Friday, January 24, 2014

727 Bourbon Street by Mark Anthony Given

I mingle with my peers or no one, and since I have no peers, I mingle with no one.
-John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

            YOU KNOW YOUR AN INTROVERT when you read On Walden Pond by Thoreau at Fifteen an aspire to live in the woods and write Poetry. I walked into Marin's at 727 Bourbon Street and after a half dozen attempts I was hired on the spot when someone didn't show up as a Waiter. Mahogany and Brass Horseshoe Bar raised up a little after stepping up into the old French Quarter Tourist trap, on the last block of Bourbon Street before all the Queer Bars in a row start. I had fell for a beautiful Black haired Cajun Beauty named Nodileen Newell who was bar tending there at only Twenty years old and drop dead gorgeous. Drank like a Fish and swore she never had a Hangover in her life...... Vodka and Cranberry and she drank them all day long like some people sip Iced Tea. I think this was the very first restaurant I ever worked in and the fact that I had never waited on tables in a busy tourist trap, I neglected to mention to the Manager I had never worked in a restaurant before. She was busy scoring pain pills most of the time and could care less who walked in the door. If your a Waiter you can get a job any day of the week in the New Orleans French Quarter.
           THE SPIRIT OF MISADVENTURE permeate the air and the entire 120 square blocks reeks of history, alcohol,
sex and sin. I instinctual knew that having to deal with people face to face all day and have to Please them, would provide the personalty transformation I so desperately sought. When you read a couple hundred books and hitchhike from one end of the country to the other a half a dozen times, you have allot to say, but knowing how to say it, has to be acquired....
            I NEVER LIKED BARS. Both my parent's were lushes and I remember being dragged into them
places when I was a kid and would drive my drunk parent's home through the back roads of Wayne County and South Sodus, New York in a push button Plymouth Valiant. My Dad would be knocked out in the backseat and my Mom would always have her feet propped on the dash or windshield smoking Camel non filters and navigating like a bootlegger. She knew the way home like a Bumble Bee and we never got stopped. I promised myself when I got older I wouldn't spend my life in a bar room and I haven't. But when I first got to New Orleans I knew you would have to have the discipline of a Saint to not drink in New Orleans.
The Bars never close, and they even have Drive Thru Daiquiri's? I did however live in New Orleans a long time without drinking, but I was a Heroin addict by then and would walk right into in the Calio or Desire Housing Project's like a Man on a Mission' at two o'clock in the morning and some of the people were so shocked at seeing a White Man they thought I was an apparition...... I seen the look on their faces... I knew I should have been afraid, but in my mind, they needed to be afraid me......11:45 AM 9/23/2013
          I LOVED BEING A WAITER, just not on Bourbon Street. I was trying to get the Cook's job when the Waiter position became available and I wanted to be wherever this girl Nodileen was. The tables were along the wall's and a patio in the back with a large water thing in the center you had to pass to get to the Slave Quarter's where the small kitchen on one side and the public bathrooms on the other. There were four tables for customers and the door swung constantly with someone going to the bathroom. Same Tourist Food in every place on Bourbon Street; Red Beans and Rice, Gumbo, Crawfish Ettoufee, Turtle Fudge Pie. Poor Boy Sandwiches and Barq's Root beer and Dixie Beer; standard operating equipment. Too me the food looked like something you would eat out in the woods out of necessity but, people lined up day and night from around the world like it was gourmet food. What do I know....12:37 PM 9/25/2013

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