NEW ORLEANS — Robyn Lewis, owner of Dark Charm fashion and accessories for women, represents the first line of defense for the Magazine Street shop owners. She is the first to see [the gang of transvestites] come strutting in their pumps down St. Andrew Street, the bewigged pack of thieves who have plagued the Lower Garden District since May.
Like an SOS flare, Lewis grabs her emergency phone list and starts calling.
“They’re coming,” she warns Eric Ogle a salesman at Vegas, a block down Magazine Street. Ogle, who was terrorized by the brazen crew two months earlier, alerts neighboring Winky’s where manager Kendra Bonga braces for the onslaught.
Soon every shop owner in the 2000 block of Magazine Street has been alerted.
Sarah Celino at Trashy Diva eyes the door, ready to flip the lock at the first sight of the ringleader’s pink jumpsuit and fluorescent red wig.
“They’re fearless,” said Ogle. “Once they see something they like they won’t stop until they have it. They don’t care, they’ll go to jail. It’s really gotten bad. You know it’s ridiculous when everyone on the block knows who they are.”
The transvestites first appeared in March when they raided Magazine Street like a marauding army of kleptomaniacal showgirls, said Davis, using clockwork precision and brute force to satisfy high-end boutique needs.
Next door at Winky’s, Bonga heard people screaming inside Vegas, then saw a blur of cheap wigs and masculine legs in designer shoes streak past her door. “They’re all very skinny and very flamboyant,” Ogle said.
This story was quoted wholesale from the New Orleans City Business paper and was written by Richard A. Webster, a very good writer and gifted story teller. When I first posted this article, I thought the link to his column was sufficient credit. I no longer think so. Too many times, links go bad, so to speak. It's better to keep the credit with the work.
When I was in Miami Beach, I saw a similar shirt in one of the shops for $195. I may be a slave to fashion, but I have my limits. Once home, I asked the gods of google about it, and they steered me to this site: Prank Tattoo Art. I've ordered my very own sleeves, and for considerably less than $195.
This is me last Tuesday in New Orleans. I only had one item on my shopping list for New Orleans: Peychaud's Bitters.
This is Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender (GLBT) Day in the world, but especially in San Francisco. It's to the GLBT community what Christmas is to shoppers. There's a lot going on for over a week. I was out Friday and Saturday hanging out with Out-of-Towners and locals. I'm home today because my eyes are swollen and hurting from their having rejected my contacts yesterday. I thought I was going to die last night. If I could have reached my neighbor I'd have gone to the emergency room. But that's another story left for another time.
There was an interesting article in last week's New Yorker Magazine about same-sex marriage by Hendrik Hertzberg. He notes Bush's parsing of words in his pandering to the Christianists about the "Marriage Protection Amendment. "As this debate goes forward, we must remember that every American deserves to be treated with tolerance, respect, and dignity. All of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another." This from Dubyah? And then this strange statement: "America is a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. In this country, people are free to choose how they live their lives." Was he speaking for or against the amendment?
We're winning this debate, folks. The christianists have lost their battle to demonize us. That's because we GLBT folk are the sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, cousins, mothers and fathers of America itself. We are not other. We are you.
Today was the first time I noticed the absence of the weird and bizarre on the local newscasts about Gay Day. Each year they go out and find the most extreme elements of our community to put on national television. I'm sure they'll revert back to type before the evening news.
Go out and celebrate the diversity in your life, and be free.
We're spending the night in Gulfport, Mississippi, en route to New Orleans. We could have made it all the way into N.O., but we both were tired and I was a bit cranky. Cranky hell, I was a raving bitch. I drove about 150 miles while Lee slept. Immediately upon awakening, he starts to backseat drive, telling me that I was making him nervous. I told him that he couldn't be nearly be as nervous as I was annoyed. I could write about 500 words or so as to the various reasons I was annoyed, but that would take more energy that it's worth.
Tuesday we drive around in New Orleans to various addresses to see how friends and family fared. Tuesday night I fly home. It's only been 10 days, but there was a lot of miles crammed into those 10 days and I'm tired.
We've moved on to Orlando where we're meeting up with friends. It's not that we weren't enjoying Miami Beach, it's just that something was missing. Besides that, I hate sand. I mean, I really hate sand. Beaches would be a lot more fun without it. Sex on the beach? Forgettaboutit. Boogey boarding? There wasn't a wave bigger than six inches all week, and six inches doesn't do anything but give me a headache. So to speak.
I will have more to say--with pictures--later, but right now I just wanted to check in and let my loyal readers know that I'm t-t-tap, tap, tapping, as fast as I can, and so far, all by myself.
Last Saturday night, my traveling companion and I ate at Cochon, a current, hot, favorite restaurant in N.O. I wrote a little about it in my previous post. I didn't mention our second round of food there: gumbo. More specifically, black-eyed pea and hamhock gumbo. Don't worry, I never heard of such, either. We sat next to two Cajuns from Lafayette, and we talked about it. Cajun One and I agreed that just because you use a roux when you make a soup from black-eyed peas and hamhocks, that don't make it a gumbo. Cajun Two said that Cajun One and I were too limiting in our definition of gumbo. Then my traveling companion interjects that, technically speaking, real gumbo required okra. Of course, Cajun One and I had a fit. No it don't. Okra is a choice. If you use okra, you don't need to file powder, a substance made from ground sassafras leaves which, sorta kinda, thickens the broth and, to my mind, makes an ordinary soup a gumbo, unless of course, you're making the soup from hamhocks and black-eyed peas. My problem with the "gumbo" served at Cochon was that it tasted too strong of hamhocks. I'm also very sensitive to the taste of salt, and if you add salt to a stock made from hamhocks, it's going to be too salty.
I was very attracted to Cajun One. He had a charisma about him that made him very attractive. He was the kind of man that if he couldn't be your best friend, you'd hope he lived next door, or just somehow knew for some reason. He was somewhere between 50 and 60, goodlooking --I wouldn't have called him handsome, just attractive, full head of hair, and the most pleasant of accents. I was afraid if I were anymore friendly in my reaction to him, he'd have thought I was coming onto him. Cajun Two saw exactly how attacted I was to his friend. It made him nervous. We didn't stay long enough to get in trouble or to embarrass anyone.
One last thing about Cochon. We also had fried boudin balls, and they weren't anywhere near as good as mine. In fact,, the only thing we had that was better than mine was the crawfish pie. I've never done piecrust all that well.
Oh, by the way, we're in Miami Beach now. I'll talk about it later.
Thank god there's a place left in America where a guy can get have a few drinks and find comfort in the arms of a stranger. In that respect, New Orleans hasn't changed.
Walking down Bourbon Street Saturday afternoon brought a lot of things home. First, there's the smell. There ain't nothing like the smell of sour garbage. No siree, nothing like it. I'm here with an old friend who now lives in Monroe, Louisiana. We made it to several of the old haunts.
We went to dinner at Cochon's on Tchoupitoulas Street. If we'd have stopped at the first round of appetizers, we probably would have called it one of the best meals we ever had, but we didn't. We started with crawfish pie, barbequed ribs with pickled watermelon rind, chicken livers on toast, smeared with pepper jelly, and something else. Then we had boudin balls which to my taste were way too salty. Lee wanted to try their potato salad which was spiked with horseradish. Tasted just like potato salad spiked with horseradish which was pedestrian at best.
Faithful readers know I'm not much of a restaurant critic. I either like a place or don't. Cochon was alright. Not great, just okay. I won't remember much about it next week. I make better boudin balls, but I did like the use of pepper jelley with the chicken livers. I'll incorporate that one into my repetoire.
I did make it over to the Cafe du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets this morning--for old times sake. Maybe it's just me, but the beignets used to be smaller and tastier. I was underwhelmed by the memory. I guess when you go back to a whore house you first tried when you were young, you shouldn't expect the whores to be as fresh as they were when you were first there fifty years before.
The unexpected pleasure last night was the trio performing at the bar at the Royal Sonesta. Betty something or another sang Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans and had me in tears. She was a class act.
We're off today for Alabama to see my cousins. I'll fill in the blanks later when the coffee kicks in.
Like who would have believed that possible, eh? The numbers don't lie, however. Eighty-one percent of Alabamans felt it necessary to forbid by Constitutional amendment the right of same-sex couples to have any sort of recognized civil partnerships. I think Forrest Gump summed it up well when he said, "Stupid is as stupid does." Texans only passed their Constitutional Amendment by 75% of the vote. Alabama wins. It has a higher percentage of stupid than does Texas.