NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans. -- David Graham and I were watching the summer night mobs milling on both sides of the street by Cafe Brazil. A local band with a big following, Tribe Nunzio, was playing in there, and we were getting to listen outside without paying the cover charge. At some point, a brass band appeared out of nowhere on the corner and people started second-lining. My friend Ade, who owns Cafe Brazil, came furiously out the door to tell them to move. It was a fine New Orleans evening with all the funk and craziness we've come to enjoy and expect from our blossomy burg.
David, who lives in Pennsylvania, was pleasantly startled by everything. At one point, he noted the extraordinary number of tattoos that young people were sporting. And not people you'd expect. From the round shoulder of a demurely dressed young woman of 16 there shone forth a brilliantly gnarled sun on whose rays were impaled a number of flowers. A kid on a skateboard had pre-Raphaelite vines curling about his wrists. On close inspection everyone under the age of 20 seemed tattooed with a variety of mostly floral motifs with a psychedelic twist to them.