Archive for ‘New Orleans’

September 3, 2014

Planes on the ceiling

It’s simultaneously the best and least-best thing about the WWII Museum in New Orleans: they have planes on the ceilings of a couple of rooms. It’s the best, because there are lots of massive planes on the ceiling including full-sized bombers – and it’s the least-best because they also have a ton of interesting things to learn about WWII that trump the overwhelming plane visuals. Pretty cool place to visit.
Planes on the ceiling
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August 18, 2014

The wig shop

The mannequins always have escape vehicles waiting for them just out the window of most any shop in New Orleans.
The wig shop
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August 17, 2014

Alabaster ceiling

I remember when Kurt Cobain committed suicide there were a few friends in school who jokingly thought a kid who sat next to me in class seemed kind of suicidal. Soon enough we convinced ourselves that maybe he in fact was suicidal. Eventually, as the story grew in our conversation to seem real, it really struck us as problematic, as my proximity to him may be reason enough to explore the depths of his mind in order to potentially avert such a tragedy. They suggested I talk to him, because none of us had seen him speak more than a few words. I struck up a superficial kind of conversation with him, sort of like a talk about the weather. He was a little milquetoast, going on about how the walls in the classroom were alabaster, and how this was altogether mundane and appropriate in order to keep kids’ focus on the lesson. I realized nobody had previously talked to me about alabaster and eventually my thoughts drifted to the ceiling, which was the exact shade of the walls and equally oppressive. Anyway, he made it through school. We talked from time to time in the hallways.
Alabaster ceiling

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August 10, 2014

Two-named guitarist, NOLA

“Hi, my name is…” and that was it. He had two names, and he said them to me like it was the most important thing ever. I gave him two dollars, and from there it was all stare. “I play weird chords,” he said. “The weird ones are better.” I remember it sounded like a country name, but he was from Aurora and living in New Orleans. He stood there, strumming, but I didn’t hear a thing. I’m bad with names.
Two-named guitarist, NOLA
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August 9, 2014

609 Dumaine

The best thing about the French Quarter is the atmosphere. Even Bourbon Street carries somewhat of an unaffected charm about it. Let’s not make the typical assumption about charm – that it is some kind of pleasing nostalgic or a trinket for admiring. In New Orleans the draw comes from the eclectic; that it does not change in spite of constant twists and turns.
609 Dumaine
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August 5, 2014

Soule Quintessential

I wasn’t sure it was the right place when we entered, but I was tired of walking. Out in front it feels like it’s your fault even if the plan was not to make a plan. I always walk a little faster than the pack, but four blocks deeper into the journey than I ever imagined I’d been overtaken. We were staring at a menu on a wall heavily favoring breakfast while the clock rolled up toward nine. There were five of us, and so we stumbled into Cafe Soule in loose agreement, because how tightly do five people agree on breakfast when it’s just past dinnertime? Tight enough.

The ten-dollar cocktails were authentic and the staff peaceable and easy. They seemed to know their stuff and played the roles of house entertainers in a less-than-awkward way. It was fitting for an 1830s mansion with a history as thick as the overpainted walls. You were in a home, eating dinner, and five minutes in one of the wait staff threw that chair on the bar and climbed into a classical guitar throne, adding Radiohead and Jeff Buckley to a room decorated in Toulouse Latrec. He even apologized for singing over the last one. Though completely unnecessary, it was a nice thing to do.
Soule Quintessential
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August 4, 2014

Transitional fade

I saw her go around the corner, so I ran-walked across the street and tried to get ahead. You can’t full-out run or they’ll notice you. There was a family of five and a man pushing a giant garbage bin of ice between me and the desired location. You could see the contents of the bin, but someone still found it necessary to outfit the front with a crude “ICE” sign – maybe for comedic effect, maybe to direct you where to put the ice. The letters were in blue and drippy from the sweating can. It’s funny how you remember the funny stuff in a moment of crisis. Maybe crisis is too strong a word.
Transitional fade
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August 3, 2014

Another dead end

This is my 504th post. While in New Orleans I noticed the blues singers digging into that old bag of call and response, and I wondered if they were just repeating the verses to convince themselves of something. Yeah, that’s it.
Another dead end
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August 2, 2014

The derelict way

I was taught in school that derelict also means a sunken ship. I became obsessed with words and tried to learn a new one every day. If accomplished, I felt I’d build a vocabulary so deep that I’d know something about anything. Last night, searching for a title for this photo, I stumbled upon the word again. Derelict’s other definition actually refers to a boat abandoned at high sea, a far more considerable circumstance. I’m left with the possibility that the more I search, the less I’ll realize I actually know.
The derelict way
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August 1, 2014

Adjust the map

Here comes the flood. (Some other words about the times and how they are a changin’, as well.)
Adjust the map
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