|This is, of course, the famous bronze statue|
named "The Tourist And The Two Street Musicians"
Last night, I pondered getting on the train for Mobile and returning to that city no richer, except for a couple of tee shirts and some hygene stuff.
I was on the Riverwalk. There were few souls milling about. Most of them had coolers full of "ice cold water" for sale for a dollar.
I was thinking of playing, having found in the past that this pays dividends, even when it looks like it couldn't possibly.
The tourists in the city of New Orleans have learned to Ignore.
I have passed hundreds of people, as I walked the entire French Quarter, seeking an ideal spot to set up and play. The typical individual walks with his eyes straight ahead and a "I don't even see you" expression on his/her face.
There are beggars everywhere.
People must feel that "everyone is trying to hustle you out of your money," which is a very unfortunate dynamic. The money has been miniscule for the musicians, while the panhandlers have been out"earning" us, by imposing themselves upon anything that walks on two legs and is not wearing a police uniform, with their incessant begging.
There was one (obviously drunk) guy spewing "Do you have some change, so I can get something to eat," to passersby. He went to "work" on this right after he returned from the evening meal which had been fed at one of the missions, where I saw him eating.
|Canal Street, near where I have performed|
I walked around the perimeter of the quarter. Every head that I saw faced forward, eyes straigt ahead with varying degrees of discomfort evinced by their facial expressions. About one in a hundred even made eye contact. Have these "world travellers" decided that having nothing at all to do with the locals is the best policy?
I didn't make any money at all last night and, frankly, only put a half-hearted effort into it. If I could read the minds of most of the tourists who were walking Royal Street last night, I would say they were thinking "He's distracted with his music right now, let's hurry on by; and remember; don't talk to anyone, unless of course they look like us then; smile."
I was, as I said, contemplating taking the train back to Mobile; penniless and wearing the same shorts that I had on when I left, though with a new tee shirt.
People are saying that it is "slow" now, but will pick up.
Missionaries Give Me Stuff
I was staring out at the sea, wondering how I was going to face the sea of scowling faces back in the Quarter when a couple guys came along pushing a cooler and said that they had "ice cold water." I told them that I hadn't even made a dollar to buy any "ice cold water."
They weren't selling it, though. They were handing it out to the poor, along with hamburgers and chips. I drank a lot of ice cold water and ate a hamburger. They gave me a ziplock bag with hygiene stuff in it and then prayed that I would make money playing music and that my mind and heart would be transformed for the better, also.
I don't know if it worked, because my sleeping spot was found to be destroyed, when I got to it at about midnight, and I had to sleep by the interstate on hay...