Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Orleans Souvenirs: Day 5

Today was all about alligators (well, mostly): we saw them, held them, and ate them. I got reprimanded for squeezing this little guy's neck even though the tour guide (behind me) said to hold on tight:
This is a nutria. They have beady yellow eyes and a tail like a rat and, according to our tour guide, taste great when served with the holy trinity (onions, celery, bell peppers) and a bottle of fine wine:
It lives in the bayou:
Another alligator, this time with chili garlic aioli at Cochon. It does taste like chicken--really, really rubbery chicken:This is Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. According to the guide book scenes from Interview with the Vampire and Easy Rider were shot here:This is Frenchmen Street:If you love listening to music, drinking, and dancing in the street, don't miss it!Especially The Spotted Cat:
Thanks for the memories, New Orleans! We'll be back soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Orleans Souvenirs: Day 4

There are about a million things I'd rather have for breakfast than oysters on the half shell, but bellying up at the bar at ACME Oyster House was great fun.
Seth ordered a half dozen and I tried one, then quickly washed it down with a big ol' swig of spicy bloody Mary with a tasty pickled okra garnish. This oyster shucker wasn't going to let me get away that, though. He plopped the biggest, nastiest, grittiest oyster ever down in front of me and waited until I choked it down. Literally. Then, he laughed and said, "You a bad woman." Here he his demonstrating how big the oyster was. That seems about right. How many oysters does he shuck in a day? "Between a bunch and a shitload." Judging from the pile of empty shells behind the bar, that seems about right, too.The oyster was actually nice and mineral-y and not fishy at all. But still, it made me queasy enough to want to try one of the old-fashioned remedies at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.Mexican "Bowel" Pills, perhaps? Or maybe a voodoo spell? Back in the good old days you could get it all at your corner pharmacy, even a cocaine Coca-Cola at the soda fountain and a box of glass eyes:
And they kept track of prescriptions in beautiful linen books with tiny pockets on each page.From there we headed to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a taste of their legendary fried chicken.It had such a warm, welcoming atmosphere. If Seth and I ever get a house of our own, I hope the kitchen looks just like this, with high ceilings, wood floors and beadboard lining the walls.The perfect kind of place to enjoy the ultimate comfort food, and the perfect food to cure whatever ails you. I could eat this every day!
Here's Seth at
City Park:Have you ever seen a swan like this? The little stripe on its beak looks like it was painted on.Here's Seth again posing with what could be the biggest tree in City Park:It's hard to believe, but we went out to eat again after this. My one regret? Not having the energy to check out Kermit Ruffins Night at Vaughn’s Lounge in Bywater that night. (Guess, that's what I get for being a homebody the rest of the year.) Legendary jazz musician Kermit Ruffins cooks up barbecue for the audience before the show then jams the rest of the night. Yet another reason to go back!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

They don't make 'em like they used to--UPDATE

Scenes from the Williamsburgh Savings Bank on the ground floor of The Clocktower. Mosaics, mosaics and more mosaics, everywhere you look, each more beautiful than the next:
According to An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn, by Francis Morrone, the mosaics on the ceiling in the photos above and below were designed by artist Angelo Magnanti. The mosaic above is hand painted. The one below is a grand depiction of the zodiac in gold and pale blue. This photo doesn't do it justice:

These remind me of the ornate designs on the front of the Brooklyn Public Library. Does anyone know more about them? Are they by the same artist? Update: I think they're by Rene Chambellan. The iron figures in the first photo definitely are.

Squirrels on either side stand guard as this girl holds on tight to a beehive:


The great outdoors--spotted at the Delancy subway station.