Monday, 21 April, 2003

New Orleans

We drove to New Orleans this morning to spend the day in the French Quarter.  I don't really know what I was expecting (the only other time I'd been there was during Mardi Gras back in 1992), but I was faintly disappointed.  I had hoped to see the cathedral, but it apparently isn't open except for services and scheduled tours.  Jackson Square was pretty enough, and wandering around the French market was amusing for a while.  We took a horse-drawn carriage ride tour of the Quarter and then had a late lunch on the patio while listening to some live music.  It was a relaxing day except for all the walking.  I parked almost a mile away because I didn't think I'd get a spot closer.  The French Quarter is a pretty dull place during the day when no major festival is happening.

Misuse of the language has been bugging me recently, mostly because the people here in Louisiana seem to quite adept at it.  For example, I lost count of the number of misplaced apostrophes in "its" and in plurals on permanent signs or advertisements.  But the thing that really puzzled me was a sign in the Crescent City Brewery (a restaurant that brews its own beer) that read "Beer only at bar."  That could be interpreted to mean "The only place you can get beer is at the bar," or "The only thing you can get at the bar is beer."  My understanding of the rules of usage would favor the latter meaning.  I chewed on that one for a bit before I asked the hostess what it meant.  Sure enough, they meant the former.  That was disappointing because I had hoped to sit in the restaurant and sample their beers along with lunch.

We enjoyed ourselves, though, walking around hand-in-hand like a couple of newlyweds, fussing over Tasha the poodle and laughing at the trinkets and baubles that people buy in the market.  Do people actually buy those tacky souvenirs for themselves?