In fact, some of MTV’s hottest hot spots aren’t very far at all from where I sit
right now, particularly when compared to the fantastic voyages from KY. This
year, however, it was Florida from which I needed a break. Unfortunately,
my regularly scheduled and academic calendar sanctioned Spring Break was
filled with various scholarly tasks: manuscript revisions, midterm grading,
bureaucratic hoop-jumping, etc. Fortunately, I am fond of the idea/cliché “better
late than never”.
For several days, I disengaged from more criminological pursuits
in order to dust off my drawing table and put a few miles on some new pens,
paints, papers and so on. Now I have several paintings started, a few finished
and a cartoon or two in a new sketchbook that I’m particularly
fond of (for example, this jealous rendering of Ed Green in
helped increase my creativity and productivity and generally provided me with a
great deal more positive perceptions—a physical and mental reboot, if you
will. Along with all of this, and smack in the middle of March’s full moon,
Danielle and I took off to spend a few days with our good friend Reagan in New Orleans.
nomenclature for Gertrude Stein’s home in Paris for the first 30 years of the 20thcentury. It was known
as the place to be for the Parisian avant-garde, and was frequented by folks like Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Henri Matisse among others.
Her Saturday salons were legendary meetings of the minds and it strikes me that I was just fortunate enough to stumble my way into and through a properly uptown New Orleanian reincarnation of just this type of
undeterred and nearly overdosed on curry. Danielle played it safe with the pad thai, which was lovely. When Reagan returned home from work we all found our way to La Bon Temps Roule where we were rolled like suckers by the local trivia crew. Perhaps if I could have remembered “La Gioconda” we’d have taken the bastards, and I nearly redeemed myself with “Einsteinium,”but as fate would have it, second was our place.
After the first nearly made a fool of me, we called it a night.
The next morning, Danielle and I had breakfast at Surrey’s, which must be one of the hippest places in the whole world since their hand-painted sign looks as though it was designed by R. Crumb himself. (If not, it is a replica worthy of respect and admiration, and I say this with Mr.Natural permanently etched into my arm by another master.) Nevermind the fact that their food was to die for, and I didn’t even make it back for a freshly
squeezed organic juice du jour. (A fine excuse to return later, to be sure.)
Afterward, we made our way down Magazine Street where we were overwhelmed with local art and more good
smells and sounds than you can shake your senses at en route to pop some tags at the Buffalo Exchange. Danielle exercised extreme moderation and only picked out a beautiful purple jacket, and I went apeshit crazy snatching up enough winter attire to nearly require new luggage for our return to Tampa.
Maybe not your grand-dad’s clothes, but I look incredible.
After this artshopstravaganza, it was naptime. Apparently, I went into hibernation as I awoke after dinner had already been in full-swing for some time. Wiping the sleep from my eyes to behold seared tuna, salad and a bottle of 1792 bourbon, I was introduced to Jeff, Teresa and Brandon, a trifecta of Miss Reagan’s coworkers, and without question three of NOLA’s finest. As if this were not enough to awaken the dead from eternal slumber, a bottle of locally brewed Pale Ale (LA 31) was placed in my hand. (Refer to my first blog where I pointed out how the Lords of Karma have clearly gotten my file mixed up with someone else’s…) This dinner party eventually spilled into the backyard where we discussed connections between sports and creativity, running marathons in Rome and another mysterious marathoner known to some sordid souls as “The Monti”.
First 48 in the Big Easy and not once had I been told that I am out of my element, or for that matter, to shut the fuck up. This despite the fact that either would have likely been appropriate on multiple occasions. Perhaps Danielle and I should find a place to live in The Crescent City?