Since I live near St. Bernard and Broad, I often take the Jackson-Esplanade bus to go to the French Quarter, City Park, St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 and various other places between downtown and Lakeview. It's a favorite bus of mine, even though I rarely ride to the end of the line at the Tchoupitoulas Walmart. Sadly, especially with my still being on a liquid diet, it's not an ideal candidate for a bus adventure: The route goes mostly through residential areas and past places that people already know about, not really the idea of Public Transit Tuesday. Still, I was able to salvage this trip by making a Bayou Road detour on my way home...
My first stop on Bayou Road was to King & Queen Emporium (2500 Bayou Road, 317-7570; www.kingqueenemporium.com), a store which sells body oils, shea soaps (handmade by Queen Chemist Andaiye), organic shea butter, burning oils, hand-dipped incense and much more. The store which has been open since 1997, though not always on Bayou Road in the former location of the Church of I Am That I Am, had grown from a successful three years of street and market vending. Overheard one frequent shopper say about roll-on fragrance oil, "A chick turned me on to dem erls, bruh...had to be 20 years ago."
Just a few doors down is Cordova Couture (2516 Bayou Road, 202-2294) , a sweet-smelling ladies' boutique which opened in January and offers new and vintage ladies' apparel, shoes, bags and jewelry. The boutique also serves as a gallery for artist Ashley Kash of Art by AK (221-8710; www.artbyak.com).
While walking home, I came across Jah Ghetto Beginnings II (1541 N. Broad Ave., 701-6927; www.facebook.com/rasboojahghettobeginnings2), a store which offers a little bit of everything associated with Reggae and Africa, including clothing, incense, flags, stickers and jewelry. Store owner Ras Boo will be soon partnering with a vendor from Ghana who specializes in drums and containers.
I hope you enjoyed our bus adventure! Let's do it again next Tuesday! Here are some outtakes from this bus adventure.