NOLA: Cosmic in the Big Easy

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cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,907
85
Lora and I rolled into town Thursday afternoon, and hit the river walk, checking out the steam boats...



Lora then had her cards read in Jackson Square, and the medium told her that she had a very good future with me. That's when I started bum ping the bottom of the table and speaking in tongues, freaking out the medium. Ha ha, I love spooking the spooky.



Bourbon Street is what I've always known it to be, crowded, smelly, and full of all the sin that money can buy.



I ran into a group of guys smoking pipes, so I asked them if they were in for the show. So, we gathered around and smoked a bowl together. I pulled out my tamper and one guy asked me if I had made that. I said yes, and he asked me if I was Cosmic.

"Yes," I responded hesitantly. "Are you on the forums?"

"No, Brian Levine had told me about your work."

So, my head inflated to hot air balloon proportions. I was prouder than a tick on a prize bulldog. But, I probably now owe Brian an advertising fee, ha ha. I sold several of my tamps that night, just hanging out with the guys in the Square, which went towards my pipe that I'll show you in a minute.


We stayed at the Staybridge Suites, which didn't allow smoking inside, at least where they can see it, ha ha. But, they did have this quaint little smoking area that had bars, so that you could interact with the circus going on, on the streets without worry of them. Or, maybe it was to protect them from me. But, you could only get in with your key-card and yoiu could buy beers just a few steps away to enjoy with your smoke. I liked it. I stayed out there till midnight each night with some of Russ's Freight train to get my head right for bed.
The next day, it was the perique tour...



I really, really enjoyed meeting Mark Ryan, and hearing his lecture on perique, the history, process, and the myths. I asked him how the process affected the leaf so that it had more strength, and he said that the process of making perique actually lowers the nicotine, and that only a fraction of people are affected by it. But that it is a chemical change that makes it so that it so that you absorb more of the nicotine. Whereas, most of the nicotine doesn't get absorbed, as in Virginias, perique can make the nicotine delivery more potent. I must be just one of the percentage that just loves the flavor, because I can and do smoke it by itself regularly. Love me some tangy perique, but it has to have a strong burley added to give me any notice of nicotine. I love, love, love the perique.



Mmmmm... I could just eat this!!!
I cannot speak highly enough of Mark Ryan. He conversed with me me, and let me rattle on about my hobby crop of Virginias as if I was just as good as a big farmer or someone in the industry. I already love his D&R tobaccos, and I am now twisting Sip's arms to get him to start carrying the brand in The Briary. I also picked up a few of Mark's 1881 Perique cigars, Philipino and madura wraps. Yumm!! The perique is strong with these...


Friday night, at the meet and greet, we sat with Zack and Gretta, Vorhees and his wife, Shaintiques, and Brian Levine. It was the PipesMagazine table. We had a blast. Great guys!! None of us did the slow smoke. It was a 1Q mix, in which we would have had to use our own pipes, and none of us had any pipes dedicated to aromatics. No fault of Toby's. It was fun to watch, and we would have, if we had proper pipes and if we weren't having such a damn good time anyways. Toby, poor guy, was fluttering about like a dragonfly. I wish we could have just gotten him to relax and join us, but he had work to do.
Lora and I did the casino. I had yet to hear Brian's rant, so we spent money unknowingly. Well, I fed three dollars into the poker machine, worked it up to $40 and then lost it all because I wasn't paying attention. It was my first time anywhere close to gambling, so it was worth the initial three dollars just to see what it was like. I just didn't catch the gambling bug. It must not be in my genes or something.
Saturday... What a great show. Generations Hall was beautiful. The pipe makers, the pipes vendors, the tobacconists, it was all first class. I walked the floor to soak in all of the pipes, then went outside to enjoy some of the many, many free samples of tobacco. The Fleur De Lis VaPer is top notch. Then I went in and met Steve Monjure, who I reccognized by his pink short and Brain's interview on the Radio Show. I had to have an Ardor pipe. And, his bulldogs were AWESOME!!! So, I picked out a bent rusticated blonde one with an amber colored stem...


I regret that I got so caught up in meeting new people and talking pipes at the show that I didn't get any pictures inside the hall.

But outside...




Damn Photobucket for making using their picture website so irritating!!! There has to be a better way to get pictures on here.
Anyways, at the show, we got a call from Illaine Hartman who saw on Facebook that we were in town. She is the person who makes ALL of the costumes for the Mardis Gras Court and most of the Crews. She is a customer of mine. So, she offered us a tour of where she works. We got to see the plans for this next King and Queen and we saw where they store all of the Crews costumes. It was fascinating. Every year her work gets stored in the Mardis Gras museum. What an honor...








I begged and begged her to let me try on some of the capes and costumes, but... NO. Shot down. But, we enjoyed getting to see where the magic starts anyways.
On the way back we stayed in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The coast was set 200 yards further from the shore than normal, because the hurricane was sucking all of the water out of the bays.


And, then Sunday morning we hit the art galleries and bought some new paintings for the new house. It is a quaint little arts city set on the gulf, with lots of cool little shops to visit. This is my sort of city.


Then we headed back, with my new Ardor bulldog burning some of Russ's new blends and some Meters, Neville Brothers, and Professor Longhair groovin' us back to the Magic City, Birmingham.
Thank you to Toby for setting up this shindig. Thanks to Bradley, who couldn't make it, but kept us entertained with trash texts while we rode the bus to St. James Parrish, and Brian for his kind words and cool wit that kept us entertained at the show and pre-show. And, thanks to the best friends pipes can allow from the forums. Pipes Magazine is a unique place, and I thoroughly enjoy it and all of the friends that I have made here.

Keep it smokey, ya'll...
I'll see you guys at the next show.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,907
85
Ha ha, now there are almost as many posts about the Nola show as Penzance posts!! Rack that Big Easy on here, ya'll!

 

voorhees

Preferred Member
May 30, 2012
3,557
35
Gonadistan
Quote of the night from Bradley via phone...."PMon is getting humped by a male great dane and now is reciprocating."

 

jackswilling

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2015
1,777
0
That was an extra fine photo-post. You really captured what the journey was like.Great stuff.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,907
85
thanks! Ha ha, Lora won't let me post what Brad was texting me, because of the language, but the gist was he accused me of... well... "liking" the trannies a little too much on Bourbon Street, ha ha! That old cajun rocks!!! Great guy!

 

jmatt

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2014
760
0
Wow!!! Great photo-journalism. Pleased to meet you even better, sir Cosmic!

 

elbert

Preferred Member
Mar 10, 2015
604
0
Stellar write-up. Been to NOLA twice--there's no place quite like it. You can work out for yourselves whether that comes to a compliment... :nana:

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,907
85
O no, I knew I would leave some out. It was really great to meet everyone. So many new faces and names. Ryan, those were some awesome pipes! I really wish I had of taken pictures inside the hall. Thanks!

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,093
72
Maryland
That was a great event in a wonderful city. It was a real pleasure to meet you and your wife. Thanks for sharing all the pix. I also love the music and the Meters. We saw their last jam session two years ago when visiting NOLA (Rock and Bowl!). Lets do this again next year!

 

johnnyreb

Preferred Member
Aug 21, 2014
1,786
0
Sounds like a great trip Cosmic, a great mini vacation. Did you make it to Cafe Du Monde? I don't like the crowds there but love their coffee.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,907
85
Thank you, we had a blast.
Did you make it to Cafe Du Monde?
Nah, I used to visit here quite a bit back in college, and I quickly got tired of places with long lines or hype. Beignets, I discovered quickly were just biscuits with powdered sugar for the tourists, and no jam, ha ha. The coffee is good there, but there are places with shorter lines that also has good chicory coffee. We picked up several pounds of Community Coffee to take home with us. I used to be able to find this brand in Birmingham, but since Starbucks started filling up the coffee aisles of the grocery stores, the chicories started getting dropped.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,024
0
A pleasure to read! Thanks for putting the time in to post all the photos. Your wife seems to be a perfect foil for you.

 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,427
1
Mytown
Michael, thanks for the wonderful pictures and story telling. It looks like the two of you had a grand trip. Congratulations on a pipe show well done.
-- Pat

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,907
85
Thanks, thank again...

Your wife seems to be a perfect foil for you.
Yes, she keeps me out of trouble half the time, and I keep her out the other half. She also used to plant tobacco as a kid in North Carolina, and although she doesn't smoke, she appreciates things tobacco related. And, she's a heck of a lot of fun!