Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Left At Hebert's

Quiet day all day. The steak was awesome. We have a specialty meat market here, Hebert (pronounced a bear) Meat Market. Steaks are fresh and seasoned and thick for the grill.

When I first moved here the names I never got right when I was trying to pronounce them. I would have patients at the hospital that only spoke French. I did learn a few phrases but it was difficult to assess them and to comply with their wishes.

A hardware store on the corner is named David's Hardware. I was in the store and buying something and I wrote the check and was checking to make sure I had the right name on it. I asked the clerk who to write the check to. She replied Da veeds. I tore up the check and rewrote it asking her to spell it. She spelled "David". " Uh huh ", I said making a mental note to remember where I was.

I was transferred to this state years and years ago before moving to my current location; to a little town named Gonzales, about 20 miles west of New Orleans. At that time the only place you could get "American coffee" was at the Burger King. All the eateries sold chicory coffee which takes some getting used to. At that time I could walk into any restaurant and hear only French being spoken. Today it is much different. The older folks speak French but the younger ones were never taught. Some can understand it but few can speak it. A shame really.

Every year we have Festival Acadian. The residents of our sister city in Canada arrive here for the celebration. Beignets and banana fosters and lots of music are served all around the city. I think during the summer there is a festival every weekend in one of the small surrounding towns. The Frog Festival in Rayne, The Rice Festival in New Iberia where they have a gumbo cookoff and that is only naming a few.

I'm not much on most of the festivals. The food is great although expensive. I don't like any of the carnival places. I won't go on the rides. I have this mental picture of all the carnies having one big smoke fest, toking it up, while setting up the rides and I'm always wondering if they got ALL the bolts tight before they flick that switch that sends you whirling out above the crowds and to the heavens; figuratively I hope.

My favorite is Festival International. Bands from all over the world arrive and the downtown is closed off for the party. About the time all the college students go home and the traffic lessens the festivals start and the town is again cramped with all the tourists.

As soon as summer heat lessens, Downtown Alive starts. Another event I'll attend. The downtown is closed to traffic and bandstands are set up in the streets for the bands that play on Friday evenings. Families attend with their children and everybody is drinking beer and dancing in the streets. The children, from the time they can walk are dancing with Mom and Dad. A fais- do- do the natives call it. A party where the parents take their children and when the children tire, they are put to bed or "made to go do do(sleep)" while the parents party.

This is the only place I have ever lived where there are drive through Daiquiri places. My auto insurance tripled when I moved here. I called my insurance company to complain thinking they had made a mistake.
"No, no mistake. This town has the highest rate of drunk drivers in the nation" I was told. Maybe the Daiquiri places, the weekly festivals and the second largest Mardi Gras in the nation have something to do with that. Along with the great amount of beverages consumed here, the food is really noteworthy. Gumbos, rice dressing, and rice and gravy, the po-boys and the seafood can't be beat. I never thought about a shrimp po-boy or a oyster po-boy till I moved here. The shrimp is fresh and straight out of the Gulf. During the summer pickup trucks with coolers can be seen in the neighborhood. Shrimp is sold door to door for 2.49 a lb with the heads on. You dehead and devein them yourself. They are sold in different sizes. The small ones for the gumbos and the large ones for shrimp stew and frying. I

haven't ate frozen seafood since I moved here. Pics above are of the best place in town for Po-Boys.

Grant Street Dance Hall is another favorite spot for the locals. Bands in their infancy would play this out of the way place. After making it BIG, they often return here while on a world tour to play this house. Tickets are cheap,(15.00) one night only and standing room only and not much of that. The once rickety porch is crowded and the music can be heard clearly from your standing spot in the lot surrounding the building. This is a picture after they updated it a bit. We go early to get a spot inside.

Now I'm wondering how this blog got here. Where did I take that turn that led me here. It must have been that left at Hebert's. On that note, I'm off here and to bed.

1 comment:

  1. Howdy neighbor! I'm in Baton Rouge. Thanks for following my blog, and I'm doing the same on yours. Have a great Sunday. :)
    PS I don't ride the carnival or amusement park rides either!


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