Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The French Market Inn, French Quarter, New Orleans

I knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want a room that could be anywhere, Seattle, Pensacola, Missoula, El Paso. I wanted it to feel like New Orleans, and I wanted tall ceilings and I didn’t want it to cost an arm and a leg. I didn’t want it to be stuffy. I looked and looked, and then I found it, The French Market Inn, on Decatur, in the middle of everything.

Some reviews said it could be a little noisy, but hey, it’s after Christmas, low season, not yet Mardi Gras. There was a great online special. We took a chance.

Immediately, there is one negative; there is no parking. You can pay extra for valet parking, which we did. There may be some places where you don’t pay extra to park in New Orleans, but I don’t know them.

We loved it the minute we walked in. We had talked with the receptionist earlier, and she remembered us. Check in was a breeze. We had to walk through a winding courtyard to get to our room, then up an elevator, but oh WOW.

I kept telling AdventureMan “I love this room! I love this room!” It is not often a room exceeds my expectations, but this room delighted my heart:

 

P1110746

 

P1110786

 

Up those two stairs and out the door, we have this huge terrace which we share with the room next door. We each have our own table and chairs, and a view of the river and Decatur street in each direction. We also look directly over some kind of party central, where the New Year’s Eve Parade will pass, and the big pre-Sugar Bowl party will be held. They are setting up now; bands are practicing, it is ear-splitting, but we are assured all the noise will stop at eight p.m.

P1110750

 

As dusk fall, the Steamboat Natchez gives us a calliope concert. We sit out on our deck and listen, and watch the crews for the bands setting up and playing with the sound and light displays:

Natchez

 

PartyReadying

 

Promptly at eight, the bands all stop. Our room is quiet . . .most of the time. About once an hour, a very very loud car comes by with its booming bass beat and some wanna-be rapper going on down the road. A couple times during the night, emergency vehicles come by. At 3:30 I see odd lights on our wall, and as I peer out the curtains, I see the crews still at work on the stage lights, and they are pulsing colors and bright lights. We have great black out curtains, I close them tightly and snooze away 🙂

The room is gorgeous. The hotel has a fabulous location, close to everywhere. It wasn’t very noisy, but next time, same hotel, and a courtyard room. We had a lot of fun with our balcony, but once was enough and next time we will opt for one of the interior rooms, hoping it is a little more quiet.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 4.11.00 PM

January 2, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, Hotels, Living Conditions, Mardi Gras, Music, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Danny Lyon Handbell Concert November 23rd at 4:00

Pensacola has the most amazing breadth and depth of talent, and so many things to do. One of my DO NO MISS events is any concert with Danny Lyon and his handbell ringers.

Danny is so knowledgeable that people come from miles around, from other states, to learn his techniques. He is a patient trainer, and his teaching pays off; he has a steady stream of handbell acolytes with a greater and greater scope of knowledge. His concerts are a WOW.

Screen shot 2014-11-10 at 4.35.46 PM

From the Christ Church bulletin:

The many aspects of the art of handbell ringing
Pensacola’s own Danny Lyons, with his increasingly (and
internationally) wide reputation for artistry and innovation in the art
of solo handbell ringing, is joined by The Bellissimo Handbell
Quartet, of which he is a part; and The Christ Church Ringers, this
parish’s handbell band, of which he is the director. Suggested
donation: $10.

P1080458

November 10, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cultural, Music | Leave a comment

Crime to be “Happy” in Teheran?

From today’s Kuwait Times:

 

TEHRAN: The arrest of six Iranian youths for dancing to US singer Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” in a video that went viral highlights the rift between conservatives and youths fascinated by the West. Recorded on a smartphone and uploaded multiple times on YouTube, the clip shows three girls dancing and singing along to the song in a room, on rooftops and in secluded alleys with three young men. For the youths, the homemade video now watched one million times was merely an “excuse to be happy”, but for the Iranian authorities it was “vulgar” breach of the Islamic republic’s values. Originally posted online in April, the clip gradually spread online before it led to the arrest of the dancers and their director on Tuesday for having “hurt” the country’s strict moral codes, according to Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia.

The youths appeared on state television repenting for appearing in the clip, after the girls failed to properly observe hijab, a series of rules that oblige women in Iran to cover their hair and much of their body when outside.

Their arrest sparked international fury and criticism in the media and online, with many Iranians expressing shock and some observers questioning whether it was a “crime to be happy in Iran”. Supporting the young Iranians, Williams himself chimed in and hit out at their treatment, saying on Twitter and Facebook: “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.” Reports emerged Wednesday night that the dancers were released on bail, with one of the arrested girls, Tehranbased fashion photographer Reihane Taravati, saying on Instagram: “Hi I’m back.” The arrests came after President Hassan Rouhani-a selfdeclared moderate who claims to be for more social freedomsreiterated in a weekend speech his calls for a relaxation of Internet censorship. Rouhani’s statements have irked the conservatives, who have long imposed limitations on the Internet, blocking millions of websites particularly social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube. — AFP

 

May 23, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Civility, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Experiment, Faith, Family Issues, Humor, Iran, Living Conditions, Movie, Music, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

Happy Heidelberg

My high school stomping grounds; this video makes my heart flutter seeing all those wonderful sights with wonderful memories:

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Germany, Music | , | 1 Comment

Ladysmith Black Mombazo Live in Niceville

My co-Mother-in-Law leaned over and said “I don’t think they could have done this twenty-five years ago.”

I think she’s right. Northwest Florida is still one of the most conservative societies in America, and yet, in spite of all probabilities, we are in the Mattie Kelly Cultural Center, in Niceville, Florida, surrounded by a HUGE and enthusiastic audience, all of whom have shelled out big bucks to hear this talented group out of South Africa.

00LadysmithBlackMombaza

As soon as we saw the initial ads, AdventureMan marked his calendar, so we could call the very first day tickets were available. I don’t really believe in bucket lists, but I do believe in grabbing an opportunity when it presents itself; we have loved the sounds of Ladysmith Black Mombazo forever.

Last night was a thrill. I was astonished at how wildly enthusiastic the audience was; it was a mix of all walks of the population, academics, retired folk, groups of school children, and . . . fans. Wildly enthusiastic fans. A group knows when it is treasured, and it feeds on the positive response. Ladysmith Black Mombazo thrilled our hearts.

Here is one of my favorites, expecially the introduction:

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Africa, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Music | , | Leave a comment

John and Charles Wesley, Anglicans

“That’s not the REAL hymn” AdventureMan often says on a Sunday as we are singing. He grew up Methodist, and while the Anglican churches overseas often have tunes to hymns that differ from the American tunes, AdventureMan has a staunch loyalty to the Methodist hymns. His loyalty is so strong that he thinks they ARE Methodist hymns.

Sorry, AdventureMan. The breakaway sect that became the Methodist Church in America started under their influence, but the Wesley brothers remained Anglicans.

The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers John and Charles Wesley, Priests, 1791, 1788.

John and Charles were raised together at the rectory in Epworth. They studied at Oxford, and together they were ordained into the ministry of the Church of England. Together they journeyed to America and served there as missionaries in Georgia for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Together they led the great evangelical revival of the eighteenth century.
This movement attempted to foster among Christians a strong personal commitment to Jesus. Its leaders, such as John and Charles, preached and sang in the open fields, on street corners, and in the market places. They actively opposed slavery and drunkenness. John was the more impressive preacher, Charles the musician. (The Hymnal 1982 contains twenty-three of Charles’s hymns.)

The Evangelical Movement led to the formation of several religious societies. The most famous of these was the “Methodist” Society, so-called for its strict and methodical practices. Some of these societies, especially in America, separated from the English Church. John and Charles Wesley, however, did not forsake the Church of England. Their feast day would seem an appropriate time to recommit ourselves to the spread of Christ’s kingdom among all classes of people.

Lord Christ, make us ready to journey forth into the world to do your work and to praise your Name, and all for your glory. Amen.

Lord God, you inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: Kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

March 3, 2014 Posted by | Biography, Faith, Music | 3 Comments

USAF Band Flash Mob at National Air and Space Museum

Once again, Hayfa, you have found a total winner. Wonderful music, wonderful surprise for the museum visitors 🙂

 

December 12, 2013 Posted by | Advent, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Christmas, Community, Cultural, Entertainment, Music | Leave a comment

Piano Guys and Angels We Have Heard On High

I love this! These guys are having such a great time and are SO creative!

December 5, 2013 Posted by | Christmas, Friends & Friendship, Music | 2 Comments

Pentatonix A Capella: Little Drummer Boy

Wow. Just Wow.

November 28, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Christmas, Music | 2 Comments

Harlem Shake, Qatar Style :-)

Loved seeing this from ILoveQatar:

March 21, 2013 Posted by | Events, Humor, Music, Qatar | 4 Comments