Jackson-East State Hospital Wednesday, Oct 29 2014 

Jackson

My clinical rotation for mental health nursing included a much anticipated tour of East Louisiana State Hospital outside the town of Jackson. Throughout my childhood, “Jackson” as it was commonly called had woven its mythology into my life. Both my mother and aunt had worked there and from time to time would talk about some of their patients’ delusions and hallucinations. Jackson also made for a good way to threaten bad children. Whenever I acted up, my mother would say, “You better stop it or I’ll send you up to Jackson.”  I had never laid eyes on the facility and my imagination could only painted it as dark vortex of an entity that grabbed at life tightly and never let go. I was an adult now and looking forward to putting a realistic face on one of my childhood monsters.

The morning of the tour, I ironed the required creases into my perfectly bleached white scrubs while I muttered to myself about the ridiculous appearance standards at nursing school.  Then I collected my clinical materials and begun the hour drive to the hospital. Jackson was built on the high ground away from the swamps and mosquitoes, but also away from the cities. After turning off the main highway and onto the rural road leading to the facility, cell service waned.

I knew I was close when I saw the road sign that advised travelers not to pick up hitchhikers. I slowed to turn onto a gravel road and a guard waved me through the front gate. My car snaked up a jagged road until an impressive Greek revival building with fading whitewash came into view. Patched columns struggled to hold up the entablature. Forgotten landscaping continued to divide the grounds into sections resembling formal gardens while smaller squat buildings sprung up on the sides of the main house like poorly planned afterthoughts that attempted to bring modern amenities to the facility.

I parked in front of the main building the Union Army refused to burn it down during the Civil War because they knew the horrors that would be released into the community. I left everything in my trunk as instructed with the exception of a single car key.

Our class gathered on the front steps and then filed through the main entrance into darkly carpeted foyer flanked by walls lined with portraits of the men who kept the order over the years. An empty courtroom stood off to the side. A couple of times a month, hearings were held, mostly to extend involuntary commitments. Our group wound up and around the grand staircase until we reached the ballroom on the top floor.

A decaying drop-down ceiling revealed beautiful darkened wood paneling above and a wrought iron balcony presided over the entrance. When asked why an insane asylum needed a ballroom, an administrator began to tell us about the “idiots’ dances” that were held once a month. An orchestra would play on the balcony while the patients would dance for the pleasure of the wealthy townspeople.  Today the room served as the facility’s makeshift museum. We poured over nurses’ notes detailing women who fell catatonic after being jilted and men who drank until their brains turned to gelatin. After gawking at primitive electroshock therapy and archaic restraints, we were split into smaller groups and continued the tour.

We proceeded down a side set of stairs and onto a dimly lit back hall. The entire building had a quietness about it. It was no longer used for patient care and looming budget cuts might finally shut it down. Once we all assembled in the hall, the administrator pushed a small door open and said, “Who wants to visit the dungeon?”

We were led down a narrow set of stone stairs. Taller students had to hunch down to avoid hitting their heads.  The corridor had a dampness about it. It was dark and I held the railing tightly to avoid falling. The stairs exited into a long rectangular room made of bricks. The floor was comprised of loose soil and rock and slightly gave way with each step. It moved with me and felt alive. The administrator informed us that the basement dungeon flooded often, so recently four feet of soil was added in an attempt to prevent the bricks from eroding. Leftover wrought iron O-rings stuck out from the bricks. The chains that were connected to them had been removed long ago.

The dungeon was cold and the air stood still, but it was not stagnant. I stood at the back of the group with my back towards the far wall while the administrator told us about the type of patients confined to the area. The room had held some of the most violent souls to inhabit the institution. Before effective anti-psychotic medicines and other forms of chemical restraints were available to tame the wicked, they were given a slop bucket and chained to the wall until their will was broken. Then they could be returned to the general population.

The group began to file back up the stairs. I took my first step forward. Something grabbed at my left shoulder and tried to pull me back into the wall. I looked behind me and saw nothing.  I hurried to blend in with the rest of my group. I was very confused and breathing quickly. I touched my shoulder on the stairway. Maybe water or part of the ceiling had fallen on me. We exited and stood in the back hall. I grabbed the sleeve of my scrubs expecting to see dirt or water or some physical explanation of the event. The only thing I saw was a pristinely creased white sleeve. The administrator asked if I was OK. I said it felt like something had tried to grab me. She said, “That happens sometimes. They don’t want to let you go.”

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Hello My Name is Barnabas Saturday, Aug 23 2014 

Hello My Name is Barnabas.

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 You made me and set me free into this world. I have been wandering the earth with two humans named Leanne and Tim for about a year now. We have all come to assume that I am a little vampire bear/bat. Although I can live in the sun, I spend most days in Leanne’s purse made of seatbelts.

I have learned from my travels that there is a lot of beauty in this world and I would like a soul mate to share it with.

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I was told you no longer make monsters and now spend most of your time crafting jewelry. I would like to throw myself upon your mercy and tell you about my search for a bride.

I talked to this one girl, but she wasn’t very cuddly.

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 So I continued to sleep alone.

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 I was very hopeful at one of the singles events I attended, but I found myself to be the odd bear/bat out.

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My loyal group of monster friends at our bungalow home had some suggestions.

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They thought online dating might be a good idea. I was briefly fascinated with this English girl and even paid for her to hop across the pond and join me for some shenanigans and generalized marauding.

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But she ended up having a substance abuse problem like a character in an Irvine Welsh novel.

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I still continue to haunt area bars and sometimes strike up a conversation.

But I have come to understand that I really might be one of a kind.

Thank you for reading my story and considering my request. As you might have noticed I always look toward the left. My ideal wife would gaze to the right so that we can always be making eyes at one another. It would also be nice if she was a happy color. I think I would like that.

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Yours,

Barnabas the Vampire Bear/Bat

The De-Flocking of the Flamingos Friday, Feb 14 2014 

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The De-Flocking of the Flamingos

By Cherry the Dive Bar Girl

 

The following is a completely true and accurate account of a theft that could rival the grandeur and audacity of the 1978 Lufthansa/JFK heist made famous by the movie “Goodfellas”.  The names have been changed to protect the guilty, as they are upstanding citizens and borderline pillars of the community.

 

Cast:

Poolboy—The Ring Leader

Dive Bar Girl—The Instigator

The Hubs—Dive Bar Girl’s Husband, The Voice of Reason

Flash—The Wheelman

Scarlett—The Babycake

The Cajun Asian—No Further Description Necessary

A Black Swan Named Natalie

 

Every South Louisianan has a moment where the upcoming Mardi Gras season becomes real.  It might be the first time they see king cakes in the store or hear “Big Chief” play on the radio. Dive Bar Girl gets a tingle down her spine and a tear in her eye when the flamingos come to roost on the LSU Lakes.

 

Every year about a week or two before Spanish Town Ball, the Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana flocks the lakes with more than 100 large plywood flamingos. These bright pink kitschy birds serve as the mascots of the parade and the SPLL Social Club.  Their presence has brightened many an I-10 commuter’s morning. Within 24 hours of landing, they have usually all been spirited away by well meaning kleptomaniacs.  They find new homes in front of Spanish Town bungalows, Garden District mansions and local businesses

 

Stealing these large fowl and transporting them home is a highly coordinated effort.  A boat and a truck are necessary materials and a shore team of cheerleaders and lookouts always helps. Dive Bar Girl has long lamented that she has never participated in this annual bender of thievery. This year she and her friend Poolboy resolved that they would no longer be flamingo virgins and a plan of epic proportions was hatched.

 

With a highly specialized team, two single kayaks and pickup truck lined up, the waiting game began until Dive Bar Girl collected some important reconnaissance during a night of drinking. The birds would be landing in the lake on Monday night. She texted Poolboy who immediately posted this top secret finding to Facebook.

 

A former Spanish Town queen chastised this endeavor.  She begged Poolboy to wait until morning so that all of Red Stick could garner a chance to see their feathered friends in their natural habitat, but he was a man on a mission.  His chivalry towards the city had left him without a trophy before.  He was not about to let it happen again.

 

Around 9 p.m., a text arrived detailing the rendezvous point.  Dive Bar Girl put on a dark hoodie and her shrimp boots.  The Hubs insisted on accompanying her.  He mentioned something about safety. They were the first to arrive at the lake.  It was a dark and stormy night—a night that would have made Bulwer-Lytton proud. The Hubs parked the car. They waited. The windows began to fog.  Brief mentions about making out in the front seat were made, but the parking brake was an adequate deterrent. The Hubs played a game on his iPhone and Dive Bar Girl watched YouTube videos that featured cute animals.

 

After about 15 minutes, Poolboy arrived with his posse in tow.  The site was surveyed and everyone agreed a small boat landing on the side of the lake would be the best place to set up a base camp.  Flash, Scarlett and The Cajun Asian offloaded the kayaks. Dive Bar Girl served as lookout.

 

Flash and Poolboy set out towards a stand of flamingos at the center of the lake.  Some wore top hats and bow ties.  Scarlett wanted a one of the formal wear-clad flamingos.  She asked The Hubs if he had ever seen one of the rare birds that sported Mardi Gras beads.  He shook his head and called her statement a thing of myth.

 

Dive Bar Girl was worried about Poolboy fighting the dark waters until she remembered that he had kayaked from Baton Rouge to New Orleans on the Mighty Mississippi. She watched from shore as he and Flash battled the gigantic birds of prey.  They pushed and pulled until the beast was freed and loaded onto the kayak.  Scarlett and Dive Bar Girl cheered while The Hubs and Cajun Asian helped drag the behemoth to shore.

 

As Flash and Poolboy continued to capture members of the flock, Dive Bar Girl saw a beautiful monster rise from the mist.  She was a mere outline amongst the others that reflected no light. She wondered if it was real. Did she really exist? A black flamingo. As Poolboy drug the last of the score to dry land, Dive Bar Girl said, “I think I might be crazy, but I saw a black bird out there.”

 

This was all the hero of the hour needed to hear.  He grabbed his paddle and began the pursuit hurdling into the fog alone. The crew loaded the truck as Dive Bar Girl and Scarlett watched Poolboy struggle.

 

A Range Rover full of college kids pulled alongside of the camp.  As they effortlessly hoisted a two person kayak from the truck roof, Flash remarked that the A-Team had arrived and signaled for Poolboy to return via text message.  The fog broke and The Hubs exclaimed, “He has it. He has it!”

 

The team helped their haggard warrior to shore.  There were hugs, back slapping and a mild amount of trash talking.  Poolboy held his trophy high and said, “It’s a black swan.  I name her Natalie.”

 

The Poolboy became The Poolman that day.  His legend will be passed down through the generations and an epic poem will be written about him.

 

The Spanish Town Ball will be held Saturday, February 16th.  The parade will roll through the streets of downtown on March 1st.

 

No real birds were harmed during this escapade.

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Beef Chili for the Super Bowl Friday, Feb 14 2014 

Dive Bar Girl

Beef Chili for the Super Bowl

Super Bowl is upon us and even though Dive Bar Girl has to work, she is going to make a big pot of chili for her fellow nurses at the hospital.  This recipe is easy and is always met with rave reviews.  Dive Bar Girl got the original recipe from an Emeril cookbook but she has fine tuned it over the years to make it even more awesome.  The secret is in the slow cooking.  

 

Beef Chili for the Lazy Foodie

Serves about 8-10 people

 

2 pounds of stew meat chopped into small cubes

2 cups chopped yellow onions

4-5 slices of smoked bacon chopped into small strips

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of cayenne

2 teaspoons of cumin

3 tablespoons of chili powder

2 teaspoons of oregano

1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 can dark red kidney beans

1 small can (approx 6oz) tomato paste

2 boxes (64n oz) beef stock (Some people substitute some of this with beer.)

 

In a big-ass sturdy pot that can go both on a stove and in the oven, brown stew meat, bacon and chopped onions on the stove for about 4-5 minutes. Add spices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and kidney beans.  Simmer for a while.  Pre-heat the oven to 200 to 250 degrees.  Add beef stock.  If you are going to be around to watch the chili, don’t add it all at once.  If you are going to sleep, throw it all in.  Place it in the oven and cook it all night until stew meat basically shreds.  It needs to cook at least 10-12 hours–the longer the better.  If you still have too much liquid, put chili back on the stove and finish it on a higher heat.  If it isn’t spicy enough, add Sriracha sauce to taste.

 

Serve with Fritos, sour cream, grated cheese and jalapenos.

 

Lava Cantina Thursday, Dec 5 2013 

Lava Cantina

10001 Perkins Rowe

http://lavacantina.com

 

DBG’s husband suggested they meet at Lava Cantina before watching the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who at Cinemark Perkins Rowe.  DBG’s husband is never allowed to pick the restaurant ever again.  Ever! Lava Cantina boasts an “original” rock and roll theme with cover bands five days a week. DBG can only presume the owners never bothered to visit a Hard Rock Café in the late 1980’s. It was a cold rainy Monday night. So it was no surprise that the bar was almost empty. While she waited for The Hubs, she was forced to watch an old Buckcherry video on one of the many television screens.  Buckcherry. Really.

 

DBG ordered some wine and a glass of water (Spoiler Alert: The H2O never materialized despite the fact that she asked for it three times.)  A small glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay was placed in front of her along with three separate menus to pursue the first of which was encased in an album cover sporting a bare-chested Peter Frampton.  She quickly opened the menu so the Raggedy Andy-man boy would stop leering at her with a disturbing “come-hither look” in his sunken puppy dog eyes. 

 

She was hungry so she ordered the guacamole that the restaurant boasted was made tableside.  The bartender gathered a few ingredients and mixed together a dusky green creation with out any pomp and circumstance. The result was a mushy cardboard tasting dip that set DBG back $9 and caused a small amount of resentment between herself and The Hubs.  DBG then made the decision to order a couple of happy hour tapas because they were only $4.95 and she wanted to waste as little money as possible. The Hubs got a margarita.  When asked to describe how it tasted he said, “Well…it is a margarita.”

 

The tapas arrived with out any silverware.  After multiple attempts to flag down the bartender, The Hubs just went over to the hostess station and grabbed some roll-ups.  The Chipotle Shrimp were so spicy and over salted DBG’s lips went completely numb.  Once again, a glass of water would have been nice.  Later she would return home and saturate her burned lips with Carmex in a vain attempt to heal them quickly. The Rebel Cheese Bites were tasty. So congratulations to Lava Cantina—they managed not to mess up fried cheese.  Next stop—Michelin star!

 

DBG and The Hubs decided to salvage the situation by ordering another round.  This became an act of Congress, as the bartender seemed to want to do anything but bartend.  They talked of many things and had a horrific realization that the band Kiss looks really disturbing in high definition.  They finally managed to wrangle the check from their sometimes bartender and went on to watch one of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever made.  The Hubs even cried a wee bit, but DBG found it endearing in its own little nerdy way. 

The Ruins of Regina Theater Wednesday, Sep 18 2013 

The Ruins of Regina Theater

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Not long ago I was at the library sifting through back issues of The Advocate from the late 1970’s looking for information on an infamous Baton Rouge urban legend and was confronted with a large advertisement for a pornographic film starring John Holmes entitled The Jade Pussycat at a place called the Regina Theater. A poorly drawn portrait of a smirking Holmes with an Asian woman on each arm and the caption “Think of the Possibilities” scrolled down the middle column rubbing elbows with advertisements for bowling and Putt Putt. 

 

I stood at the computer in shock.  I couldn’t believe the newspaper was routinely running racy content without an uproar from the self-appointed Baton Rouge morality police who routinely express outrage directed at everything from Sunday alcohol sales to same sex marriage.  I couldn’t help but think if this ad had run in The Advocate of today, the church elders at all of those non-denominational worship halls that look more like gymnasiums than cathedrals would be dragging out their soapboxes and saying things like, “Think of the children!”

 

However, it wasn’t the thought of Johnny Wadd, his x-rated exploits or the imagery of a seedy sticky theater floor that disturbed me. It was the mention of the venue—The Regina Theater.  Up until recently, I had never heard of the place, but over the past few weeks it kept inserting itself into my life, and for some reason I felt I needed to know a little more about it. 

 

The Regina Theater opened in 1942 on the corner of Plank Road and Seneca Street.  Most neighborhoods had a single screen theater that lured in patrons with promises of watching adventures in far away lands and much needed air conditioning.  James Dean stood 10 feet high in Giant. The Day the Earth Stood Still gave teenagers an excuse to hold hands. Saturday nights were date night and people dressed to impress. Eventually megaplex theaters stole the fire of the independent theaters and most closed or became adult theaters like the Regina did in 1969.

 

The Regina enjoyed its second life showing skin flicks until the late 1990’s when pornography on VHS and multiple raids on the establishment put an end to its sinful ways.  Up until recently, the now unrecognizable-whitewashed building sat boarded up in a neighborhood where a lawyer like Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman might have a satellite office.  Today when I drove by I saw a bulldozer pushing chunks of concrete across an otherwise empty slab.

 

So how did a business with a dishonorable reputation that faded into obscurity almost 15 years ago stumble back into the news and into the minds of many longtime Baton Rouge residents?  A burglar alarm and a recent arrest. Back in July, police responded to a burglar alarm at the business of 63-year-old Albert Genius.  A routine identity check revealed that Genius had outstanding warrants for obscenity and crimes against nature stemming from his 1997 arrest at The Regina.  It was one of those stories every news outlet in town felt compelled to cover.  I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bastard.  He was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it did give me the opportunity to conduct some interesting research and wonder how many people darkened the doors of The Regina to watch the cinematic classic Deep Throat.

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A Salute to Slinky’s Friday, Aug 30 2013 

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 A Salute to Slinky’s

144 West Chimes Street

Almost Twenty years ago Dive Bar Girl visited for the first time…

In the fall of 1994 while walking up Chimes Street towards the old Bayou, I heard Slinky’s before I even laid eyes on it.  The bartender was blaring Closer by Nine Inch Nails so loud it sent a tingle down my spine.  The door to the squat white building was left open, but I could only make out the shadow of the bar inside. Still there was an inviting glow about it. 

I had heard rumors that it was a watering hole for graduate students and minor members of the LSU faculty, which made it seem classy to my 18-year-old brain and it quickly became my dive of choice.  Early in the evening, I would sit in one of the wrap around booths and drink an electric blue concoction called “The Slink” out of a hurricane glass while making Saturday night plans with friends. Slinky’s was calmer than The Library.  No sweaty man-boys were trying to prove their worth on the foosball table, and Milwaukee’s Best served in large paper cups didn’t litter the tables.  All of Chimes Street was alive. It had a gritty, but electric vibe.  Bands played in The Bayou while a cast of characters who closely resembled the dipsomaniacal creatures in Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat smoked out front and kept the Elvis shrine company. Patrons proudly wrote poetry on bathroom walls before stumbling home to their dorms and apartments. 

Over the years, that ugly thing called progress reared its corporate head. (I knew it was the beginning of the end when I saw a sign for a Gap.) The Bayou burned and was replaced by a marginal pizza place. Gelato and coffee shops sprouted up.  Keeping with tradition, The Library continued to change names and owners over the years.  The Chimes and The Varsity still preside at the top of the hill, but for the most part developers have almost succeeded with their attempt to create a civilized whitewashed version of  “The Street.”

Thankfully, Slinky’s has remained untouched by this attempt at sterilization.  Pamela Sandoz has owned and bartended at Slinky’s since 1999.  There is a pool table now, an excellent beer selection and a jukebox that could rival Red Star’s.  When I visited, Pamela attempted to recreate “The Slink” for me while she and my husband recounted stories about a mutual friend, blue body paint, and a Halloween party at Kirby Smith dorm. 

Slinky’s might be the last of it’s kind near campus—a friendly dive with great people.  This is why I must give it the Sparkling Dive Bar Girl Gold Seal of Quality.  Stop by for a Bloody Mary before a home game or drop in during the Abita Fall Fest Pub Crawl on September 6th.  I can almost guarantee you will make a new friend and pass a good time. 

The Mystery of the Wild Mouse Roller Coaster Wednesday, Aug 21 2013 

1002499_10200921071368207_473207667_nThe Mystery of the Wild Mouse Roller Coaster

Exploring the Origins of a Baton Rouge Urban Legend

I was in 5th grade when I saw it for the first time.  It was the evening in the park. Colorful lights illuminated the rest of the rides and games, but it sat in the dark in the corner gradually being swallowed by weeds.  It was a large cube of grey metal that resembled a cage.  The faded words Wild Mouse marked the entryway.  My friend, Angie Rybolt walked up beside me and said, “You know it killed people.  That’s why they shut it down.”

The rumors surrounding the closure of the Wild Mouse Roller Coaster at Fun Fair Park in the late 1980’s were only rivaled only by the fantastic stories about satanic cults running wild at night on Hoo Shoo Too Road.  Over the next few years, I heard the Wild Mouse was responsible for multiple decapitations, the demise of its repairman, broken bones, and even the death of Fun Fair’s beloved mascot Candi the Chimpanzee.  All of these tales have proven to be false. With the exception of two girls who sustained minor injuries in the late 1970’s while riding the coaster together; there is no documentation to suggest the Mouse was a murderer of children and primates.

Franz Mack invented the Wild Mouse AKA Mad Mouse AKA Crazy Mouse type of roller coaster in the early 1960’s.  This small coaster was designed so that the cars were much wider than the tracks.  It made tight flat turns that gave the rider a feeling that they were hanging off the side of the track and created the illusion that the cars might plunge to their doom with every change of direction.  Amusement park operators liked Wild Mouse rides because they were economical and compact.  However as larger steel coasters came into vogue, the popularity of the Mouse declined and by the 1990’s they were almost extinct.

So how did the Wild Mouse go from a beloved childhood attraction to a death machine? The answer is a simple one—exaggeration. By the time, folks had spun a yarn about the two girls who sustained minor injuries; they had become headless ghosts who roamed the park. In 1985, a maintenance worker at a church fair in Baton Rouge was struck and killed by a rollercoaster he was installing, but this happened miles away from the site of the Mouse.  In the early 1980’s a boy was thrown from the Wild Mouse at Pontchartrain Beach in New Orleans. He fell 25 feet and suffered a head injury. These unrelated incidents all melted together and shaped the mythology of the lonely coaster at the back of the park.

In the end, the explanation behind the Mouse’s closure was quite simple: by the late 1980’s, it needed major repairs and the owners were contemplating moving the park.  They decided to temporarily shutter the doors to the Mouse, and in 1999, Fun Fair Park finally did close. Owner Sam Haynes moved Candi the Chimpanzee and many of the rides out to Highland Road and opened a new park called Dixie Landin’ by Blue Bayou Water Park. The family still has the Wild Mouse in storage and might refurbish it one day.  I hope they do.  Then I will finally be able to take that wobbly yet harrowing ride that fascinated me 25 years ago.

Details….

Blue Bayou Water Park & Dixie Landin’

http://www.bluebayou.com

Writer’s Note: While we can’t ride the Wild Mouse, there is a ride called the Wild Chipmunk in Lakeside Colorado.  Here is a link to the point of view video that showcases the coaster. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I34A7fLSYFg  

Daytrippin to the Northshore… Sunday, Jun 16 2013 

Daytrippin’ to the Northshore

DBG is painfully aware that she has not written anything for Cherry for a while. Between working a real adult job and her side gig at Country Roads, she’s plenty busy. But when an estate sale featuring vintage Tiki mugs popped up in Covington, it was time to take her Mini Cooper on a little jaunt down I-12.

 Everyone day trips to New Orleans, but Covington is only an hour away.  It’s a scenic little city with a small town feel. This pine tree filled wonderland offers an excellent escape from Red Stick.

Start the day at 2nd and Charles http://2ndandcharles.com, 401 Highway 90.  Someone created a chain that is nothing short of nerd paradise.  2nd and Charles sells gently used musical instruments, books, CDs, vinyl, video games and game consoles.  They also sell new stuff.  And get this—you can trade.  Just bring your gently used items and place them in a bin. 2nd and Charles will appraise them and offer you cash or store credit.  Then shop, shop, shop!  They have a huge selection and it is all impeccably organized. Check out their $4 vinyl selection!

Next head downtown. There are plenty of shops, pubs and galleries.  Be sure to duck into H.J. Smith & Sons General Store at 308 North Columbia. This old-fashioned general store sells everything from army surplus to cast iron pots.  They also have a free museum that features all kinds of relics, from a cast iron casket to a petrified rat. Next cross the street and hit Mo’s Art Supply.  This independent store has anything an artist could want.  It reminded DBG of Lee’s Art Shop in NYC — which is the highest of praise.

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Then go eat lunch at Bear’s Restaurant at 128 W 21st.  They just might make the best roast beef poboy in the world, although the shrimp poboy is nothing to scoff at.  Forgo the fries and treat yourself to their famous potato salad.

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Next head over to Mandeville for a couple of pints at The Barley Oak. http://www.thebarleyoak.com, 2101 Lakeshore Drive. Sit on the front deck and watch the sailboats float on Lake Pontchartrain while you enjoy one of their 50 beers on tap.  Order a German sausage platter and try to keep count of the cars crossing the Causeway.

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PS—Three Tiki mugs were purchased.  One hailed from the old Huki Lau in Metairie, but the real prize was the one from the Luau Hut in Silver Spring, MD.

One Drink: The Cane and Able at Olive or Twist Wednesday, May 29 2013 

 

Cane and Able cocktail

 

Scott Gremillion and Joshua Duke, the owners of Olive or Twist, wanted an original recipe that incorporated rye and Steen’s Cane Syrup for the menu of their popular Perkins Road craft cocktail lounge, but they knew it had to be perfection. After much trial and error, a triumph of biblical proportions was achieved and given the fitting name of The Cane and Able.

Rittenhouse Rye, ginger liqueur, Steen’s, lemon juice and Old-Fashioned Bitters are combined to form a cocktail that is a true love letter to rye drinkers. The lemon, ginger and bitters give it just the right amount of flavor while the Steen’s keeps the tartness in check. The result is a cocktail that sips smooth and easy all the way down.

Olive or Twist
7248 Perkins Road
225-772-2218

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