Note: I have already shared this story on an email list and decided to reprint it here.
David and I stayed at a timeshare just a block from the French Quarter in Faubourg Marigny or what is often referred to simply as “The Marigny”. It’s a cool, quirky, offbeat sort of neighborhood but has been plagued by crime. On Monday night we decided to go to a jazz club called Snug Harbor which is on Frenchmen Street, just around the corner from where we were staying. This place had been recommended to us by lots of people but we had never gotten around to going before this. There is a restaurant as well as the club where various people perform evening shows, including various members of the Neville and Marsalis families.
Charmaine Neville was performing that Monday so we decided to go (btw, fantastic show!). At about five minutes before 7 p.m., we entered the restaurant and were seated. We noticed a police car drive by with lights on just a few minutes later but didn’t think anything about it. A little later that night we discovered that there had been a shooting just a few doors down from the Snug Harbor — we just barely missed it!
Apparently a couple of workers were standing on the sidewalk taking a break when a man came around the corner with two guns and began shooting. Both men were shot, as well as someone across the street. A man and woman were walking across the street at the time of the shooting. When they heard the first shots, the man threw the woman down on the sidewalk and covered her with his own body. A bullet glanced off his head! The gunman escaped in a car. Fortunately (and surprisingly) none of the three victims received life-threatening injuries.
I think it was the following night when a mugger stuck a gun in a woman’s back and demanded her money. The man with her just happened to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon which he pulled out (the weapon, not the permit) and proceeded to use on the mugger. He killed him but was almost immediately exonerated of any crime.
On Wednesday there was a neighborhood meeting to discuss the crime issue. There was finally enough media exposure to put pressure on the police to patrol the area better. I just hope it works! By the end of the week, David and I were saying that we needed t-shirts with the slogan “I survived a week in the Marigny!”.
Oh, on top of all this you won’t believe what David did. This was on Saturday night, before the shootings, but we did know the area wasn’t all that safe. We had rented a car for a couple of days (I’ll tell that story in a separate entry) and after having been to a pool tournament across the river and then dropping our friend, Debi (of Debi and the Deacons, a rock band that performs on Bourbon Street), off at the Tropical Isle, we went back to our place to get ready to go out for the evening. Parking is a real nightmare in that area. David found a tiny little space across the street from our condo and was trying to parallel park. He had me get out to see if he had enough room (he didn’t). About that time, a police car came by and David needed to move the car. The area is all marked “No Parking” but we had been assured that as long as we didn’t block fire hydrants and stayed 20 feet from the corners, no tickets were being issued. Still, the car wouldn’t fit and he needed to go elsewhere. I was standing on the sidewalk as he left, assuming he would round the block and come back to get me. Keep in mind that it is dark, I don’t have my purse or cell phone because they are still in the car, and I am standing alone in “The Marigny”.
A minute or two go by and David still hasn’t come back. I’m getting nervous and beginning to wonder if perhaps the cop pulled him over. I walked across the street to our condo because at least there was some light over there. Unfortunately I didn’t know the code to the iron gate so I couldn’t go inside. I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting. I couldn’t decide whether I should be more worried, afraid or angry. There was a bar across the street and I walked across thinking maybe I would be safer inside there, but it wasn’t very busy and I didn’t see any women inside. Plus I didn’t have my purse so I couldn’t buy anything. I was beginning to panic.
Finally about 15 or 20 minutes later David came strolling up, carrying my purse. He was stunned to discover me standing there about ready to come unglued. Apparently when I had walked over to our condo, he had rounded the block, saw me there, and assumed I knew the code and would go inside. He then spent that next 15 or 20 minutes driving around looking for a place to park (which, btw, he couldn’t find the next morning!). Needless to say I wasn’t very happy with him and he felt pretty badly about it all. And yes, I couldn’t resist reminding him of all this a couple of days later when the shootings took place around the corner. And no, I did NOT tell my mother this particular story!