Outside of Mimi's, Colin and I were talking to our newly acquainted friends, Colbye and Arielle. Mid conversation, a black guy, who appeared to be a friend of Colbye and Arielle, walked by and interrupted us. His name is Happy, Happy Johnson. Colin knew him because he's kinda famous, wrote a children book or something. I knew nothing about him, I just thought that he was being disrespectful for not introducing himself, nor apologized, when he interrupted our conversations. He just stood there in front of me talking to the ladies whom Colin and I just met. Maybe I was tipsy, after all it was 4 in the morning after the crazy Krewe du Vieux parade and after party. I thought to myself, Happy Johnson, I bet he never cried before in his life since the name said for himself, Happy. Maybe when he cries, those tears are happy tears. What a great nickname.
I was tired and started to get cranky with this Happy stranger. I just wanted to take off and go home to sleep. To top that, I had a bike ride from Marigny all the way back to Riverbend to say the least. So I blurted, "Yo Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan's out of here!"
All of them looked at me, with disbelief.
Arielle got mad and yelled at me, "Why did you call him that, JACKIE CHAN?!"
I was laughing, she called me Jackie Chan. Colbye was just laughing at the twist of the racial joke back upon me, and Colin had an awkward white man giggle, since he didn't know whether it's appropriate for a white boy like him, who has one of the whitest name, to laugh at the joke.
2 weeks later, my buddy Alex came in town to visit, and I told him about the story. He actually took a class with Mr. Happy at Georgetown. That's his actual name. Small world.
Sorry Happy if that offended you. I don't think so since you're Happy, all the time.
I was at Le Bon Temp listening to Soul Rebels, when one of the guys in the band was going around with a tip jar.
There was a group of black people at the corner of the bar. They are probably the only black people there. (Le Bon Temp attracts a white crowd, mostly Tulane/Loyola kids) The tip jar came to them, I was standing beside the group, non of them tipped. So tipsy me made a comment about black people never tip. One of them turned around and looked at me with a WTF face.
Me: No offense, but if I were to be black, I won't tip either, I'll just let the white people tip out of their white guilt.
Black guy: !@#@$%!
Me: Want a picture of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan? (while whipping out my iphone and getting close to him for the photo op)
New Orleans road systems are weird. This is the land of no left turns. The roads here do not have extra space for left turning vehicles. Once you hit Orleans Parish traveling downriver on Tulane Ave, the only way to make a U-turn is to take a right at the next intersection, make a U-turn on riverside of that street, drive back towards Tulane Ave and then finally take a left heading upriver. However, most streets won't allow you to take a left turn, so that forces you to drive past Tulane Ave again and make a U turn on the lakeside, head back to Tulane and finally, finally... take a right and you will be heading upriver again.
The roads here hardly have designated left turn lanes. For intersection that allows left turn, you will find yourself stuck in the supposedly fast lane behind a line of cars with flashing right turn signal desperately trying to get out of the standstill. Yes, we have horrible transport engineers.
I wonder if the transport/civil engineers were trying to play a joke on the drivers when they came up with counter intuitive highway exits. I am referring to the Carrollton Ave exit on I-10. You have to stay left to make sure you get onto the lane that will eventually veer you to the right. That's coming from west, and vice versa, heading west on 10, in order to exit towards riverside (left on Carrollton), you have to keep right!
This had even tricked a veteran taxi driver who was blabbing away when driving me home from the airport. He stayed on the right lane, instead of getting on to Carrollton, we zoomed past Xavier and that's when he 'oopsed'.
"No worries young man, we are going sight-seeing!" So he took the next right, which brought us onto Jefferson Davis, straight onto Vendome Pl and finally a right onto Fountainbleau. Indeed it was a sight seeing route - plenty of beautiful houses with magnificent lawn and overhanging oak tree branches. I always bike to Mid-City using this route.
"I was born and raised here, never in my life that I 'MADE' groceries. I make money, but not groceries." A grin flashed on his cheerful face. Mr. Batiste, who hails from Gretna, West Bank, is not related to Uncle Lionel or any of the Batiste musicians. He is just an honest taxi driver who believes in hard work. He despises the parasites who tarnished the name of New Orleans.
"...just because of a few bad apples. That's why I always advise the tourists, if something ain't right, turn around and walk away. All you need is one mistake. That'll kill ya!"
As we pondered on that conversation, he took a left turn onto Broadway. After a few blocks, passing some houses with huge Tulane/Loyola flags overhanging from the balconies (even Auburn and LSU Tigers, one is Mike, one is Aubie, one is real, one is just a person wearing thick padded tiger costume), we arrived at St Charles heading upriver and finally took a left on my street towards the levee.
Once I was stuck behind a car that was trying to make an illegal left turn, I got mad and realized NOLA could stand for something else.