Authentic: New Orleans Skatemobile
Written by Editors
Tuesday, 03 April 2007 08:27
|Authentic: New Orleans Skatemobile|
Last year, roller skates were the thing. Everybody had them, the metal kind with the adjustable straps you tied on to your Converse. And after the holiday, the street was filled with a sound like water rushing as countless metal wheels strapped to little feet pirouette and race outside the red brick row houses. Thing is, your skates don't cut it anymore. You've outgrown them. But what do you do? Just throw them away?
If you walk into Handsome Willy's on a Friday night, God knows who you'll meet. At the farthest end of the bar, two cardiothorasic residents have finished a rotation at Tulane and are chatting up a set of lush, 23 year old service industry girls. Next to them, a Honduran emigree who specializes in asbestos removal is rapping with a kid from North Jersey about Hugo Chavez, while pair of contractors from Texas who live in a tent are drinking away the week. In the back, the poker machines are occupied by a girl with gold teeth in a Rally's uniform, a maritime insurance salesman sipping Maker's Mark, and a sixty-three year old woman who's been there for seven hours.
On any given Friday, at the front of the bar stands B.J. The first thing you get from him is a huge grin, and the first thing you notice are his golds. If you laid money on it, you'd never be able to guess his age. Depending on who you are, he might just scare the shit out of you. Part of it is his stye, part of it is that he radiates quiet intensity. Most likely, you'll get a "how you doin' baby?"
Before Handsome Willy's was Handsome Willy's, it was Matranga's, and before that it was the Jackson's Inn. B.J. is a regular, and he has been his whole life. And so what if a bunch of white boys bought the bar, and so what if a hurricane destroyed the city? B.J. stayed, because he's authentic.
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