Metairie-ite Discovers The Bywater

I never really know what to blog about when I visit home these days. I want to report on things like an excellent meal at Drago’s or the difficulty of tracking down and affording enough crawfish to be worth firing up the boiler this season, but it just doesn’t seem important enough when people are getting water in their houses all over again.

But then again, life in the city continues, and it’s not all disaster all the time. Right? …right?

Right. I guess. Anyway, I’ve got pics of the Jefferson Parish pumping station safe-houses to share in a post tomorrow or next day. So it ain’t drinking and dancing and biscuits and jelly 24/7, either.

Anyway, last night was a Thursday night. I have a usenet acquaintance who’s been telling me for years that next time I’m in town I need, really requisitely need, to go to Vaughn’s of a Thursday night when Kermit Ruffins is holding court. And when Katrina touched down, one of the laughably out-of-perspective trivial thoughts that crossed my mind–you know what I’m talking about, the less important losses you babble about to distract yourself from the big losses–was, “Damn! I waited too long and now I’ll never get to do that!”

But in fact it is a thing still doable, and my husband and I done did it last night.

So. Vaughn’s is deep in the Bywater, which I am proud to say is a term I am that much closer to using correctly these days. I’m a Metairie native, right? I grew up not knowing a dang thing beyond vague notions of Uptown and Downtown. I have, disgracefully, been know to say “Bywater” and “Marigny” like they were interchangeable terms. Yes, folks, I iz dumb. Less so now, though. I hope. Especially after driving a weird sort of canal/river spiral to try to get to the correct block of Dauphine without blowing a One Way sign on the way there and then, at the end of the night, failing somehow to find Claiborne and instead taking Franklin all the way from St. Claude to the 610. Yay!

But that’s boring stuff. The interesting stuff is at the bar. We got there around 9:45. If you were there, you’d know us as the couple knitting in front of the Rutgers/Kansas State game in the back room. I was the bloody mary and gold ribbon yarn; he was the diet coke and the white bulky wool.

The band didn’t actually start playing until 11:00, but when they did, you knew it. You just can’t hear a live trumpet making with the FUNK in such a tiny neighborhood bar room and mistake it for just another CD on the stereo. Toes started tappin’, butts started shakin’, sufficient space was eked out of the crowded front space for actual dancin’ and everything. Then around midnight the red beans and rice hit the table and I was very, very sorry we’d made plans for an early Friday morning and had to leave. I think I could smell the sausage all the way out to the car.

We’re in town until the 2nd, supposedly. Except I hear that the Denver International Airport is closed for snow again (cf. saga of escaping Denver, 2006-12-23). Which means it’s not entirely unlikely that we’ll be at Vaughn’s again next Thursday with plans to sleep in the next morning. We shall see.

If You Go: Bring cash or a good sense of humor about credit card surcharges. Cover on Thursday nights is $10 at the door. Soft drinks go up from $1 to $1.50 when the band starts playing. Before the band starts playing, do not block anyone’s view of the TV while reaching for the Tabasco.

2 Comments so far

  1. Skeeter88 (unregistered) on December 29th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    I was sure it was Metairoid, not Metairian nor Metairie-ite.

    But it sure is nice to see that even a habitue of Jefferson Parish can be healed !

  2. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on December 31st, 2006 @ 11:15 am

    Hey, I *like* “Metairoid.” There’s a nice shout-out to my video-gaming roots in there.

    Don’t worry, I’m getting my education late but I *am* getting it! I think I’ve even figured out this Esplanade/Elysian Fields thing now…

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