2014-11-06 - 2:51 p.m.
Had the birthday brunch at the bookstore cafe and, would you believe it, they were out of cupcakes and instead were pushing sugar cookies for $1 off. So, what the hey, I had a sugar cookie and brought a piece back to share with Cookie.
Headed out later to the Contemporary Art Center and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Our first stop was the CAC where we found the Douglas Bourgeois paintings and the Glenn Kaino "Tank" exhibit.The Bourgeois were a bit album cover-y but still captivating, with odd bits of Louisiana wildlife (although I wonder how many Western Tanagers in full bloom he actually encounters in the day to day). A favorite might be the party ladies in gold stretch pants and 50s hairstyles hanging out in the street in front of the colorfully painted shotgun houses. In the bottom right of the painting, a Roseate Spoonbill seems to regard the ladies with something like an expression of complete WTF? In another, a man who looks much like Elvis -- I suppose he probably is Elvis -- appears to be phoning for somebody to get him the hell out of this country swamp.
The Glenn Kaino was bits of a discarded military tank, improperly or otherwise disposed of in the ocean, which was recovered, cast in resin, and then used as the home of various species of grumpy and territorial corals. You might even suspect the artist of finding a way to get his patrons to support his aquarium hobby...The set-up to keep the tanks going was as large as the installation itself really.The most important rule of travel in America is don't order wine in bars. It's shit. However, I had a glass of white wine in the museum's bar. It was shit and I'm afraid I poured the unfinished portion into DH's glass. Heh.
Across the street was the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Not too sure why it was called "Southern" art but I gather that southern is an attitude and if it's outsider-y at all, it must be southern.
We started on the fifth floor with the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit. They know he wasn't from the south but after a timeline explaining about all his cool friends like Debby Harry and about how he poured whipped cream on his principal thus guaranteeing a speedy exit from school, we enter a room full of his works they gathered together on the theme of...tah dah...the South, mainly Louisiana and Mississippi.
By far the best piece, and perhaps the best piece of art I saw all day, was Natchez, which is a bit like an exploded book made of some bored high school kid's endless notes and studies of all sorts of subjects from math to biology but also here and there a scribble about say, the water levels at some spot on the river, or...it really told a story but I can't describe it in a few words. Perhaps the bored kid in question resisted being extinguished by the flood of the tedious educational system or perhaps he didn't or...well, you must let your own imagination be your guide.
There was also an extensive collection of outsider art, of which I liked Howard Finster the most and Clementine Hunter the least. I just don't get her. And there are always those outsider artists that you think, gosh, this guy is really out to lunch and maybe it's a bit exploitive to be entertained by all this. But Finster seemed to know very well exactly what he was doing and how to have fun with it.
Strolled a bit to some random bar with an alligator in it. The wine was bad there too but it was otherwise atmospheric. A phone call I could barely hear, then back to the hotel to take a bath and get ready for dinner.
So dinner at Bayona. I wore my new geometric dress from Michael Kors, black tights, black Chelsea boots suitable for strolling, black leather jacket.
My before-dinner drink is probably the most ridiculous drink I will ever drink in this or any other lifetime. It is called Smoking Jacket and here are the ingredients: Glenfiddich, Amaro, Cassis, Pedro Ximenez El Candado, Chocolate Mole bitters, & Grapefruit. Heh. How could I resist such a concoction? It was a bit like an extremely strong Port or sherry, I suppose, but a Port or sherry that was actually tasty if that makes any sense as a logical description...
My starter was Smoked Quail drumsticks with pears, which was absolutely heavenly. Pompano for the entree. It was all wonderful, even the bits of lima bean included for some reason in the vegetable sauce were wonderful, and that's saying a lot since I usually won't eat that particular bean. A chocolate mousse "cake" and some kind of obscurely flavored sorbet for desert, with a snifter of Mandarine Napoleon on the side. Can't say that I even knew they still made that particular drink. I may have last had it in the 70s, so I wanted to compare it with my own satsuma (mandarine) experiments. I still like mine but having the benefit of 10 years to age adds complexity, for sure...
In the morning we strolled a bit around the riverfront and Jackson Square to get something of an appetite for breakfast. The photo at the top of the page is from my side of the table at Stanley. The Irish Whiskey milkshake was completely decadent, but I loved the fried oysters that were artfully scattered about my plate of Eggs Benedict as well...
We walked off (probably only a tiny fraction of) the calories with a stroll through the sculpture garden in City Park. And back home to grab a nap. Hey, taste-testing the Irish Whiskey Milkshakes at 9 AM is a tough job but somebody's got to do it.
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