It’s summer out there, in the street of New Orleans, under the trees—the crows will have you know, you haven’t escaped the hot sun just yet. We do get some respite from the sun in the early mornings and nights, starting around six. I miss the energetic breezy, fall days of New York, the ones that include scarves and gloves. I told a friend the other day, I’m so excited for winter.” Whenever I say this, I receive a look of, are you serious? Surely I wouldn’t be saying this, if I were up North. But we always miss what we don’t have. Soon it will be November and it will get slightly colder, and the birds will be down here, keeping us company until the ruthless sun comes back next year. Below are some of my wanderings last month.
Mobile Museum of Art
When I was in Alabama last month I visited the Mobile Museum of Art. They have three floors of displays with most of the modern art in the first floor. The museum once hosted an art fair, and some of the pieces from the time were kept. My favorite floor was the one displaying period pieces: sculptures, ceramic, glass, tapestry from different parts of the world. American, Chinese, Tibetan, and European. There was a section that had a large timeline of America. It felt surreal seeing all these dates and historic events, and it made think about my place in history? The last floor was mostly abstract or self-taught art— some of it moving, like boats in the ceiling floated that floated in my mind.
St. Claude and French Quarter Galleries
Sometimes you stumble into creepy art exhibits while getting free wine on a second saturday of every month. Usually at St. Claude but surprisingly there was something similar in the French Quarter galleries that one night. I didn’t know what to make of the two male mannequins holding the rabbits in the New Orleans Art Center, was upside down and the other by the ear. It made me think about the secrets of childhood and sharing them with your siblings in this case twins. The photo on the right is a dollhouse living room shown in the Antieau Gallery; it’s a replica of Killer Clown’s actual home, the one where he buried a bunch of people. Notice all the clown portraits (scary). Dollhouses are so cute, until it’s a replica of a killer’s home.
Butterflies at the Insectarium
In all my time in New Orleans, I never wandered into the Insectarium; surprising, since I love butterflies. The day I went, they were having a free day. I walked in to find families and little kids running around, saying “look mommy!” And babies being only slightly creeped out. Some people stood by the plaques of info, read and took photos of live and dead insects on display. There was a room just for butterflies, live ones that fly over you head, sometimes deciding to pay you a visit and sit on your head or shoulder. Other ones pretend to be dead on the floor but are recovering slowly because they been flying around too much and have broken off a part of their wing.
Making a bird house
I finally made a bird house, granted all the materials were provided in a bird house class at the Botanical Garden, but I built one, and more work is needed since I still have to paint it. These fancy bird houses above were made by some talented bird house makers. The person who taught the class is an avid birdwatcher and bird house architect John A. Talluto, who makes the cutest bird houses, some distinctly New Orleans style. We made the basic shaped ones, but the bird house exhibit made me think about creating new designs.
On St. Charles
Some time last week, I was walking on St. Charles, killing time until a writing workshop. Apart from looking at the old mansions, the runners, and sighing at the elaborate gardens and fountains with the street cars brushing by every so often, I saw a Halloween display, filled with skeletons, some in the gaudiest outfits, loungy pajamas or totally naked, displaying relevant puns and humor. A creepy mansion with funny skeletons: this is Halloween in New Orleans.