Monthly Archives: June 2014

Comet Cocktail No. 7 at Oxalis in the Bywater

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been hankering for a good comet cocktail lately. The last one we had was, what, five months ago, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Feeling that it was high time for another high time, the indefatigable Nicola Wolf and I set out last night to visit Oxalis Restaurant and Bar, in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans.

Here’s a picture of the place:

Oxalis_Image1

Nicola pointed out that before it opened as Oxalis half a year ago, the location was used as the restaurant setting in the HBO show Treme. Now it’s a real restaurant, with real good food.

(Oxalis, Nicola also told me, is a plant that grows like crazy in New Orleans. Also known as wood sorrel, it was used by the Algonquin Indians as an aphrodisiac. See how much you can learn by drinking?)

I cornered the bartender and showed her a postcard image of my famous novel, THE NIGHT OF THE COMET:

The Night of the Comet Cover Final

“See here,” I said, following my usual routine. “Can you make a drink like this?”

“Let me think about it for a minute,” said the bartender, whose name was Jesi.

She turned around and peered at the wall of bottles, a finger on her lips. Then, inspired, she nabbed a barback and told him to go get some blueberries, quick.

Here she is at work:

Oxalis 2

She’s a little blurry because she moves so fast.

Oxalis 1

Jesi Goodwin, by the way, is a local gal who comes to New Orleans from Madisonville, near Mandeville. She’s been tending bar at Oxalis since it opened.

Oxalis 3

When she’s not working, she enjoys table tennis, roller skating, and bridge.

Oxalis 4

Her favorite music is classic rock of the 70s, and her favorite actor is Edward G. Robinson. Ah! Thank god, the drink’s ready:

Oxalis 5

It was an excellent comet cocktail. And look at the color! On top of a mash of fresh blueberries, she poured Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey, lemon juice, chocolate mole bitters, and egg white. It’s a variation of “your basic blueberry scotch sour,” Jesi explained. Who even knew there was such a thing?

She said to be sure to take a picture of the whiskey, because that was the key to the whole drink.

Oxalis 6

When we finished that, she gave us, as a present, two frothy shots of nitrogen-infused Ramos Gin Fizz. Those were super good. If you never ate or drank anything else for the rest of your life but nitrogen-infused Ramos Gin Fizz, you’d be one very happy drunk.

Oxalis 7

And here, finally, is a picture of what the bar looks like when your face is on it:

Oxalis 8

Merci beaucoup, Jesi at Oxalis! See you again!

Letter to My Daughter Featured at American Library in New Delhi, India

Thanks to the American Library at the US Embassy in New Delhi, India, for featuring Letter to My Daughter as one of their “Check It Out” picks.

Don’t know if the American Library knows it or not, but I lived in India from 2005-2007.

Here’s their summary and link:

Letter to My Daughter: A Novel
By George Bishop, Ballantine Books, ©2010

Elizabeth runs away from home on the eve of her 15th birthday after being slapped by her mother, Laura Jenkins, during an argument. While the parents are waiting for news of their daughter’s whereabouts, Laura decides to write a letter to her daughter telling her the truth about how a girl grows up. She recounts her own forbidden love with a high school senior against her intolerant parents that resulted in her transfer to a Catholic girls’ school. Find out what else the mother of a missing daughter writes in a book-length letter, written in a single night.

And here I am visiting a government college in, I believe, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India:

India College Visit

Story in Packingtown Review

Thanks to Chicago’s PACKINGTOWN REVIEW and editor Snezana Zabic for including my story “Chinese Boy” in their new edition.

Packingtown Review

The story actually appeared once before, in Dutch, in the Dutch literary journal VORM, but this is the first time it sees print in English. It begins:

Chinese Boy

I woke up that night with the feeling that somebody else was in my room.

Maybe you’ve had this feeling yourself sometime; most of us have, after all. It’s not that a noise or movement wakes you, but rather, the knowledge of something where there was nothing before, a change in the atmosphere of a place . . .

See it here.