Saturday, May 03, 2008

South to Jazzfest

There was no commitment to post from the road. In fact, one was already drafted to fill in this ten day period where being in front of a computer ranks low on the priority pile. Surely soon enough another opportunity will arise for that pre-prepared post---about ceviche in the U.S. during the late 60's---to come in handy.

But alas, the rain is pouring down this Saturday morning in New Orleans, and the gates for Jazzfest don't open for another hour. The rain was worse here last weekend for the first weekend of Jazzfest, and I feel fortunate for having picked the second. It's been great so far, just no time since arriving to sort out what to post, so this will be about the drive down.

First day covered the interstates through West Virginia and into Kentucky, ending up in Lexington. Travel such a route, and at every exit, the preponderance of fatty high cholesterol junk food relative to anything reasonable could be difficult to surpass anywhere on earth. I'm certain that interesting edibles lurked somewhere not to far from me, but for the earlier stages of this run, the salads offered by McDonald's and an occasional cheeseburger would have to suffice.

Farther along and well past that stretch on the Interstates, it was great to spot a boiled peanuts stand along Route 52 in the mountains of Northern Georgia, at least until determining it was dormant. Fortunately the goobers were boiling away at another pulloff just a few miles down the road. I love boiled peanuts and am unable to understand why their popularity hasn't spread beyond the South. Even more surprising is no boiled peanuts are amidst what to my palate is "the greatest fast food emporium in the United States" at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. So much food there, yet boiled peanuts are so popular just a little farther north in Louisiana. Boiled peanuts are healthy and good for you. They lend themselves to canning. If I were ever to return to the specialty food business, they might be my best shot for making money. It'd cost me less than 50 cents a can to have them packed. Properly packaged for selected markets, who's to say they wouldn't bring $3 a can on the shelves?

When pulling off for the night Birmingham, Alabama. I knew that the Highlands Bar and Grill was fancy and figured that adding a linen sport jacket to my clean T shirt and new jeans ensemble would be appropriate. Upon approaching, however, I thought better and returned across the street to my room in the Highlands Hotel to put on a shirt with a collar and trousers. The scene spelled high society as much as any restaurant where I'd be inclined to stop while passing hurriedly through the South. Tuesday night, the place was totally packed and buzzing. I gained admission through the bar and found a seat. Never was I in a town where a single hot spot had to be so obviously and totally dominant. In Baltimore, you'd never find a situation like this on Tuesday night. In my opinion, we're too big a city with too many choices. Follow my link to the Highlands website for further description.

It's time now to head on up to Jazzfest. The weather looks like it's about to clear---sooner than expected. Don't know when I'll next pull out the laptop. Lack of material wont be a problem.