After we left Silky’s, we had a brief unscheduled stop about a block away in front of a boarded-up building, the purpose of which I never figured out, but the Stooges Brass Band kept playing all the way through it, and soon we were on our way again, to the corner of 7th and Dryades, where I learned that the old Joe’s House of Blues has become Pop’s House of Blues, and is apparently under new ownership. An older man had set a lawn chair directly on the point of the club’s roof, and was sitting up there in the sun. When we arrived, he got out of his chair and began dancing right where he was up on the roof.
It probably doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but the more exuberant second-liners still end up on the roofs of buildings, as a good place to dance and perhaps to also be noticed by the crowd, as two young men did at the intersection where Silky’s bar was, one of the scheduled stops on the second-line. One of the men scaled a fence and ended up on the roof of a small garage behind a residence, where he wowed the crowd with his moves, before proudly yelling to us all that he represented the CTC (Cross The Canal) Lower 9th Ward. A girl near me said “That boy reppin’ by himself, way uptown here”, and her friend replied, “You gotta respect it.”
From the S & S Club, our parade worked its way down sidestreets to a club called Silky’s, where the largest crowd of the afternoon so far was gathered, and also where some of the most exuberant dancing broke out.
Like most second-lines, the Lady Jetsetters’ parade picked up a lot more people as it made its way down Martin Luther King to a scheduled stop at the S & S Club, where another hundred or so people were gathered.
After a brief stop in front of the headquarters of the Calliope Steppers, our second-line proceeded around to Dorgenois Street and from there to Washington Avenue, where we soon came to the first route stop of the day, at Tapps II Lounge on the corner of Rocheblave and Washington. There was already a fairly large crowd gathered there, and the usual assortment of food and drink vendors.
Whenever a downtown second-line reaches the I-10 bridge on North Claiborne, things get kicked up a notch, because there is usually already a crowd under the bridge on Sundays. Some people actually bring coolers, hibachis and lawn chairs and sit under the bridge, watching the custom cars, motorcycles and second-liners that go past. People race go-karts and motorcycles along both directions of North Claiborne, spinning tires and throwing up smokescreens, and gradually the crowd watching that and the crowd in the second-line get joined together. Here the dancing gets more exuberant, for the dancers know they have a large audience, and all of it may also be related to the old neutral ground on Claiborne being an important place for the Black community in Treme prior to the construction of the high-rise interstate overhead.