Napoleon House haunts me a little bit. It’s situated in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans and, to all appearances, is nondescript — maybe even a little bland looking. Old gray walls, a little worse for wear, an ancient sign is the first indication this place is something other than what it looks like.
Not to mention the memories. I have so many memories of Napoleon House. I remember the interior walls with peeling paint that must have been peeling before I was born. Maybe even before my father and his father was born. The languid evenings when only one barman and one waiter were in the place, serving just a few people late into the evening and where my friend and I discovered they didn’t check IDs. The revelation that spumoni is a perfect late night dessert and, oh, how well it goes with room temperature Guinness stout. The discovery of the perfect drink — The Pimm’s Cup. The quiet joy of finding and occupying the inner court yard. For hours.
So, I’m working on a new painting that is a mixture of homage, remembrance, a dream and a dash of nostalgia.