new Things I Ate in Cambodia: prospect 1 final and so forth

Sunday, January 18, 2009

prospect 1 final and so forth

Beautiful morning here in NOLA. I woke up to the sound of rain and was momentarily disappointed: nothing I hate more then being consigned to the inside on a perfectly good day off. However, it let up promptly at around nine o' clock and gave way to a beautiful and very warmish day - I happily sploshed through puddles on my way to the streetcar to campus.

Street car coming....(slowly)

Street car going! Less slowly.

One aspect of New Orleans streetcars is that there will invariably be three or four nearly empty street cars in a row going in the opposite direction of where YOU want to go.

It was the last day of Prospect 1, so I decided to go wander around downtown, look around, and eventually meet up with friends for the Prospect 1 jazz funeral. The weather was so damn good that I actually put on a dress.

You must recall for context that I spent part of last winter in Massachusetts, where stinging ice pellets and rafts of ice and freezing snow-storms and God Knows What Else were a regular and normal part of life. To be wandering around in a dress in 69 degree warmth with spring-looking flowers and blooming magnolias is a goddamn blessing and let me tell you I do not say that often. It's still rainy and gross in California. I think I won.

(I suspect the other reason warm-weather springie Gulf weather makes me so happy is because I am a native Floridian - Bahaman anoles and year round palms and Bermuda grass and amazing sunsets are deep somewhere in my memory. I walked by some drying out earth today and had to pause: This smells like FLORIDA. It did.)

I walked to the Prospect 1 visitors center and since no one was there yet, decided to amble down to the Quarter and see what was what. I walked down Julia. No one mugged me.

I saw this on the way up. High concept Prospect 1 piece? Expressed and violent computer related rage? The world may never know.

I returned to the Prospect 1 visitor's center for the salon and met up with my friends. Many of the Artsty Types in New Orleans were packed into the room. I think Art People make more unfortunate but super-contempo fashion choices then any other population on the planet.

Art highlights - click here for way better pictures:

This wood-looking glider was eerie and beautiful, hovering above the wining and dining.

The above photo was taken inside of this. The artist took a broken, abandoned house in the Ninth Ward and superimposed a canvas over it, taking down all the details. The result is what looks like the mummified hide of a dead house hanging in space, ready for a walk-through - as much a manifestation of the ghost of a building as could possible be. The smell unnerved me most - I don't know if that was intentional but it smelled like mud. Absolutely riveting.

Another shot. What a piece.

There was also a German video on Rwanda playing on one wall. No sound, but the imagery and very scant "chapter" headings were enough to keep me riveted. Scenes of driving through Rwanda, farm life, abandoned compounds, juxtaposed by occasional and very subtle footage of violence and destruction. Excellent.

The jazz funeral was brief but entertaining enough - I want one of those when I kick off. Seems more fun then depressing everybody.

Nice day out. We get MLK day off so I am hoping to try that African restaurant I've had my eye on in the Quarter and enjoying some more nice weather. Let's see if the forecast is LYING TO ME or not.

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