Sunday, 12 June 2011

Tomatoes, Zydeco and Boudreaux

Every once in a while you have a “New Orleans” day where you can’t believe half the stuff that goes on—it is just too surreal…

Today, there was a trifecta of festivals in the Quarter: The Creole Tomato Festival, The Zydeco Music Festival and The Louisiana Seafood Festival. I headed down to Decateur Street to walk in the French Market and check out the Creole tomatoes; then I made my way to the Old US Mint where the Zydeco festival was held. I listened to the band that was playing, snapped some photos, swayed to the music etc. When I turned to walk to another part of the festival, a middle-aged man in a straw hat and a tie-dye t-shirt said to me (in a slight Cajun accent), “I like your flower power shirt! Boudreaux, I’m Boudreaux.” I smiled, and introduced myself to Boudreaux. The conversation started out like many of my conversations do: I chatted about my research. Then, Boudreaux shared his opinion of the best places to eat in New Orleans, suggesting places I need to eat: Brigsten’s, Susan Spicer’s place, La Provence, Commander’s Palace etc.

Today I ended up meeting, chatting and dancing with a whole slew of people that were in one way or another connected to Boudreaux. Apparently, the Zydeco festival scene has fostered a tight knit community. I met people from Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi etc. I ended up spending a good 5 hours at the festival, loving the music, enjoying the conversation, and learning to Cajun two-step. All the while, Mr. Boudreaux entertained everyone around him whether they were friend, kin or stranger. It was certainly an experience to get to know one of those New Orleans “personalities."

Here is a photo of Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners:

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