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Showing posts from April, 2014

Tony's Seafood Market

Now the seafood market is a different story. The one Mark likes is called Tony's, it's in North Baton Rouge, and it's more upscale than our little tiny local one in Port Allen. North Baton Rouge has a bad reputation for being the city's ghetto. A lot of poverty and gang related violence exists there, and it is one of the more interesting parts of town. From hand-painted shop signs -"Same day car wash, shiney as a diamond"-, to threatening graffitti on concrete walls - "ShawnRee Daquan Williams is a Dead WHORE"-, to gas stations offering things like "hot tamales" and "crawfish pies" for a couple of bucks, it is like a whole part of town is wearing its heart on its sleeve, and ticking to the sounds of a different clock altogether.

[An alien such as myself can only imagine the codes, modes and rules governing a place like this, and no matter how hard I try I will always and forever be on the periphery of its experience. That's w…

The Daiquiri Shop

I have noticed that perhaps the places where one can most genuinely interact in a real way with their neighbours around here are: the bar, the market, the sex shop. 
They are all places where people are united by their need to satisfy the same thing, and so there is a strange sense of camaraderie and understanding I have not sensed in other places in this town. 
I mean, I've been to church, and I enjoy the music and the pep-talks, and people are very friendly in church, but it's not really a place to stick around and chit chat about life and stuff. People in church are busy catering to their souls, re-counting the sins of the week, taking in the spiritual experience, looking around to see who is there and who isn't, judging this week's selection of songs and whether they were sung well. People are not especially looking to talk to a stranger, and besides, the pastor makes sure to extend a warm welcome to visitors, so the congregation is covered. At service, each perso…

One of the great things about living in the South...

...is that you get to listen to music like this live every Sunday. Isn't it enough to make a non-believer sing about God? Yea, it's so beautiful. But even if you don't go to church, this wonderful music finds you everywhere. Last Sunday, I found myself at Mrs. N's house, watching her make an arrangement out of flowers, while gospel was blurting out the radio, and the house was filled with the beautiful smell of different things being fried or boiled on the gas stove. Her son was cooking and singing along in a kitchen full of steam and gospel ("Joy, joy, God's great joy!") while her husband was laid back on the couch, cigarette hanging from his lips as usual, and I could swear that through the smoke and the steam and the flower musk I saw the beans in the pot dancing, and the frying eggs shivering in Lord's praise. Even Chance the crazy little barking dog ("we found 'im in a pound and we took a chance on 'im"), that has to be tied on…