Today marks my 23rd birthday. It wasn’t the best, but it was certainly a step up from some recent ones which really sucked. I went to work today but I wasn’t there all that long. I had plans to meet Andrey downtown later this evening and was downtown myself by about four. With a few hours to kill, I spent a lot of time wandering the quarter. I considered going to the Aquarium but they close at five. I stopped at Caf Du Monde for beignets, something I haven’t done in a while. After that, I spent a lot of time walking around the streets of the French Quarter.By and large, I walked the residential half of the quarter which I haven’t seen nearly as much of. I was surprised how much real estate is for sale in the area, but it does make fantasies about living in the quarter a bit more realistic. One house I was a bit curious to see was the one at 913 Gov. Nicholls. I read this was the oldest surviving building in the city, dating back to 178? And I was curious to see it. As the building has some historical significance, I was disappointed to find in a degree of disrepair, although it is inhabited.Not long after that, I walked to Frenchman St. and sat n d.b.a. for a while before walking next door to Snug Harbor. I was to meet Andrey here at 7:30. After I arrived, I learned that the show we were going to see, Ellis Marsalis, was sold out. Not only that, but the show was starting at eight, not nine as I thought it was. We still ate there after he arrived. I think we both had fish. I hadn’t really talked to Andrey in a good while so a lot of the conversation was catch-up about recent goings-on.After dinner, we wandered around a bit. We stopped in this nearly invisible place on Esplanade called the Dragon’s Den. There wasn’t anything going on at the time but we came back later when a band was supposed to start. When we did return, there was no band but the previous act, the N.O.madic Tribal Belly Dancers performed for a little while so we got a drink and watched a bit of that. Afterward, we walked back down Frenchman St. to the Spotted Cat where the New Orleans Jazz Vipers were playing their usual Friday night set. Andrey ran into an old teacher from Karr whom we spoke with for a while as best we could over the music. This wasn’t a teacher I was familiar with but I wish I had been, as she seemed like a fascinating and well-rounded person. We left there around 11 and Andrey gave me a ride home. I went to bed not long after I got there maybe all that walking wore me out.

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