptown isn't beautiful because it certainly is haha).

   Finally managed to get over to the West Bank yesterday. My friend Peter invited me to go see the Iguanas play at Wednesdays on the Point -- a local music event held every week at Algiers Point. Back story on how I met Peter: Over the past several years, I have read articles on the website -- a bunch of folks dedicated to bike touring that post journals of the rides they do -- some cross country, some around the world, others just weekend getaways. Peter has done several cross country trips, and his journals are some of the best. He has hilarious commentary and great recommendations for where to go and what to do when you get there. Something like a Tony Bourdain of the bike touring world. Originally from NYC, he moved to New Orleans two years ago and works at Pizza Domenica on Magazine. One day I found him at Rouses on Tchoupitoulas and had to introduce myself. Algiers Point was great -- live music right on the river with the scenic backdrop of downtown New Orleans in the distance -- we drank beer, chatted about life, and listened to the music until the sun went down.

   Storm clouds forming in the late afternoon -- Baronne and Constantinople. I just left the Cleaver and Co. butcher, which can be barely seen on the left. They sell ALL types of meat there, including offal and sweetbreads, and it's all grass fed. I went in for some beef bones to make bone broth, and the butcher led me into the freezer to pick the bones that I wanted. I have never seen such a large selection of meats. Perks of living in a city I suppose.

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