Friday, January 29, 2010

Riverside has moved to

Thank you.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NOLA Art & Whimsy 018 - Stick Nativity

Please click on the image for a larger, more-detailed version.We're all affected by the recession.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

NOLA Burial & Necropolis 010 - Jefferson Fire Company #22

Please click on the images for larger, more-detailed versions.
The Jefferson Fire Company No. 22 crypt is one of four or five firemen group tombs in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 The Lafayette Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1 and The Chalmette Fire Co. No. 32 are also in attendance. The writing on the relief of the pump reads: Incorporated April 27 A.D. 1845- Ready at the First Sound.

A lot of filming happens in this cemetery.

I was only inconvienced a little bit.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

NOLA Art & Whimsy 017 - Mardi Gras Indians

Please click on the images for larger, more-detailed versions.
This is a T-shirt I bought in New Orleans after Katrina. I tried to buy a lot of shirts because I know it's a high profit-margin item. $2.00 to make; sell for $35. Fine with me. This is one way I tried to "contribute to the local economy".
This person is dressed as a Mardi Gras Indian. The Mardi Gras Indians are black, working class people who, 100 years ago, realized they would never get into the Krewes that participated in Mardi Gras parades and social events and so started their own. They created personas in homage to Native Americans as some of the first people near New Orleans to help slaves get to freedom. Some of the original Mardi Gras Indians may have been former slaves.

Unlike the other parades, the Mardi Gras Indians do not have a planned or defined route. It happens when and where their "Big Chief" decides.

Decades before gangs, the Indian parades were events in which tribal groups and individuals aired grievances. It was violent and chaotic. The police could do nothing in the pandemonium that is
Mardi Gras. Also, originally the Indians were masked.

The act of dressing this way on Mardi Gras Day is called "suiting". Again, decades ago, having someone in your family suiting on Mardi Gras day was equivalent to seeing them dress in the colors of Crips or Bloods. It only meant trouble.
Big Chief Tootie Montana settled all that down and now the Indian parades are heralded as a great cultural event, though still not many white people attend. The chiefs of the tribes spend all year making the suits and can use tens of thousands of beads and innumerable feathers. The suits can cost upwards of $20,000 to make. The suits are only used once and often go directly to museums.

The Back of the shirt reads: "Won't Bow Down" from the song, "My Indian Red".

I've got a Big Chief, Big Chief, Big Chief of the Nation
Wild, wild creation
He won't bow down, down on the ground
Oh how I love to hear him call Indian Red
When I throw my net in the river
I will take only what I need
Just enough for me and my lover
I will take only what I need
Mighty cooty fiyo - hey la hey, hey la he"

The Indians are also the subject of the extremely popular Sugar Boy Crawford song, “Jock-A-Mo”, now known and covered as "Iko Iko".

In 1976, the "The Wild Tchoupitoulas" tribe made an album of "call-and-response" songs with famed New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint and members of the musical groups The Meters (you know "Cissy Strut") and the Neville Brothers (nephews of Wild Tchoupitoulas' leader George "Big Chief Jolly" Landry.
There are volumes to be read about the customs, behaviors and dress style of the different tribes- how they great each other with songs or acquiesce to a rival's superior suit craftsmanship and what-have-you. I won't load this post up with details, but I encourage you to look them up. I would just have to Google for more information, anyway. At least do an "image search".

A few related Links:
Andrew Justin: Runnin' Pretty
Krewe of Zulu
The World That Made New Orleans

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NOLA Architecture 028 - Skull Rose Fence

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This iron fence is made to look like flowers from one angle,
but skulls from another.
This is to ward off evil spirits.

The upper gallery features clusters of roses that look like skulls from certain angles.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Orleans Flora & Fauna 028 - Jasmine

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You wouldn't think I could get sick of the smell of jasmine.
But I did. The air is dizzy with it in April

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NOLA Art & Whimsy 016 - Street Name Tiles

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Many of the streets in New Orleans are labeled with while tiles with blue letters. These are called "Encaustic" tiles, which means the lettering is clay dust fired with the tile, not dyed or painted, then glazed. These were likely made by the American Encaustic Tile Company of Ohio and New York.
That company went out of business in 1935, so the original tiles are at least 75 years old.

Like the Sewage & Water Board meter cap, there exists an entire design industry utilizing this motif. You can buy coasters, T-Shirts, trivets, there's even a Facebook page.

Being that these tiles are scarce and replicas are pretty expensive, sometimes you do what you gotta do to work with an old idea.

But notice that this is at Seventh St.

Monday, June 8, 2009

NOLA Architecture 028 - Pigeon Wall

Please click on the images for larger, more-detailed versions.Gotta keep the pigeons off somehow.

Some other types, too.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

NOLA Flora & Fauna 027 - Lush Life

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Not just a Coltrane album.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NOLA Food & Bevvies 004 - Café Du Monde

Café du Monde is a stinking joke of a tourist trap.
The coffee is disgusting and the one in the French Quarter has never been cleaned (this is normally charming in New Orleans, but this place is just gross). The beignets are good but you can get good beignets anywhere.

It was sold out to a Japanese company decades ago. There is one in the French quarter, there are 4 more in the closest malls just outside of New Orleans and there are 56 of them in Japan. Cafe du Monde really hasn't been worth crap in 100 years. If you want good coffee & chicory, go to any restaurant owned by the Brennans.

The great old coffee houses in New Orleans are pretty much gone.

As I mentioned Rue De La Course had to downsize due to outrageous Magazine St. rent prices. They are the best chain there.

There is a lovely coffee shop at Magazine St. and Nashville called Bella Luna. They have a beautiful old mansion where you can sit out on the old wooden porch. They have blue sky and clouds painted in the ceiling of the outside porch. But their WiFi always gives me trouble.

My other favorite place is up on Oak St in Riverbend. It's called Z'otz. Great coffee, great Art.

Still Perkin' at Prytania & Washington has a lovely outdoor deck for reading the paper.

Fuel on Magazine St. is a new favorite.

CC's (Community Coffee) and PJ's are also near & dear to my heart.

Kaldi's down in the quarter was awesome; also couldn't afford skyrocketing rent.
They are all still doing the best they can, competing in a reduced city in a crappy economy,

but I'll tell you who isn't worried...

Please click on the image for a larger, more-detailed version.

Good job, fat mid-western white tourists.

This is not my city