Jazz and Business Consulting

Fall is officially here, and with it cooler mornings and lower humidity levels. I’m looking forward to a colorful fall in the east. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

I worked in New Orleans, LA the first four days of the week. There was no shortage of things to see and do, especially since my hotel was on Bourbon St., the main drag in the French Quarter. I managed to get in a few runs in evenings and mornings. The city could be a spectacular place for running if the scattered river walks would be connected. The Mississippi curves through the city but much of the shoreline is untrailed and fenced from the public behind rundown warehouses. As it was, I ran as much of the river as I could, and stuck to the well-traveled streets because the neighborhoods quickly deteriorate when leaving the business/party district.

Below are some pictures I took with my phone during an early morning run along the river and through the French Quarter.

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Breakfast every morning, from Café Du Monde, consisted of beignets (pronounced ben-yays) and café au lait (coffee with hot milk and chicory). Yes, they were deep-fried, and nearly buried under a mountain of powered sugar. Yes, they were good. In fact, all the food I had was exceptional, and there was no shortage of restaurants to try. I feasted all week on seafood, from crabs to oysters to gulf shrimp and redfish. Running four miles daily barely made a dent in my caloric payload. I went 24 hours without eating or getting hungry when I came home.

New Orleans is happy. Many people in D.C. won’t even speak when spoken to—in elevators they stand silent and won’t respond to a “good morning” or “hello,” much less go so far as to comment on the weather. It was refreshing to meet friendly people at every turn.

At night, Bourbon St. was alive with all manner of activity. Night runs along the river were peaceful with only the sounds of occasional fog horns and a far-off saxophone. There were jazz bands everywhere, which I enjoyed immensely.

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Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin’ trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?
Don’t you know me I’m your native son,
I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.
Dealin’ card games with the old men in the club car.
Penny a point ain’t no one keepin’ score.
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels rumblin’ ‘neath the floor.
And the sons of pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father’s magic carpets made of steel.
Mothers with their babes asleep,
Are rockin’ to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.
~Willie Nelson

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