Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tujague's Bayou

Tujague's--the old Creole place on Decatur Street. Two-Jacks, is how they said it, no hesitation. But that was twenty years ago--New Orleans as she was, family-style, impossibly ample, all one menu, prix fix... Not far beyond, the mighty river, 300 feet deep here at the widest bend, with blunt-nosed tugs pushing up and down stream... The season was winter, an icy wind through Jackson Square, inviting lights of Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop--the ancient dame at her piano, visitors and friends gathered around, atmosphere of old songs... Beyond, the still brown gray waters, motionless, cypress swamps with limbs exposed, raw boards outside some shack--nutria hides stretched over the gray wood, nailed around the edges to cure and dry... Jack Smith includes them--Saut Crapaud by Columbus Fruge, The Acadian One-Step by Joseph Falcon, Home Sweet Home by Breaux Freres... Taste of something locale, something pungent, something old...

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