Fringe doesn’t respect city limits or state lines. Sometimes it showboats where you least expect it. Other times you anticipate its slap and it lands like a light breeze across your cheek. Taking Fringe Florida on the road to New Orleans, I found Crescent City filled with the breezy variety, albeit one that carried the scent of stale beer and bodily functions I prefer not to think about. Shirtless men painted silver head-to-toe, a skeleton-face mermaid, Satan in platforms — they all literally worked a fringe look, hustling for dollar bills, change, cigarettes, and beer on and around Bourbon Street.
I stayed in a small guest cottage in the French Quarter, nearly a mile from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Trade Show where I was a featured author. I wanted to soak up the fringe of the hedonistic, historic enclave
of the European-style architecture, gritty jazz and blues bars, and voodoo shops selling rabbits feet and tarot card readings. But in short order, I discovered the fringe was authentic as Mickey Mouse, or perhaps more appropriately, Duval Street in Key West.
After an inspiring day at SIBA meeting talented authors and friendly small bookstore owners and signing books, I trudged through the cacophony of Bourbon Street bar bands and drunken football cheers to our temporary abode. Along the way I shot photos of the fringe-for-hire until I ran out of dollar bills.
In case you missed yours truly’s interview with Rob Lorei about the book last week on WMNF 88.5 FM RadioActivity show, you can catch it here on podcast.