Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Coffee And Beignets

The thing is that the Café Du Monde is a cliché in New Orleans. The other thing is that it is every bit as good as you wouldn't expect a stereotype of a tourist trap to be. The further thing is all food in New Orleans is excellent. They really like to eat well in New Orleans. My advice on Bastille Day (July 14th) is to drink the café au lait. And if you happen to be in the Crescent City (they themselves never call their city The Big Easy), order up some beignets. They are known as French Doughnuts, which is not the least bit accurate. They are flour balls, yes, deep fried, yes and covered in confectioner's sugar, yes. But doughnuts? Sacre bleu!These soft spongy sugary, lightly vanilla flavored delights are a type of spongy pastry all their own. I love them. Food and madness make their appearance in the New Orleans novel whose cover I have reproduced below. The author's story, that of John Kennedy Toole, is tragic. He wrote the book in obscurity, longhand and messily and was rejected until he committed suicide. His mother finally got it accepted for publication eleven years later and the publishing world collectively realized, once again they had blown it.Read the book and find out why I was so delighted to spot this hot dog stand on the sidewalk. They appear in the book as Paradise Hot Dogs and Ignatius gets a job with them, to their detriment and his.Never mind the humor of the Confederacy of Dunces, I had a great little time taking pictures and watching the passers by as I waited for my wife to return with the coffee and beignets.It was a hot sticky sunny and breezy afternoon earlier this month as we made our way west from the Keys to California. I remember it well and am glad to have these pictures to remind me of a delightful pause in our drive.This trio below put me in mind of the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover. New Orleans style.Café au lait isn't only a coffee in this multi cultural hub. as usual I failed completely to ask any likely candidate to raise her blouse. I am just too middle class for certain objectionable behavior.
Lots to see in this fabulous city. Either that or he's flagging down a cab.
Text. text. text.
Woody woodpecker disguised as an athletic middle aged dude.
A tribute to riepe and buffetguy.
Louisiana is a helmet law state which seems a rather inadequate precaution considering the size of the pot holes in the streets.
Tough guys with tiddly dogs do look absurd. Go to the SPCA and get a proper sized dog. Cheyenne is no longer available.
She liked the music as much as I.
Music? What music?
Across the street there was music, though Mr Possessive failed to notice.
Some people were busy going home ignoring the band.
A tall man made her happy.
I felt a cad with my little squeeze box. This guy was putting his back into his picture taking.
This guy was taking a break from his clarinet.
My wife, inside the Café du Monde said they were mediocre but she is no great fan of trad jazz.
These guys were loud.
This guy was not loud, but he looked brave weaving through the traffic.
Not pink Crocs but the best I could find at short notice.
Afternoon coffee in New Orleans. An experience all it's own.