Monday, November 29, 2010

Do You Know What It Means To Be Dead In New Orleans? Or Why I Don't Think I Will Ever Go Back To New Orleans The Big Easy Is Hazardous To Your Health
New Orleans is now a crime ridden city. Dangerous to your health. The only way to protect yourself is to leave the Big Easy and don't go there anymore. Too many juveniles and others with guns and knives.
Most of the crime is late at night. But not all. The French Quarter used to be safe but not any more.
Roving bands of thugs are preying on tourists and locals alike. See the link below.

And the links below are about Wendy Byrnes murder. She was a bartender at Aunt Tiki's Jewels Bar that I wrote about in the post below this one.
More on Wendy Byrnes and her murder in the link below. Poor Wendy. She didn't get out of New Orleans in time. New Orleans has always been a violent city and a city full of crime. It is like Paris. A museum like city center for the rich and tourists and surrounded by extremely poor people in poor neighborhoods. As someone said if people don't have an income they are going to come for yours. Be warned New Orleans is not safe anymore. It is dangerous especially at night and even more so late at night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aunt Tiki's Jewels Bar New Orleans 1207 Decatur Street Formerly Known 40 Years Ago As Jewel's Tavern
  This is what happened to Jewel's Tavern which I write about in the post below. 40 years later it is now called Aunt Tiki's Jewels Bar.
  If you read the comments in the link above it sounds much like the old place except it is now a dive bar instead of a seaman's bar.

WUSA 1970 The Movie Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward Based On The Novel HALL OF Mirrors By Robert Stone Includes Beautiful Scenes Inside and Outside of The Long Lost Jewel's Tavern In The French Quarter Of New Orleans.

WUSA The Movie From 1970 Starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Based on the novel HALL OF MIRRORS by Robert Stone who also wrote the screenplay for this movie.

This movie is hard to find. Robert Stone who wrote the book Hall Of Mirrors that WUSA is based on and wrote(or co wrote) the screenplay for this movie has stated he thinks it is a really terrible movie and he is embarrassed by it. And I guess it really is a bad movie of a great book. But the movie has a few things going for it. I found the whole movie on YouTube. The person has not allowed embedding so you have to click on this link. Below is part one of 9 parts on Youtube. But you can watch all nine parts to see the whole movie. Just look to the right hand column on the page for parts 2 through 9.  In part #2 at time 2:18 and 3:21 you can see the outside of Jewel's Tavern which was located on Decatur St. near Governor Nicholls in the French Quarter. In fact the scene inside appears to be the real inside of Jewel's Tavern. Jewel's Tavern was a famous seaman's bar in the French Quarter. It is now long gone. These are the only known pictures of Jewel's Tavern I have ever seen. But you have to watch the movie(part #2)to see Jewel's Tavern. No still pictures are available.

Click on the Label Jewel's Tavern below to read another post of mine about New Orleans and the Mardi Gras of 1964 that mentions Jewel's Tavern and Bob Dylan. See Note#1 in that post.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mitsitam Cafe In The National Museum Of The American Indian Washington, D.C.

We went to this place in the middle of the day on Thanksgiving. It was packed with people. Almost no place to sit down. I have never seen it so full since the museum first opened. It has always been popular.

   After we sat down I wondered how many of the customers were thinking of Thanksgiving and the Indians of the Americas when they came in. The cafe does serve turkey every day except Christmas Day.  All Smithsonian Museums are open every day of the year except Christmas day.
This is their fall 2010 menu.
     Above is a video that shows most of the different types of food available in the Mitsitam Cafe. Mitsitam means "Let's Eat". I don't know why she has  a number 35 on her back.

    What makes this cafe so special is that they offer Indian food of the Americas that cannot be found anywhere else in Washington D.C. and maybe the entire country at least under one roof. It is certainly the most unique place to eat in Washington, D.C.
  Here is their Thanksgiving takehome menu.

   We had some clam corn chowder and corn bread that was fantastic. Others had the fry bread buffalo chili.
The cafe was crowded not just because it was Thanksgiving but also because all the food is so good.

Seated across from me were two young Japanese women. They were taking pictures of themselves and the Buffalo Burgers they had sitting in front of them.

The picture above is of The National Museum Of The American Indian located on The Mall in Washington, D.C. The picture was taken from the outside garden of the United States Botanic Garden which is located nearby.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bayou Bakery Arlington Virginia Update

Here is an update.
They are on Facebook.
Meanwhile here is your order.

See my post below this one for more on Bayou Bakery in Arlington,Virginia.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bayou Bakery In Arlington Virginia Opened Last Saturday New Orleans Comes To Arlington, Virginia If You Can't Go To New Orleans Go To The Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Va.

This place opened on this past Sat. It is the real deal. Real New Orleans chef and real New Orleans food and most of all real New Orleans beignets.
   As a former New Orleanian and habitual customer of Cafe du Monde and The Morning Call starting in the late 1950s I know a beignet that is real and taste real when I see and eat one.

   Having lived in New Orleans I am very critical of would be New Orleans styled restaurants outside of New Orleans. But this is one that makes it. It was packed on Sat. with happy people. It is located next to the Arlington County Courthouse on N. Courthouse Road. It is going to do great business in that busy neighborhood. Check out their menu and photos in the link below. I tried the beignets and I am here to tell you they taste as good as the ones at The Cafe Du Monde and The Morning Call.  So far the restaurant and the chef are getting rave reviews.

    New Orleans music plays softly in the background. The smell of the coffee and the pastries hits you as you enter the door. I can smell beignets cooking and I see nothing but smiling happy customers.
   It is a rare thing indeed to find a real New Orleans restaurant outside of New Orleans and this is one.
This place has a real New Orleans "feel" and that is hard to describe but you know it when you feel it. And this place has it.
Now I don't have to drive 1200 miles to get a real beignet. Thanks Bayou Bakery.

The link below has some more pictures and comments from some who were there on Sat. Also some directions on how to find the place and why it is so hard to find right now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

World's First Rock And Roll Song? But What Was The Worlds First "Rock" Song?

I think the song above is the first rock and roll song. I believe that is what Rolling Stone Magazine decided also. Why should not the King Of Rock and Roll be the one with the first Rock and Roll song?
Ray Charles I Got A Woman from 1954 would make another good candidate for the first rock and roll song as well as anything early by Chuck Berry. I used to say that rock and roll was nothing but white boys trying to play rhythm and blues.
This wikipedia page on Rock And Roll covers the question of who was first very well.
In the 1960s Bob Dylan used to say when people talked about rock music, "What happened to the roll?"
I  am not sure what the first "rock" song was but it would be interesting to know. Two possibilities for the first "rock" song are by The Who or The Kinks.

Then came hard rock and then hard rock cafes.

  Here is a link to American Routes radio show by Nick Spitzer. The best roots music show there is.
This week is all about Sam Cooke. The man who invented "Soul".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant De Leon Springs, Florida All You Can Eat Pancakes You Make 'Em Yourself

Check out the menu.

This is a wonderful place where you can cook your own pancakes,eggs,french toast and more right at your table on a grill. It is always packed and busy.
It is located in the Old Spanish Sugar Mill inside the State Park at DeLeon Springs, Flordia about 6 miles north of Deland, Fla..
Getting There:
De Leon Springs is located at the corner of Ponce de Leon and Burt Parks Road, west of U.S. 17.

Take US Hwy 17 North from Deland for approximately six miles, following the state park signs. Turn left onto Ponce De Leon Boulevard and travel approximately one mile to the entrance to De Leon Springs State Park.
It is a great place to eat and is something special.
Here is a view of the outside of the Sugar Mill and the State Park at De Leon Springs,Fla.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rita Hayworth Comes To The Shoreham Hotel In Washington D.C. To Accept The National Screen Heritage Award For 1977. Gene Kelly Was There Also But No One Saw Him But Us

This is how she looked when we escorted her down from her suite to the Palladian Room in 1977.

Rita Hayworth Accepts The 1977 Screen Heritage Award At The Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. in The Palladian Room.

Since I can't find anything on the internet about this that names the hotel where she received this award I will post it here.

I was working as a Hotel Security Officer at The Shoreham Hotel in 1977. Another officer named Frank and I were working the 3pm to 11pm shift when we got word that we were to go upstairs and hold an elevator for Rita Hayworth and then escort her down to the Palladian Room. She got in the elevator with another woman who kept brushing her hair. Rita looked nervous but also excited and happy. When we got to the lobby level we headed for the Palladian Room. The doors were closed. We were told that when she was announced(this was after the guests had eaten and watched the movie Gilda) they would open the doors and she would enter.
The doors flew open. A blindingly bright spotlight was shining directly at us(really at her)and she smiled and entered the room and the doors closed behind her. She received the award shown above.

The Shoreham Hotel Washington, D.C.
The above photo is from the movie Gilda with Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth. This movie was shown in the Palladian Room at the Shoreham Hotel before Rita made her grand entrance into the room.
When she went in the crowd roared and applauded.
Gene Kelly Was At The Hotel That Night But No One Saw Him.

Prior to going upstairs and escorting Rita Hayworth to the Palladian Room we had gotten a call to go down to the employee's entrance and escort a man upstairs to see Rita Hayworth. I can't remember if we were told who this person was going to be but I don't think we were.
   We got the elevator down to the sub basement level and in walked a man by himself. He got in the elevator. I looked at him and it was Gene Kelly that we were taking upstairs to see Rita. I could not think of anything to say to him so I just smiled. He smiled back. I must say he really did have a great smile. We took him upstairs to Rita's suite. He did not come down with her in the elevator to go to the Palladian Room. I guess he wanted her to have all the attention from her public that night.
This is the famous WW2 Pin Up of Rita Hayworth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How I Was Chased By A Mad Farmer With A Pitchfork In Le Sentier Switzerland In The Summer Of 1964

Two photos above are of Le Sentier Switzerland

The Train Station Le Sentier Switzerland
In the summer of 1964 I went to Europe for the summer. Someone had sent me an ad he had found on a bulletin board at Vanderbilt University where he was a graduate student. It was an offer of a summer job in Europe and a charter flight over at the beginning of the summer and a flight back in early September. I was working teaching school and had enough money to pay the fee in installments. So when June came I was all set to go.  After going to the World's Fair in NYC I boarded a Saturn Airways(propeller powered)flight to London along with a plane load of American college age students who were headed to Europe for their summer jobs. The deal was we would fly to London and have a day or two there and then take the boat train to Paris where we would have a day or so and be given our job assignments.

    There were some nice people on this flight. I met a girl from Bates College. She told me one of her fellow students at Bates College was Robert McNamara's daughter. And that the girl was driven to tears by her father's demands at the dinner table and would get up and run out of the room.

   In London I spent the evening with a smart young freshman from Harvard. He and I drank so much we overslept in the hotel(The Mitre)and woke up to find all the other students gone. But we hustled to Victoria Station on our own to catch up. The other students were already gone so we took a later boat train.

  Oddly while at the Victoria Station I heard someone call my name. It was Rob Johnson. He was a language teacher at a University in Illinois and he was traveling with his wife.  We had gone to the same college and he was a friend of the guy from Vanderbilt who had sent me the ad. It was an odd co-incidence.
We chatted while we waited for our trains.

      In Paris we found our group and got our job assignments. I was going to work on a farm in Switzerland in a little town called Le Sentier not too far from Lausanne.

    Also in Paris that summer was a college friend of mine staying at the Hotel La Louisiane. I saw her briefly before leaving for Switzerland.  She friendly with all the jazz musicians and artists staying at the Hotel La Louisiane.

When I got to the train station I checked my baggage at a  place marked Baggage. I did not speak or understand French well enough to know that the bags would be staying there and not put on the trains I was going on.

       I took the train from Paris to Geneva. While waiting for the connecting train there I went to the American Library  and read Hemingway's story Big Two Hearted River.

      The train went from Geneva to Lausanne and then on to Vallorbe. Another connection took me on a small train to Le Pont and finally Le Sentier. I got off and discovered my bags were not there. It was all my fault.   I made a report. The lady taking the report said "Do you speak French?" A little bit I said in French. "Well speak it then", she said.  She put the wheels in motion to recover my bags. It would take several days.
    In the meantime I found the farm I was to work on. The peasant family put me up in a room over the barn.
The idea was we would bring in the hay crop by pitching hay from dawn to dusk every day.. For this I would get room and board and be paid one dollar a day.

   After doing this for several days I went back up to Vallorbe and got back my suitcases. Now I was ready to leave. The family had been nice to me and I decided to leave them a note rather than just slipping out at night.

   I ended up being cornered by the farmer in his house. He had a  large pitchfork in his hands. He had decided I wasn't going to leave. He wasn't hearing of it. He chased me around a table waving the pitchfork at me. We went round and round the table. Finally I found an opening and made it out the door and went off running down the road and street to the train station. He followed waving the pitchfork and shouting at me. I made it to the train staion. There the lady train master hid me until the train arrived to get me out of Le Sentier. She was friendly and played some nice classical music for me.

It occurred to me some years later that he may have paid someone for my services. But I still had to go. I wasn't going to waste the summer pitching hay for a dollar a day.  I had things to do and places to go.  I had to get cracking and see as much of Europe as I could in three months.

I went back to Paris. That was what I had in mind for the summer anyway not wasting my time on a farm.
   I went back to the Hotel La Lousiane. And I have other posts on this blog about my stay in Paris in 1964.

In due time I went up to Brussels where the guy who ran the overseas jobs was located. I found him and he got me another job writing letters in English for Madame Collete Stasse.
 She was the head of the L'Association Belgo- Americain.
  Her husband owned an ran Europe's largest sporting newspaper Le Sport.

   She gave me free tickets to the 24 hours of Francochamps sports car race in Francochamps. Also she gave me some tickets to see the play As I Lay Dying which came to Brussels that summer with the Dallas Theater Center Group.
Here is something on the Dallas Theater Center and its founder that mentions the play.

  Madame Stasse would get a pedicure while she dictated letters to me in English. I would write them down and type them up for her.

I met a couple of other American students who showed up in Brussels. One girl who had been sent to a bar near the Black Forest in Germany quit because there was a German Army base nearby and she said the soldiers refused to believe she was not a prostitute. She was going back to Oklahoma.

   Another guy showed up with a broken collar bone. He had fallen off his bicycle. He kept me awake at night in the student hostel screaming in pain. He kept demanding I take him to the hospital so I got up and took him to the hospital.

I answered an ad to teach English to a Belgian boy while I went with them on a camping trip. But the way it turned out I was to pay for all my own food.  Again I saw that it was a waste of time before we left Brussels I asked them to stop the car and I jumped out.

Later I left for Italy. I took an overnight train and woke up and looked out the window and we were in the middle of the Alps.  I went on to Florence and then on to Rome and eventually to Greece.
It was so hot in Greece in August I had to retreat to the room where I was staying with a friendly Turk who rented out rooms in his house. One afternoon I read in an English language newspaper that Marlene Dietrich would be performing at the Edinburgh Festival of arts and music. Since it said in the paper that the temp. in Edinburgh was in the low 70's I decided to leave the 100 plus degree heat of Athens.

 I came back through Yugoslavia on a train with nothing to eat but anisette cookies for two days. This train took 48 hours to go from Athens to Munich Germany. We went through Zagreb which was still communist at that time. There was only one English speaking person besides myself on the train. He was a Hungarian American art student heading for Budapest. He is the person who shared his cookies with me. He made a big point of showing me a German family who had a big basket of food and telling me "Watch they will never offer us anything". And they never did.

    I got back to Brussels and headed for London and on to Edinburgh. But that is another story. I have other posts on my blog about that summer of 1964 in Europe. Click on the label 1964 below.
I need to add that in June of 2007 my wife and I took an overnight train from Rome to Paris. We had just finished a 3 week tour of Italy and Sicily.
   We had a sleeping compartment on the train. In the middle of the night we slowed down and finally stopped. I looked out the window. I saw a sign that said Le Sentier. I was back in Le Sentier after 43 years.

My 450 Pound Friend Jerry Loves Eating,Talking, Edgar Cayce and Sai Baba

Above is a picture of Sai Baba with his elephant Sai Gita. Sai Baba is still alive but Sai Gita has passed on.

My 450 pound friend Jerry loves 4 things: Eating,Talking, Edgar Cayce and Sai Baba.
Jerry can talk non stop for hours about Edgar Cayce and then without stopping talk for hours non stop about Sai Baba.
    Jerry has spent a lot of time at the Edgar Cayce Institute at Virginia Beach, Va.
And he  has been to India three times to go to Sai Baba's ashram and live and study there. He even got to touch the hem of the Master's garment by "accidently" falling over as he bowed in front of the "holy" man.
See the video below for an expose of the tricks of Sai Baba and how he does them.  Sai Baba appears to me to be a very sucessful fakir.

  When Jerry drove a cab he would talk to his customers about Edgar Cayce and Sai Baba. He had pictures on his dashboard of Sai Baba and Edgar Cayce. If some customer made the mistake of asking "What are those?" Jerry would let loose his storehouse of knowledge.

By the time they reached their destination the customer was in a hurry to get out of the cab. Jerry had prepared slips of paper with where to get more information about Sai Baba and Edgar Cayce and he would hand these slips of paper to the hastily departing cab fares. He would tell them. "When you get a chance look into this. Here is some information on where to look".

Edgar Cayce 1910

Click to enlarge and read above. It is in Selma Alabama.

And now something on Sai Baba.
 Double click on the above video to go to Youtube and see many more videos about Sai Baba.
I have another story about Jerry posted below. Click on the label Jerry.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hapuna Beach State Park On The Big Island Of Hawaii December 1970

My 450 pound friend Jerry has been telling me of his adventures at Hapuna Beach in 1970. He was working in Alaska and decided in Dec. 1970 that he wanted no part of winter in Alaska and would go to Hawaii. So he took a flight from Anchorage to Seattle and then a flight to Honolulu and then on to Hilo on the big island of Hawaii.

    He was one of only 5 passengers that flew on to Hilo. The plane had 7 stewardesses and 5 passengers on the flight to Hilo. So there was time for one of them to tell him he should rent a car when he got to Hilo and drive to Hapuna Beach. She told him how to get there.

Meanwhile the pilot flew the plane around several of the other islands of Hawaii and circled them to show the passengers the aerial view.
    He got to Hilo and rented a car and found his way to Hapuna Beach State Park. This was in Dec. 1970 and a group of hippies and paradise seekers were living on the beach.
  He slept on the beach for 3 weeks and the others did also. They ate bananas and passion fruit and he spent no money for three weeks.

   Some guy saw him writing a letter to one of his brothers back in Virginia..The guy said "What are you doing?" Jerry said, "I am writing my brother".The guy said, "I don't want you telling anybody about this place. They have to find it on their own".
  Read about Hapuna Beach in the link below.

   There was a college teacher there that called himself only H. He would not tell anyone his real name. He said, "Call me H".
   Another guy studied H for several days and asked him "Are you for real?" "About half and half", H replied.

Jerry stayed at Hapuna Beach for 3 weeks sleeping on the beach. When he left he flew back to LA. He only had money enough for the ticket back to LA. He searched the phones in the airport for spare change left in the coin returns.

He started hitchhiking back to Virginia. He got several good rides. He had only 15 dollars when he left LA.
He was picked up by a van full of hippies. They were living and partying in the back of the van. They had Jerry sit up front in the passenger seat. One of the females brought him some food. And Jerry said "She didn't a stitch of clothes on".

   After several long rides he made his way back to Virginia.
Since Jerry was at Hapuna Beach in 1970 a hotel has been built on the beach far down at one end. It is The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. And it is not free.

The link below has more on this hotel including many customers reviews that are interesting.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bob Dylan The Witmark Demos Trailer

Click and double click to go to YouTube and then watch full screen.
And something newer that I really like.

Click on the label Bob Dylan below to see my many other posts about Bob Dylan.

And Malt Does More Than Milton Can To Justify God's Ways To Man
The above link has some good videos of old beer commercials in black and white from the 1950s and 1960s.
But here is a page of Youtube videos of old beer commercials that is more complete.

Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff
by A.E. Housman

"Terence, this is stupid stuff:

You eat your victuals fast enough;

There can't be much amiss, 'tis clear,

To see the rate you drink your beer.

But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,

It gives a chap the belly-ache.

The cow, the old cow, she is dead;

It sleeps well, the horned head:

We poor lads, 'tis our turn now

To hear such tunes as killed the cow.

Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme

Your friends to death before their time

Moping melancholy mad:

Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad."

Why, if 'tis dancing you would be,

There's brisker pipes than poetry.

Say, for what were hop-yards meant,

Or why was Burton built on Trent?

Oh many a peer of England brews

Livelier liquor than the Muse,

And malt does more than Milton can

To justify God's ways to man.

Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink

For fellows whom it hurts to think:

Look into the pewter pot

To see the world as the world's not.

And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past:

The mischief is that 'twill not last.

Oh I have been to Ludlow fair

And left my necktie God knows where,

And carried half way home, or near,

Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:

Then the world seemed none so bad,

And I myself a sterling lad;

And down in lovely muck I've lain,

Happy till I woke again.

Then I saw the morning sky:

Heigho, the tale was all a lie;

The world, it was the old world yet,

I was I, my things were wet,

And nothing now remained to do

But begin the game anew.

Therefore, since the world has still

Much good, but much less good than ill,

And while the sun and moon endure

Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,

I'd face it as a wise man would,

And train for ill and not for good.

'Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale

Is not so brisk a brew as ale:

Out of a stem that scored the hand

I wrung it in a weary land.

But take it: if the snack is sour,

The better for the embittered hour;

It should do good to heart and head

When your soul is in my soul's stead;

And I will friend you, if I may,

In the dark and cloudy day.

There as a king reigned in the east:

There, when kings will sit to feast,

They get their fill before they think

With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.

He gathered all that springs to birth

From the many-venomed earth;

First a little, thence to more,

He sampled all her killing store;

And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,

Sate the king when healths went round.

They put arsenic in his meat

And stared aghast to watch him eat;

They poured strychnine in his cup

And shook to see him drink it up:

They shook, they stared as white's their shirt:

Them it was their poison hurt.

--I tell the tale that I heard told.

Mithridates, he died old.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Big Joe Williams Mississippi Blues Festival 1980

Here is something on the origin of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington,D.C. Big Joe Williams was one of the performers at the 1976 festival which lasted 12 weeks during the  USA Bicentennial celebration.
Click on the label Big Joe Williams below to see and read and hear my 9 other posts about Big Joe Williams.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jon Stewart/Steven Colbert Rally Signs... First Signs Of Intelligent Life In Washington D.C. In About 30 Or 40 Years.

Here is a link to and a large collection of Jon Stewart Rally signs.
I noticed long ago that signs in movies about rallies never look real. They always look like they were done by the movie art department. Real homemade signs are always more witty and intelligent. That observation comes from watching rallies in D.C. for 43 years.
And the people who came with their signs and made up the crowd were actually better than the show itself.
Now this latest rally was the best one since the late 1960s or early 1970s. It reminded me very much of the old anti war activist hippie rallies of the 1960s and early 1970s.
I once saw Abbie Hoffman down on the Mall in D.C. in the 1960s along with Jerry Rubin. This rally had the same feel to it. Mainly because most of the 200,000 plus who showed up were very young.
Maybe Comedy Central could make it an annual event. At least until sanity is restored in D.C.
 Mainly what I felt was this was the first sign of humor and intelligent life seen in D.C. in 3 or 4 decades. Thanks to all who came to Disney World on the Potomac.