New Orleans Diary: Week Three

16 Dec

Goal: To keep a weekly, running diary of my time here in New Orleans. I have hopes that this will sometimes cover some serious topics but so far I mostly have been talking about driving and plastic bags. That should change any week now, maybe even this one! You can read Week One and Week Two if you want to know all about it.

The Ferry: For the first almost two weeks that I was here I stayed with my super awesome, sparkly, magical friend Carie at her great spot in Algiers Point. As previously noted, I have a car, something that makes getting around a city with rather limited public transportation significantly easier. Especially considering that in order to get into the New Orleans you guys think about when you think about New Orleans you either have to drive or take the Ferry from Algiers Point to Canal Street just on the other side of the river. The ferry ride itself is rather nice. It’s like the Staten Island Ferry’s much smaller, somewhat lazier sister. It’s not lazier because it only runs twice an hour from each side of the river for most of the day. It’s lazier because sometimes it just doesn’t run. At all. For no real reason. So the other day I was driving back from the city, listening to the radio, when I heard an announcement that the ferry wasn’t running.

Oh no!

I thought.

Carie is at work on the other side and she doesn’t have a car. How will she get home? I had better go pick her up so she doesn’t spend a bunch of money getting back to the house!

So that’s what I did. No big shakes. But then the next day I decided that I wanted to go into the city and I didn’t feel like having my car. I wanted to just, you know, go there, wander around, drink too much Southern Pecan Iced Coffee from PJ’s and then make my way back home, twitchy from the caffeine overload but pleased that I didn’t have to drive. So I laced up my big girl boots and sashayed my way over to the ferry landing where I was stopped by a few men in bright orange vests who appeared to be in the middle of eating lunch.

Orange Vested Guy: Ma’am, the ferry isn’t running today.

Me, after I got over being called ma’am and feeling like an old fart: Oh, I see. How come?

Orange Vested Guy: Because the captain is sick.

Me: You just have the one?

Orange Vested Guy: Mhmm.

He went back to eating his lunch. I suspected he was lying to me but with no proof I sadly turned around and meandered back to the house, this time with considerably less pep to my step. Was the captain really sick? Do they really have only one captain? And was it possible that the captain was, in fact, among the orange vested men sitting there eating lunch but his lunch was just so good that he couldn’t be bothered to drive the boat 5 minutes across to the other side of the river?  So many questions. So few answers.

But that’s not all! There is another thing about the ferry that maybe, maybe explains the first thing. So the ferry costs $2 a ride. There is no discount if you live in Algiers like how there is if you live in Staten Island and have to take the Verrazano; there is no card like there is for the subway in New York; there is no ticket counter. You simply go to the ferry and drop your $2 in this big plastic container thing and someone in a bright orange vest sits there purportedly supervising the transaction. The thing is though that you have to have exact change because the orange vested person doesn’t have access to the money inside the plastic container so if you give them, say $5, you just overpaid by $3. But they also never count the money before you drop it in. It’s all on the honor system. So, theoretically, if you were a dishonorable person you could just drop a whole handful of nickels in the container that only amount to like 95 cents and no one would be the wiser. So maybe too many dishonorable people underpaid for their ride and the captain got miffed and decided to not come to work. Or decided to come to work but instead of working eat his lunch. Although I heard that the ferry operators make a fair bit of money so perhaps this logic is flawed. I will research this and get back to you.

Apartment (!!): I was really anxious about finding an apartment because I grew up in the North East and spent the last 12 years living in Brooklyn. Apartment hunting there, like basically anything else in NYC, has some element of cut throat involved. First of all, you basically have to promise your first born to whoever the fuck is renting the apartment out in order to secure it. Second, you have to give them all this information and practically a million dollars. And third, you basically end up living in a closet somewhere in a neighborhood no one has ever heard of but is maybe going to be “cool” AKA gentrified in the next 5 years at which point your closet will be too expensive and you have to move again. Not so here! I looked at 3 apartments and all the home owners were like

LIVE HERE

And I got to be picky about it and ended up getting a fully furnished apartment with a washer/dryer and a private yard in a great location.It’s basically a nothing walk from everything (nod to Jessy Caron for highlighting that little speech nugget). It’s so big I got lost in it the first day even though it is a railroad apartment, or a shotgun in New Orleans parlance. I discovered after speaking with some other people that it is easier as a single woman to find an apartment. I imagine there are some other factors at play here too but I don’t know enough about racial relations in this city to feel comfortable weighing in on all that. And so I will just say, phew, what a relief. And also, hey, does anyone need a kind of awesome room in Brooklyn? Because mine is going to be available January 1st. No promising of unborn children required. The neighborhood is actually cool and not only is the room bigger than a closet, it has a rather sizeable one all for you. I’m pretty sure I even left a bunch of hangers in there. Message me for details.

Job Interview: I had a job interview at an about-to-open restaurant. I knew when I agreed to go to the interview that it was a mistake. I have been on the opening staff of a few restaurants in my day and it always is a fiasco. Too much staff, not enough money, lots and lots of micromanaging. But whatever, I need a job so I went in and tried to have a good attitude about it. The third question the interviewer asked me was what my ethnicity was. Needless to say I turned down the job. (I will write a stand alone blog about this later, me thinks. Once I assess whether or not writing about it is wise or unwise given my need for a job. Speaking of, does anyone want to pay me?)

Bags: I discovered that you can, in fact, get paper bags here. Granted you still end up with A LOT of bags, but not nearly as many bags as you would if you were to opt for plastic. This further strengthens my theory that it is not that people here love bags, like I at first assumed, but instead that there is a general mistrust for the strength of plastic bags and so baggers here just put one item per bag for safety purposes. Paper bags, in comparison, seem to have more heft to them. They are the safer bet. And easier to recycle, it seems. So that might just be that. And this might be my last installment about bags. Maybe.

Conclusion: Some other things happened this week also but I fear that I spent too much of my real estate this post talking about the ferry and I might have lost some of you. But in case you were curious about some of the other things, they were fun! I went to AcroCats, something I highly recommend. Also, the Abita Mystery House, the Abita Brewery, Fountainebleu State Park that has some pretty baller trees, and I ate Tachos, something that I will be working to undo for the next month. If you care to know anything more about any of these events, please leave requests in the comments and I will be more than happy to expand upon them in my New Orleans Diary: Week Four post. Until then (and maybe sometime in between when I write about something of potentially political substance) I bid you adieu.

One Response to “New Orleans Diary: Week Three”

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  1. New Orleans Diary: Week Six | franklyrebekah - January 6, 2017

    […] observations. Catch up on the earlier diaries here if you are so inclined! Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week […]

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