Friday, June 06, 2008

A little rebellion is good for the soul

So I took of early from work. That is, at 5:30 after a 9.5 hour day. Talk about living wild!

Well, it is Friday. I then got on the phone with my best friend and we talked for about 40 minutes. Not wanting to yak in the parking garage or while driving, I stayed on the streets, pacing back and forth, venturing up on to Canal Strett, trying to carry on a conversation with the generic noises of traffic, commercial air conditioning units, a really loud bus, a heated argument on the street, running young girls and older skater boys, tourists, downtown workers, and the scrabbling gurgle of water underground.

I spent a lot of time pacing up and down University on the block between Common and Canal. I posted a photo of this particular building at the end of this post. Here are some details. Most of the eagles are painted white. I much prefer the contrast of bronze (or better yet, gilt) as in the photo above to the sameness of white everywhere. In any case, the decorative detail on this building is incredibly rich and you just don't get that sort of thing anymore.

I love good post-modern architecture with its bold lines and beautiful materials, long straight lines and (mostly Romanesque) arches and arcs, frequently unusual angles and unexpected details. But I also love neo-classical and Victorian and the rich carved detail in buildings such as this. What marvelous acanthus scrollwork!

Hre is the detail on the columns and pediment of a bay window. (You may click to enlarge any of my photos).

I was tempted to crop this and focus on the shield (with its very French fleurs-de-lis) but thought better of it. The building is being repaired and renovated, so let's have the context. I am glad that buildings like this are being fixed and not razed. So much of the United States would trash a beauty like this one. Hooray for NOLA!

Across the street, and adjacent to the car park where the rental car awaited me, is the empty Orpheum Theater. I love theater, so this was a sad sight.

I have been promising myself for weeks that I would pull over and take a picture of St Joseph's Catholic Church and tonight I finally did it.

Radical topic shift alert (lest you suffer mental whiplash)---

The night before last I finally broke down and cooked in the evening. Cooking is really preparing lunches in advance since by the time food is cooked it is way too late. And when I come home I don't really feel like cooking. But cook I did.

I made a stew with some pork, half a dozen sundried tomatoes (in oil), half an onion, a beautiful large red bell pepper, a large clove of garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, black pepper, chicken broth, red wine, an entire package of organic baby spinach, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I also cooked up a bunch of brown rice with celery and sunflower seeds. I put rice in three plastic containers, covered it with the stew, and voilà! Lunch for three days.

I had the second helping today, reheating it in the nucrowave at work. Quite delicious, with good tang and a bit of fire and so many vegetables that my diet often lacks.

Tonight, in the Friday spirit, I stopped at the Shimmy Shack for a quick bite to eat and some more conversation with the adorable young Russian lady, Ksusha, who waits tables there.

I plan to work no more than six hours tomorrow and Sunday not at all. So here's to the weekend!

After a glass of cabernet across the street I am now having a rum and Coke (Diet Coke, and yes, not Diet Pepsi this time - I buy what is available from time to time).

I finished reading Steven Saylor's Roma last weekend. Enjoyable but a bit too ambitious and not quite the feast to savor that his Gordianus the Finder series is. Right now I am in the middle of Boris Akunin's The Death of Achilles, an Erast Fandorin mystery.

Beyond that I eat, I sleep, I work, I read news and blogs online, lather, rinse, repeat.
--the BB


Jane R said...

Great photos!

Good food, too.

Glad you will have some Sabbath time...

Hope they are paying you well for all that work. A boy's gotta pay for his sun-dried tomatoes (oh, and the bills, the bills, the bills).

Grandmère Mimi said...

Many the movie I saw at the Orpheum way back in the day. The interior of the building is elegant, also.

More recently I have been to live performances there, the last with Karen Akers, a wonderful cabaret singer. Her latest appearances have been at a club called Le Chat Noir, not far from where you work, a much better venue for her type of music.

Have a lovely weekend, Paul.

Kirstin said...

Miss you--but nice photos!

Tandaina- said...

ewww, I can think of nothing quite as icky as a rum & Pepsi, BLECH.

Paul said...

Tandaina, what can I say. De gustibus et coloribus disputandum non est. I drink both Pepsi and Coke. I prefer Pepsi but have no prejudice against Coke. Alas for the ingredients purists, I drink Diet in both cases. I love my caffeine and I love my cola flavor but I do not need the extra 1000-2000 calories of sugar per day. (Yes, I have a habit.)

One should never think about what one is doing to fine rum but what a nice thing one is doing for one's cola beverage.