Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tip Top Voodoo New Orleans

There's no beach in New Orleans.  The cityscape is entirely manmade, raised from the swamp with little evidence of it's prior existence.  It is paved over and impermeable.  When I saw the above object on the sidewalk, I thought it was a crab claw like I would find every few feet scattered in the dried seaweed that makes up the tideline on a New England beach.  I was on Canal Street though.

While Lake Pontchartrain crabs are reputed to be the best in the world (I discussed this in the past for a few days but don't have the patience to look up the links), I rarely see the remnants of these crabs that get boiled and devoured by the kilo.  I paused to take a closer look.  Crab claw?  No.

Look closely.  One end is covered with feathers.  It is a severed bird beak.  I didn't touch it but I let my camera record it so I could mull it over.  Why?  Why would a bird's beak be so cleanly removed and left to languish on the sidewalk.  I don't know.  Maybe it's a voodoo talisman.

New Orleans is famous for being a home to voodoo but, truth be told, I've seen evidence outside of tourist traps.  Not that I don't wish it were true.  I love drama and mystery.  New Orleans is full enough of mystery though without a layer of voodoo being overlaid on its mojo.

Soon after passing this avian remnant, I came across this storefront...
You can't read in the shadow in this photo so I'll tell you:  Tip Top is gone.  Tip Top is closed.  If you were thinking of going to Tip Top on the ground floor of the Iberville Street Garage between Rampart and Bourbon, forget it.  No dice.  No Tip Top.

There are plenty of other places, a whole city full in fact.  There's no curse, only business cycles.  Spoken like a dry economist.  When I find a severed bird beak on my front stoop and trip down the stairs, I may think differently.  New Orleans is full of surprises.

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