Monday, February 27, 2012

A Slice of Heaven

This one isn't about New Orleans, today, folks!  Take a gander at this downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana marvel.  This is one video that should be an hour longer.

A tip of the fedora to Herb for making us aware of this!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ode to New Orleans.

A face made for radio, an outfit made for Mardi Gras.

Walk down a New Orleans street and you will see people tending their own business, which is none of yours, part of an inscrutable communal body and spirit.  Faith, hope, and charity keep New Orleans running, along with talent, gumption, tenacity, mendacity, tradition, and lessons learned from the school of heart knocks.  New Orleans runs on its own fuel, ask anyone who has sniffed the fumes.  You can live the high life in New Orleans, but only after you’ve scraped the bottom.  Not every shooting star burns out.  Some of them land in the Sixth Ward, the Seventh Ward, the Fifth Ward, or the Third Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Where there are bitches, there are riches.  Where there are hens, their eggs are like gold.  

Everyone smiles every day in New Orleans, a city where blessings are counted and curses ignored.  Every street in New Orleans is an Esplanade Avenue.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Destination Unknown

Once again, I study this video to distraction and gather meaning from it:

How do you seem to be saying something, while saying nothing at all?  Tell the story like a music video.  Start with bland words, then match them with with ambivalent, sexy, symbolic visuals.  Trust me, it can work.  Work the risque but keep it subtle, the way this video does 2:01 into it.  It is all, or it is nothing at all.  Life is either or both.  Every day is better when a marching band is involved.  Good editing is a blessing.

This is opera.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hamm's beer commercial

I cannot stop watching this commercial for Hamm's beer.  I love how it goes on and on, one element cobbled onto the next, until it becomes a piece of pure poetry.  At 51 seconds it moves one sublime rung up the ladder of of greatness.  This has to have been made by a committee, but it's vision is so unified in its diversity, none of it tasteless.

I think I'll make mine Hamm's from now on.  They still made it when I was a kid.  There should still me making it now.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Motorcycle Valentine

Valentine's Day can only mean one thing: a tribute to my true love.
Curvy in all the right places.
Little Ninja 250, thank you for being mine.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Real Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA

Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

When people say they live on the sunny side of Esplanade Avenue, they mean they live on either side.  The side with even-numbered addresses is as chipper and convivial as the odd-sided one.  Esplanade Avenue, running along the panoramic high ground known, locally, as Esplanade Ridge, is the slenderest slice of New Orleans that is a world unto itself.  No street in America is named more truly than Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Unlike Saint Charles Avenue, the street both closest to, and furthest away from, Esplanade Avenue’s sensibility, Esplanade Avenue is a street that is made for walking.  Its length, between City Park and the Old U.S. Mint, is rarely visited by tourists.  If they chose to, they could absorb a few centuries of New Orleaniana in an hour and three quarters.  Esplanade Avenue’s economy is based on neighborhood interaction.  Its story is self-contained, both part and parcel of the whole city in microcosm.
Saint Charles Avenue is a long, run-on variation on a theme, a tinkling on the ivories.  The only people who live on Saint Charles Avenue are the ones who inhabit it.  Esplanade Avenue is a self-contained story told in four acts, starting with picturesque introduction and concluding when there is nothing left to say.  The people who live on Esplanade Avenue love it.  When musicians march on Esplanade Avenue, they play brass and snare.  A perfect street stokes platonic passions that sizzle, under the skin, from one august day to the next.  
Bisected down its neutral ground, the even-sided half of Esplanade Avenue is the Sixth Ward, and the odd side is the Seventh Ward.  The Sixth Ward’s landfill trash, and the household trash meant for recycling, gets picked up at curbside every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  The Seventh Ward puts its trash barrels on the curb every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.  Esplanade Avenue is very picturesque.  
Between BMC and Check Point Charlie, rhythm and tympanum compliment each other in contrapuntal harmony.  
Fed by the dedicated exit ramp off the Claiborne Avenue Overpass, traffic does not jam on Esplanade Avenue, with its many, patience-inducing traffic lights.  Everyone smiles.  There is plenty of change to spare along a stretch of road that is as old as the city itself, and older, still, in some places.
Between the statue of the Muse of History and the house that Edgar Degas lived in for five months, where Bayou Road, the oldest street in the city, goes from Treme to the Fairgrounds, where the neutral ground narrows at the jag in the lanes after South Galvez Street, bus lines converge and transfer passengers.  Communication and commutation between New Orleans’ distant parts is enhanced and enabled along Esplanade Avenue, where wards converge. 
Different flavors, and different shades, as it traces its patched-pothole track, Esplanade Avenue is consistent in its diversity, and surprising in its tranquility.  If you can imagine peace on Earth, you can imagine a stroll along Esplanade Avenue.  The rat slumbers next to the hen, and eggs are on the breakfast table with red beans and grits, every morning.  Children go to school in waves, and they head home, later.  Adults wander to and fro, morning and night, on their errands.  Conversations unfurl, and connections are made, along Esplanade Avenue.
Between the crumbling high school and the abandoned nursing home, diagonally across from the donut shop, behind the new Rent-a-Center, where a locked, empty church keeps its welcome sign out, business blossoms.
Esplanade Ridge, an unmeasurable, natural wonder of elevated dry land, as majestic as any ineffable, topographic feature, runs somewhat askew of the Crescent City’s curved street grid.  Triangular parks scale Esplanade Avenue’s sides as it runs its straight line to end up near Storyland.  Great things happen on Esplanade Avenue, but they rarely make the news.  
Between two supermarkets that cannot be bothered to compete with each other, and two Spanish restaurants that are as far apart as Minorca and Majorca, a twinkle of whimsy tickles one length of Esplanade Avenue, and one length of Grande Route St. John, and one half of Mystery Street.
Between Saint Louis Cemetery No. 3, and Cabrini High School, devotees of Our Lady of the Rosary pass every day, whether they know it or not.  
Esplanade Avenue rolls over Moss Street and crosses Bayou St. John in a soaring arc atop a utilitarian, cast-concrete bridge.  The view is breathtaking, as is the traffic circle that loops around itself, with stoplights at each cardinal point.  If you ever need to get your bearings, travel the length of Esplanade Avenue from front to back.  What you lose in perspective, you will gain in experience.
When Esplanade Avenue ends, it does so with a command.  A statue of P.G.T. Beauregard, himself, astride a charger, points his saber to the river,.  Any surveyor licensed by the State of Louisiana can plot the course of Esplanade Avenue’s middle by just that saber tip’s angle, alone.  Any symbolic instruction is unintentionally implicit.  You do not have to graduate from Delgado Community College to learn what lies on the other side of the Storyland Railroad’s tracks.
Behind the stalwart, noble figure of General P.G.T. Beauregard, CSA (ret.)(d.1893), is a nexus of rest, relaxation, rejuvenating exercise, picturesque surroundings, family reunions, amateur sporting events, gardens, benches, trails, lagoons, an art museum, and a golf course.  Wars have been fought to preserve civilized life.  Fate runs a weighted lottery.  New Orleans City Park is many things to many people.  Sometimes it all boils down to zoning.  If there are nutria, there is raw, spiritual nourishment available for the inhaling.  Ducks do not live by breadcrumbs alone, and New Orleans needs a grand City Park.  A city that is, itself, a vast testament to vibrant perseverance, should be freckled and speckled with the relics of its permanent past.  
To General Beauregard’s bronzed, right flank, the Canal Street streetcar stops its run with no transfer, but for a a bus.  The only bell that rings on Esplanade Avenue is the church bell summoning parishioners to mass.  Streetcars do not clatter down Esplanade Avenue.  It is a street that finds its identity in unhurried modes.  The loveliest, most thought-provoking, six, sunny-side miles in New Orleans are down one side of Esplanade Avenue and up the other.  A great city’s heart has many arteries to keep its pressure pumping where needed.  Some neighborhoods are scabbed over and scarred, and some have undergone cosmetic surgery.  Some neighborhoods have a fluttering pulse, while others throb with expanding contractions.  Some neighborhoods are husks of empty shotgun shells.  Some neighborhoods are empty, still.  Some neighborhoods make for a pleasant walk at all times of day and night, at all times of the year.
Esplanade Avenue is alive and well.  It is a world both apart from, and, a part of, the rest of New Orleans.  There is no more New Orleanian street on the map, or off the radar.  Esplanade Avenue makes an impression that will inspire a career track for those who can recognize beauty in its polished rough.  A human promenade progresses along Esplanade Avenue.  If New Orleans is beautiful, and it certainly is, its essence is distinctly distilled without a trace of stink, in the perfume that lazily wafts along Esplanade Avenue.  Time does not stand still.  It evolves.  A rough oyster shell holds a pearl.
Esplanade Avenue starts at the Mississippi River, as most everything in New Orleans does.  It ends in art, as most everything in New Orleans does.  There is plenty to see along the way.  Every journey is full of distractions and temptations.  Every journey is worth taking.  If you are lucky enough to walk Esplanade Avenue, you know what it means to have your senses alive.  What is life, but experience?  What is experience if it does not lead to knowledge?  What is knowledge if it does not lead to more questions?  There is always more to learn.  Lessons are dealt every day along the sidewalks of Esplanade Avenue.  Autodidacts, university scholars, and sages wise beyond their credentials find something to savor on Esplanade Avenue.  
Moonlight and sunlight, streetlight, and strobe light, in brightest day and blackest night, Esplanade Avenue is welcoming, peaceful, and secure in its community.  Pelicans, chickens, and pigeons call it home.  So do many, many people who have nowhere else to go between up and down.  The length of Esplanade Avenue runs a pleasant gantlet that invites wandering.  The destination may be unknown, but there will be a welcome respite at journey’s end.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Adventures in citizenship

I was getting ready to leave Iggy's, on Rampart Street, when the phone rang.  Someone had left their keys behind, and Lyle, the bartender had found them.  He asked if anyone was leaving, otherwise he would have sent the keys in a cab to the Bywater neighborhood to deliver them to their owner.  I was leaving.  Though the Bywater is in the opposite direction of my house, I volunteered.  It wasn't too far out of my way on the motorcycle, and I rarely travel down there, so this instantly qualified as a good deed and an adventure.

"Where is he?" I asked.  "At Markey's.  It's a block uptown from the corner of Desire and Royal Streets," was the answer.  I said I could find it, and I took the keys.  The whole errand took about twenty minutes out of my way, but it was in my way.  It was something I should do.

I went down St. Claude Avenue to Desire.  I turned right and crossed Bourbon, Burgundy (pronounced bur-GUN-dee) and Dauphine (doe-FEEN) Streets until I reached Royal.  I turned right again and found Markey's Bar, which is a long shotgun building that looks, to my eyes, like it should be condemned.  Inside, it was a spotlessly clean showplace that would be a welcome respite for the ruling class in a world-class city, like Indianapolis, or Des Moines, or Chicago.  Gritty on the outside, squeaky clean on the inside.  The kitchen smelled good, but I had already eaten.  I found the keys' owner and delivered them.  "Oh, man, they sent you!  You didn't have to to this, baby," he said.  "Can I buy you a drink?" he asked.  I said no.  I was headed homeways, which is always bestways.

I would never have gone into the Bywater except for this errand.  I discovered this beautiful place, and I passed many that I've ignored in the daylight, but were hopping at night.  It was an adventure, and I saw New Orleans in all its pulsing glory.  I didn't stop for a drink.  I used the restroom, and then left, motorcycling homeways along unfamiliar streets whose names I know well from further uptown.  

A good deed is a good adventure.  That is what people should do every day.  When I got home my wife said I was smiling like a cat who swallowed a canary.  I was.  I still am.  I have been to Markey's.

Buses in New Orleans

There are no double decker buses in New Orleans.  If there were, the rides would be much like this..

Every day and every night is an adventure in New Orleans, Louisiana, a world with rules all its own.

How to tell a story

Every story is a devil's circus.  Here is how to tell a story.  The piano that shows up briefly right after eight minutes, and also just after nine minutes makes this brilliantly self-aware.

It never hurts to be obvious when you have something to say.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Big Freedia, back to back

I don't want to repost videos, but when it's Big Freedia (pronounced Bid Frida) there is nowhere to go but up.  Pure New Orleans.

It may not be your style of dancing, but you have to admit, they exercise their muscles.  Big Freedia can sing.  All the way from New Orleans, Louisiana.

Big Freedia

If you can't see Big Freedia (pronounced Big Frida) live, this will give you a taste of what you are missing.  Big Freedia is biologically male, but everyone refers to her as female.  Artists have their privileges.  No one can usurp their right to primacy of definition.

Heaven held me, I am a Big Freedia fan.

Pelican Patrol

If New Orleans was in the desert, instead of being a city built on a swamp, a day in New Orleans would look much like this.  Everyone needs a hero, no matter which side of the right they are on.

I can walk a mile anywhere in New Orleans and have an adventure.  I don't have to walk even that far.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Poet Laureate of Credit

Consider the mustard seed...

My introduction to Capitalism.
Everybody loves the best credit cards.  Open your eyes.  Reasonable rates, at good terms, with incredible reward options, are available to qualified individuals.  You know what you need.  You need the best credit cards for which you are eminently qualified, just because you are you.  Open your eyes.

There are a boatloads of goods and services to be purchased to make your life more efficient, more pleasurable, more relaxing, and all-around better.  Some people say, "Caveat emptor."  Smart people say, "Carpe diem."

Sunday, February 05, 2012

I Love Eunice, LA

Where is Eunice, Louisiana?
"Visit Eunice, Louisiana," the fiddle player said as he bowed his head.  "You can't taste salt without biting on meat," he added.

I have been to Eunice, Louisiana.  I have walked its streets, but I cannot say I have taken its pulse.  Like a woman, Eunice, Louisiana, has its secrets.  Like a woman, Eunice, Louisiana, has its charms.  Like a woman, Eunice, Louisiana, has its admirers.  Like a woman, Eunice, Louisiana, is beautiful.  My eyes adored this pretty little city.
Dear Eunice, will you come out to play?
I had planned to be in the audience of a live-broadcast, cajun, musical revue, radio show at 7:00 PM.  Tickets go on sale at the box office at 4:00.  My companion and I rolled into town, under heavy rains, at 2:00.  The show starts at 7:00 every Saturday evening.  Eunice, Louisiana is very pretty.  The little city's scenery invites a stroll, but nobody wants to walk for five hours in the rain.

I left Eunice, Louisiana, after driving around for hours with nothing but Eunice on my mind.  Better the bed that you know than the one that you dream about.  Louisiana is big, wide, open country.  They like the casing thick around their sausage in Acadiana.

When you squeeze an accordion, people will dance in Eunice, Louisiana.

When there are crawfish in the rice ponds, Eunice, Louisiana, is an etouffee roux.

When the skies smile on Eunice, Louisiana, visitors fall in love.  I will revisit Eunice, Louisiana.  The city calls me.  I want to know it better.  I want to be its friend.  I may not have a cajun bone in my body, but I've been to the Gateway to the Cajun Prairie.  I am ready to cross its threshold.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

You need good furniture.

Someday, your dreams will come true.
Zippety-doo-dah!  All the live long day.  Then night comes.  

What are you going to do when the sun goes down?  If I were you, I would plant myself in front of the Winsome Dark Espresso Hailey 3-Piece Modular Media Center.  Zowie!  Look at that fine piece of media entertainment furniture.  When everything is going right, nothing can go wrong.  Your decor tells you the truth.  Whistle while you relax.

This entertainment center is right for you.
How do you store your media?  If you are like me, you have bookshelves.  If I were like you, I would have a modular multi-media center finished in a rich, dark espresso finish to match my decor.  CD storage, DVD storage, VHS storage, reel-to-reel storage (in canisters), game cartridge storage, DVD player storage, stereo storage, iPod storage, a CD player shelf, if I were you, I would own this.  I am placing my order tonight.  With free shipping, I see what I am missing.
I am buying a plasma TV, so I need a plasma TV stand.  I need a plasma TV stand that has media storage.  On the eighth day, my entertainment room will be fully furnished in style, all the shelves full.  I can’t seem to forget this page.  The Winsome stays on my mind.
So I’ve committed.  I am going to enter the 21st century, twelve years late, with a 60” plasma TV modular entertainment center.  It's a good thing I waited.  I considered buying a 40” plasma TV, and I considered buying a 50” plasma TV.  While both of them fit, the Winsome Hailey Modular Media Center fits them all, as well as the 60” plasma TV.  It will fit bigger if I let it.  Bigger is always better.  Time will tell.  There is only one way to get entertainment at home.
At day’s end, and in the morning, too, I will watch my plasma TV.  I will play video games on it, with games I store in my console media storage center.  I will listen to Lady Gaga on my iPod.  Home is where the heart is.  

Spend your time as well as you spend your money, and you will never have any regrets.  I like to read a book, but I also like to be entertained.  The future is now and I need a modular entertainment center with room for a plasma TV and ample digital media storage.  I have an order to place.  Zippety-doo-dah!
What are you going to do? 


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