Sunday, August 6, 2017

Here comes the rain again


It was close to two in the afternoon on Saturday, and John Boutte was playing under the tent at the Satchmo Festival. The lawn beneath the tent - the lawns everywhere at the Old U.S. Mint - was thickly mulched with pine straw, although it failed to completely staunch the oozing black mud that had been generated by a torrential downpour yesterday. New Orleanians have learned that tall rubber boots are de rigueur festival footwear.

Still, the band was rocking. The canopied bar area was full of people drinking margaritas, bloody marys, and frozen daiquiris. You could smell the delicious aromas from the food tents - smoked sausage, meat pies, fried catfish.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Another hundred people just got off of the train


"Another hundred people just got off of the train
And came up through the ground,
While another hundred people just got off of the bus
And are looking around

At another hundred people who got off of the plane
And are looking at us
Who got off of the train
And the plane and the bus
Maybe yesterday.


It's a city of strangers,
Some come to work, some to play.
A city of strangers,
Some come to stare, some to stay.


And every day
The ones who stay
Can find each other in the crowded streets and the guarded parks,
By the rusty fountains and the dusty trees with the battered barks,
And they walk together past the postered walls with the crude remarks.
And they meet at parties through the friends of friends who they never
know.


"Do I pick you up or do I meet you there or shall we let it go?"
"Did you get my message? 'Cause I looked in vain."
"Can we see each other Tuesday if it doesn't rain?"
"Look, I'll call you in the morning or my service will explain.


And another hundred people just got off of the train."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Nothing like the city

8th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen

A visit to New York always inspires nostalgia for me, remembering when I used to live here.

The city has changed so, with new construction, sleek new buildings. Old neighborhoods have become gentrified and tourist-focused. Yet some of the old feel remains.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Conversation starter


One of my favorite things about living here is that there are so many outdoor cafes and coffee shops. I like to treat myself to breakfast, sitting outside at a rickety metal table, watching the traffic go by and maybe reading a book while sipping coffee.

Yesterday I grabbed up a novel I'm reading and headed to my regular cafe. When I got there, I was surprised and delighted to see a friend sitting there. "May I join you?" I said.

"Sure."

I put down my book and went inside to order my coffee. When I came out, he was looking quizzically at my book.

"Sex and Rage?" he asked.

Later, a friend of his walked by. They greeted one another, and he introduced me to her. Her eye fell upon the closed book on the table and she did a double take. "Sex and Rage?" she asked.

Today, I met another friend for coffee at another cafe. While I was waiting, I chatted with the waitress. She glanced at my book. "Sex and Rage?" she asked.

Eve Babitz is an author born in Los Angeles who became somewhat notorious during the '60s for her semi-autobiographical writings about LA's rock and roll and arts scene, and the culture of Southern California itself. She played the role of groupie/muse for several artists, including Jim Morrison of the Doors, Ed Ruscha, Steve Martin, and others. Her work is now being reissued, and I'm fascinated by her crazy, kaleidoscopic take on Los Angeles in the '60s. "Sex and Rage" is the third book of hers I've read. The book - so far, anyway - is not really about sex, and not really full of rage.

Yet - the title on the cover is so bold it really stands out! For a single woman sitting in a public place, I seem to have found myself an unintended conversation starter.  What an interesting experiment!

Monday, July 10, 2017

River colors


click to "embiggen" 
A colorful sight on the river - a container ship comes downriver, past the Central Business District


Then turns


And heads toward the Gulf of Mexico, 106 miles away.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Riverwalk


This morning's view from my river walk. It's already in the mid 80s! Looks like those clouds will bring a thunderstorm later on, but right now it's beautiful.

New Orleans in the summer!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Train Graffiti


I walk in the mornings for about a mile down Crescent Park, which parallels the train trains downriver from the French Quarter in New Orleans. The cars are colorful with graffiti of all kinds. But sometimes there's one I like. Like this one.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wildflower walk

Tradescantia ohiensis - spiderwort
Some sights from the Wildflower Sanctuary along the Riverwalk in Batavia, Illinois.

Trillium recurvatum - "Wake Robin" trillium

This volunteer-built sanctuary was begun in 1991, showcasing the native woodland plants growing along the Fox River in Northern Illinois.

Aquilegia canadensis - wild columbine
When I lived here as a child, I explored the woods, prairies, and creeksides of this landscape. My mother helped me identify flowers I found.

Anemone canadensis - meadow anemone

Wild iris
Walk through the cool shade to find small treasures.

Phlox divartica
Bright flashes of color in the green.

The Challenge Windmill Factory building
The walk follows the river, which powered mills and factories beginning in the 19th century.  The factories are built of limestone quarried nearby.


Batavia's factories built windmills, as intricately styled as flowers themselves. Some of these antique windmills are on display at the park.