Help! I can't afford a Jazz Fest ticket!
You're not alone. Being a reveler of low means myself, I will here recall last weekend as a model for how to navigate the un-Jazz Fest landscape.
Last weekend in New Orleans I had, as always, many pleasurable moments on the cheap. For one, I watched Jim Jarmusch's 1986 independent film Down By Law in my car at the "Drive-In." No, seriously.
[google map]Nola Drive-In secured the top of the old Schweggman's on Bienville and Broad in Mid-City. The drive-up ramped site was perfect for the pan of cars and bikes and people with blankets who parked there. And Down By Law, filmed locally (Burgundy and Touro and the old Bayou Plaza Hotel are a few locations), was a lovely movie to watch. The pace of the film was just right for an early Saturday night.
And I literally did park next to a convertible teeming with children, all under the age of 5, with no parent in sight, honking the horn and playing with the radio. A group of girlfriends really did stand talking for the first 30 minutes during the NOFS-curated shorts, blocking my vision. The 99.7 FM Down By Law audio broadcast was fuzzy, the Habanero popcorn was $2, and as soon as the credits rolled, we high-tailed it out of there for gelato at Angelo Brocato's. I'm not sure if Nola Drive-In has anything planned next weekend, but a drive-in date night in 2011 shows anything can happen.
My Sunday night was no less scenic. The Country Club, Bywater's nakedest pool party, was a fantastic place to watch Tremé. Hoards of people packed in to the Country Club's interior (I've always liked to think of the bar on Louisa between Chartres and Royal as a miniature, cheaper, downtown version of The Columns Hotel bar on St. Charles).
Indoors, silent Tremé fans hung on the show's every word. (Favorite moments of mine last year were biking through the streets past bars between 9 and 10 pm on Sundays--just like during Saints games, empty streets and you could hear a pin drop).
The real party at The Country Club, though, was in the back. The bar projected the show on the side of the building, the only good view of which is in the pool. Oh, and there's a hot tub. There is a separate bar directly behind the pool for wet patrons. Plus, fountains, lush palm tree coverage, and a sauna.
If this sounds like a utopian description, well, it is. I kept thinking, why would anyone ever go out there again? The Country Club is truly an oasis. And the projection naturally segued in to the Hornets Game for late-nighters. The Country Club will be showing tomorrow's Tremé episode at 9 pm. It's well worth the $7 to get in to the pool (That's only approximately 11% of a single-day Jazz Fest pass).
The last potential experience I'll mention, and the freest way to experience Jazz Fest: STREAM IT LIVE ON WWOZ. I love that it's often the local stuff they give coverage, and the sound quality is impeccable. OZ did the same thing last year for Bayou Boogaloo, and it's all part of their Live Broadcast series. so for the crowd-weary, the remote, or the immobile, WWOZ brings the sound to your stereo!
1:40-2:30 The Tenor Sax Woodshed featuring Christian Winther and Charlie Gabriel
|2:30-3:30 Alvin Youngblood Hart's Muscle Theory|
|5:30-7:00 Robert Cray
|3:05-3:55 Leroy Jones & New Orleans’ Finest|
|5:50-7:00 Traditional Jazz Tribute to Mahalia Jackson featuring Barbara Shorts, Mathilda Jones, Danielle E. Wilson, and Cynthia Girtley|