Monday, October 03, 2005


Well how was I to know it was a urinal? It looked like a large fish tank to me, and by far the most visually interesting room in club XL. So I led the entire party in there to look at the fish. After a second or two Pamela pointed out dryly that there were men having a pee just underneath the tank. Men who were looking slightly, (although not considerably, it has to be said) disturbed by the arrival of the shark-aquarium-tours spectator gallery.
Saturday night NOLA style. The Marquis on club guest lists and drinks for free.
By the time we got to Bellevue we were decked in a veritable Christmas tree of wrist bands and brandishing and we’d been asked for ID at least four times. (Which is all a bit tiresome frankly, when you’re 42 and look it.)  So there we hung out until closing, because it simply had to be done. ‘I closed Bellevue’ - the Marquis, as he joined us in the diner next door at 4.30am.

Much much fun.

Am greatly admiring the feisty resilience and party spirit of these displaced lovely people.  Traumatised and far from home yet resourcefully making the best of it all and punctuating every heart-wrenching tale with humour and a wicked irony. And they can SO party, like nobody I’ve yet met in New York……

Earlier, over several bottles of pre-going-out wine the Marquis brought out his Red Cross debit card to show us. ‘Not for purchase of alcohol, tobacco or firearms’ it read.
Apparently FEMA and the Red Cross issued debit cards for up to $2,000 as an ‘efficient’ way of distributing aid in the days following the Katrina disaster, but later there was a big brouhaha because it transpired that some beneficiaries had been using their cards to purchase designer handbags and for payment in strip clubs.

This seems a rather futile complaint to me after the horse has bolted, or the strippers have stripped, and who’s to say what people spent aid-money on from grants that were paid directly into bank accounts? Nobody was checking up on them. Actually, who is to judge what ANYONE spends their money on when they’ve just lost their home, livelihood and maybe even their friends and relatives? We’ve all heard of retail therapy. Whilst I can understand the concern over morally dubious aid-spending when some folks probably had great need of extra cash to actually feed their families, this is clearly just another post-Katrina administrative fuck-up. There should have been much more immediate and direct aid in the form of actual food and accommodation in the first place and then, if the cards were meant for just food and accommodation they should SAY SO.  Or perhaps someone should have thought up a much more imaginative list of rules and restrictions beyond the obvious…. (P. added that someone had even spent their $2000 on a boob job!)……these are New Orleanians after all…..

We are invited to Mardi Gras in New Orleans next February. ‘It’s going to be a really special one’

No doubt in their minds at all. Or mine.

Executive summary: (for Sylvan) –  Drinking NOLA-style


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