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Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Stomp on Old Grounds

In an effort to entertain a group of visiting French doctors working on fetal alcohol syndrome research, Carole and I took them to the New Orleans Club in Pioneer Square last night. I haven't been there for at least 6 or 7 years, and not regularly since I was a 22 year old undergrad student in love with jazz and living on a shoestring. We had an outstanding time... the music was terrific (except for a guest vocalist from the crowd who sang an uninspired rendition of Stave It Off favorite, Stars Fell on Alabama.) There was general appreciation of the food (cajun fare) and the decor (especially the 30 or so painted black and white portraits of jazz legends,) and Therese and Dennis gave us all a treat by kicking off their shoes and dancing in the middle of the restaurant.
Each time the conversation evolved into stream of fast-paced French and laughter, my thoughts strayed back to the nights spent smoking cigarettes, sipping on mint juleps and marveling at the old black men playing bop and traditional jazz. You can still buy a plate of beans and rice for a buck fifty. I think the same old men are still playing their regular gig. So enjoyable were those moments of nostalgia that I almost regretted it when Carole resumed translating or one of our guests asked me something in English. _Music

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