27 February 2014

New Orleans Brought Me Back

Well, after a long blog-vacation, I'm back. As a superficial reason for my absence, I've been busy--Department Head duties at My Little College can be all-consuming, if you let them. But that's not the real reason for my long absence. It's more a matter of what the 19th century Romantics called Weltschmerz--that world weariness that makes you feel as if God's dog just died. And you really liked the dog.

I'm happy to say that some combination of lengthening daylight and a trip to New Orleans has brought me back to the Blogosphere. The former is easy enough to understand--even with southwest Montana's notoriously clear blue skies there's not sunshine in December-January. More importantly, I think, was New Orleans--and not just the parades and waxing Mardi Gras celebration, either. No, I was in NOLA for a conference hosted by Tulane's environmental law program and organized by the law students. Their sense of optimism for the future was truly refreshing, as was their selection of topics and lineup of speakers.

Top of the list, for me, was Marcus Eriksen, the adventurer who floated the entire Mississippi River in the Bottle Rocket (a boat made of plastic bottles) and who spoke about the five giant ocean gyres that collect trash from our consumption-mad world:

OK, humans of Earth: quit with the trash already--if you don't recycle/reuse it or keep it for a lifetime,  don't buy it. Think of what you buy/use as a cradle-to-grave process. Otherwise, you are part of the problem of killing the oceans:

OK, I won't bore you with a lot of what I learned in other sessions about the need to stop menhaden fishing, face up to what Global Warming/rising seas/bigger storms will do to human life in and around New Orleans, and mediate environmental and social problems caused by big hydroelectric projects in China. So, Laissez les bons temps rouler


Thanks to a hot tip from one of the Tulane law students, we found The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen's Street: 


What a great club! The few nights we could spend there were amazing, with bands like Aurora Nealand and The Royal Roses


And Ecirb Muller and Twisted Dixie: 

The latter also featured a guest set by an incredible jazz and scat singer (sorry, didn't get her name): 

In NOLA, some of the best music is out on the streets. We were graced with rocking duo Tanya & Dorise


As well as this weirdly out-of-place yet totally fitting gospel a capella group: 

Speaking of the church, we also took in St Louis Cathedral:


As a sort of womb-to-tomb tour that W.B. Yeats might have organized, we paid the
de rigueur cemetery visit, taking in St Louis Cemetery Number 1. Mrs Rover especially liked the tomb built by the Italian Mutual Benefit Society (you might recognize it from the movie Easy Rider): 



The tomb of Marie Laveau, the high priestess of Voodoo, is also here: 

 All that walking and dancing makes a body hungry. Pretty sure you can find some decent food in NOLA, oysters and beer (and po'boys, and gumbo, and jamabalya etc all good!): 

And parades? Did I mention parades? Can't hardly shake a crawdad claw without hitting one. There were lots of chances for Mrs Rover to earn her beads, hehehe:

It's good to be back. I look forward to hearing your comments and checking our my fellow bloggers' recent posts.

3 comments:

Arija said...

Nice to see you blogging again. There has been quite a bit of blogging ennui lately.
You've just come from New Orleans and my daughter is there now hanging her exhibition and, as always, loving the place. The only place she goes to church except for weddings and funerals. Mainly coloured churches, for the music and warm welcome.
We each of us need to clean up our own backyard to stop the pollution problem. I personally don't create much that goes into the bin, mainly already recycled plastic bags. Fruit and veg. come from the garden or Farmers' Market and eggs from the chook-house not the carton, soon we will also have our own milk supply again. Here we have refund bottles. Since they came in, the highways and byways are a lot cleaner and those that are not refundable get recycled.
Sorry I had not seen your last post, my dear old prof was posted to the great uni. in the sky last August. Life has changed some since then. . .

The Equestrian Vagabond said...

you are back! yay! i was jonesing for some Montana stuff.
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Ginger Sanches said...

Your time spent there was awesome. The photos you took are great! Use the Custom writers for essays to be a successful person.