Tag Archives: French Quarter

The Gypsy Man

NEW ORLEANS — The Gypsy Man in the blue shirt was shouting, his voice careening off walls and into empty alleys.

“I’m the fucking gazda,” he would say.

It wasn’t quite a scream, or a bellow, or even a holler. It was a quiet shout, if such a thing exists. And he was directing his seeming anger toward a young woman named Gina. I can’t say that Gina was strung out. But she looked it. Her skin was brown, but maybe just a tick too translucent. Her teeth were a mangled mess. Her hair was thinning and brittle. More than that, she appeared disoriented — the toxins in her body winning a battle over the healthy endorphins, if such a chemical process is even possible.

“We’re gypsies!” the man in the blue shirt shouted.  Continue reading

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New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS | It was my first time in New Orleans. Maybe I should start with that. I had arrived on a Wednesday, a full five days of work awaiting.

I had the most superficial understanding of New Orleans. Café Du Monde. Drew Brees. The Superdome. Katrina… and the scenes from the aftermath. Bourbon Street. That Simpson episode where Marge plays Blanche DuBois in a musical adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” And so on.

This was my New Orleans.

And then came Tuesday afternoon. My last day. For five days, I had covered basketball, tracking a Kansas team that wouldn’t wilt, and a Kentucky team that couldn’t. For five days, I had walked the streets of the French Quarter, all of its tackiness and beauty and charm blending together in some strange concoction of Bourbon-infused wonder.

They call this place Le Vieux Carré … the Old Square. Or at least they did.

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