Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Orleans: Cafe du Monde

Cafe du Monde, the unforgettable experience of delicious coffee and three sugary beignets while seated outdoors watching the world of New Orleans stroll by. Morning, noon or night....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who Dat?

This is a roofing slate painted by a high school student from New York state who is volunteering in St. Bernard Parish east of New Orleans this week with Operation Southern Comfort. This and dozens of other beautifully painted slates will be sold to raise funds for OSC at the 4th Annual Crawfish Festival at the New York State Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 7, 2011. Please come and enjoy yourself!

The slates were original roofing material from a creole farmhouse in St. Bernard Parish. The roof didn't survive Katrina but the individual slates have.

Who Dat?...

Lately the Saints and their fans came to love it, sing and cheer it, and adopt it. Eventually the Saints copyrighed the rights to it for T-shirt purposes. They were recently more or less forced to give up that position, though the story isn't over yet. Who Dat? seems to be returning to the public domain. There is justice in the world.

And the history of Who Dat?...

Who Dat? was originally written in a poem by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, for whom our Dunbar Center in Syracuse is named, in the 19th century. There are a million stories about  minstrel show and jazz iterations of Who Dat?  Along the way it made its way into a Marx Brothers routine. And of course it is found widely in music today.

This version is from 1937:

Who dat up there who’s dat down there
Who dat up there who dat well down there
Who’s dat up there, sayin’ who’s dat down there
When I see you up there well who’s dat down there Who dat inside who’s dat outside
Who’s dat inside who dat well outside
Who’s dat inside, singin’ who’s dat outside
When I see up there well who’s dat out there Button up your lip there big boy
Stop answerin’ back
Give you a tip there big boy
Announce yourself jack Who dat up there who’s dat down there
Who dat up there who dat, well down there
Who’s dat up there, singin’ who’s dat down there
When I see you up there you bum
Well who’s dat down there Who dat

Bob Crowe and St. Louis Daily Photo featured Who Dat? on May 14, 2010. Hi Bob!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Six Flags New Orleans: Abandoned

Six Flags is prominent by the roadside coming into New Orleans on I 10 from the east. It has been abandoned since Katrina, forever held up in courts by high stakes insurance and ownership questions. Even the most recent plans have crashed. 

You can find lots about it via Google on Wikipedia and elsewhere. The following site shows truly sad, even macabre shots of damaged, fallen ornamentation. It is a cartoon of what happened to so many of the people in NOLA.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Witch Hazel on Friday

Another reliable harbinger is witch hazel, although I have seen some species that bloomed well into a late warm fall. We also have a yellow witch hazel which is already showing color but not open yet.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Winter Aconite on Friday

The moment the snow melts, we are greeted by our winter aconite, already blooming. It was there yesterday as the wind quickly evaporated the snow...snow that had been between 1 and 2 feet deep only a week ago. 
More is expected tonight but it won't hurt the winter aconite which will still be blooming whenever we see it next. It is a most reliable harbinger of all the good things to come.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Denver from Red Rocks

Blow this up to very good effect. The Denver airport, 15 miles east of Denver, is visible on the horizon toward the right.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art in Denver

The Kirkland Museum in Denver has three major collections: a retrospective of Vance Kirkland's paintings from all of his several periods; a collection of more than 3300 pieces of decorative art, furniture and glass, by the great designers of the 20th century; and a fine collection of Colorado art.
When you visit Denver, do not miss this museum!

This is Vance Kirkland's studio.  He worked on larger canvasses by laying them flat on the table, applying paint from above while laying in the straps. The paints he developed couldn't be applied on a vertical canvass, and these straps solved his problem of how to reach to the center of large canvasses. You can see an early skate board just to the right of the step ladder. He put his canvas on boards and so was able to move his paintings easily as he worked. He signed many paintings on more than one edge because he wanted them to be viewed from any side and not be limited by where he happened to put his signature.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Denver Zoo: Amur Tigers

These four cubs were born to Koshka, mother Amur (or Siberian) tiger, at the Denver Zoo last May 31
Four cubs add considerably to the small population that remains of this highly endangered species.
When the cubs weren't napping, they were stalking and ambushing mom.
We are lucky to have in Syracuse two male Amurs, father and son. One year a female came to visit and produced a cub. Neither the female nor the cub stayed here permanently.
Amur tigers are suited for northern zoos, as they live naturally in a harsh climate. Thus a trip to the zoo in winter is always rewarding.
Click on these photos to very good advantage.