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Well, it turns out that this hole in the wall laundry mat played a big part in the birth and growth of the sound of New Orleans.

This building used to be Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio. Where young players like Ray Charles, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Annie Laurie, The Dukes of Dixieland, and on and on, all recorded their music. Now its a laundry mat.

If I hadn’t taken a chance at being mugged and come here I never would have found this place.

Fyi. I’m not very observant. My first clue, besides the pictures, records, plaques, etc. Was the tour group that wandered into the laundry that made me start looking around and asking questions. Hey, I’m a computer nerd, what can I say.


So, I decided to avoid checking a bag on this trip. I figured I would pack a light carry on bag and do laundry half way through the trip. Ya, right.

It turns out the crappy Holiday Inn Express we are at in downtown New Orleans doesn’t have laundry machines. They wish to charge $10 per pair of jeans, $9.50 a shirt and $4.50 for undies. Socks aren’t even an option. So, $72 for a single load of laundry and I would still have to buy socks.

I start heading the 3/4 of a mile hike to the closest laundry a. Bing search turned up. This entailed walking through the heart of the French Quarter. En route I walk past what looks like an active eviction in progress and end up walking parallel to a local lady carrying a jar half full of pennies and sauntering down the road.

She calls out “Hey Texas!” (I’m wearing a Texas Advanced Computing Center shirt). Introduces herself as Megan and asks where I’m headed. So I explain I’m off to do laundry at 841 Bourbon Street. She says ” Ahh Hell no. That place will charge you triple to do a wash. Follow me and I’ll take you to where the locals do laundry”. A moments thought regarding knives, muggings, and dumb tourists before I say sure, show me.

So, long story shorter. Here I am a mile into the Quarter, 5 bucks lighter for the directions, (she walked me all the way here and then through the back door of the place), still alive, doing laundry in this run down place across from the Louis Armstrong Park.

There is definitely a wide variety of interesting characters here doing their laundry. Most bringing their laundry in in black plastic garbage sacks. On the upside, some of the ladies were eating po-boys and I asked where they got them. I’ll be making a slight detour on the way back to the hotel for a nice fried catfish po-boy and chips. Probably the first good, authentic, southern louisian dish I’ve had since getting here.

The highs and lows of being diabetic. Last week I let stress get to me on top of a bad insert and my blood sugars jumped to 555. The highest they have been since right after Katrina 5 years ago.

Then after a night wandering Bourbon Street and being a bum I woke up in the middle of the night with a 5 year record low of 38. Not the best two weeks of blood sugar control.

So my current measured bs range is 38-555. All time measured range is 27-762.

Oh well. Still alive to screw up again. And that’s what’s important 😉

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November 2010
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