Architect, Landscape Architect, Urban Designer, Land Use Planner, Environmental Observer

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

Great Music

Rebirth Brass Band

the Neville Brothers

Great Architecture

A house on St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District

Creole cottages in the Quarter

a classic image of the French Quarter

Great Food

Crawfish Etoufee

Shrimp Gumbo

but..... it's the Great People that make the fabric of the city what it is -

in a coffee shop on St. Charles:

the table next to us was occupied by a black family ... the older gentleman tells the waitress that he did not get a knife with his setup...the waitress (who is a rather large black woman) returns and puts the knife on the table barely missing his head....the man jokingly says "whoa, you almost got me with that knife"....the waitress says "Sir, if I had wanted to do some damage, I would NOT be using a butter knife! "

at the New Orleans Brew Pub:

the waiter (sharply dressed) gives me the menu and says he'll return to get my order...he comes back and says "..and what can I get you to drink?"...I said "man, I would love a tall glass of water"...the waiter says "Sir, I am going to bring you water, but what I asked you was what you wanted to DRINK!"

walking at the corner of Jackson Square headed for the Cafe Du Monde:

I see this guy with this hat and beads, greying beard, and I recognize him (our eyes meet) - DR. JOHN....and he says "Hey, how's it going, man?".....I say "great" and keep walking.

walking down Magazine Street:

I see a Levi's store and in the window are tee shirts that say: SHALOM, YA' ALL

at the Bed and Breakfast:

I come back from a longgg day at Jazz Fest, and Glenn and Randy are making martinis... I join the group, of course....after some chat, Glenn asks me where I am going to have dinner....I tell him I have no idea....they ask me "Do you like seafood?" ....I say sure...then they ask me "Do you like oysters?"....I say sometimes....then they go down the list...."Do you like them fresh, fried, barbequed, etc?".....they proceed for the next fifteen minutes to argue about which place has the best of each kind.

in a cab right after Katrina:

I ask each cab driver "How's it going"....some barely black driver has a conversation with us....I ask him "Did you have to move during Katrina?"....he tells his story "I moved to Houston, thankfully I had relatives there...My neighbor and I were best friends...He had three kids and I told him to get out of the city right now.....He said he could not leave his house....All five of them drowned....Now I think I should have argued harder with him."

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Recommended Books

  • - Precedents in Architecture
  • - City Comforts
  • - A Pattern Language
  • - The Architecture of Happiness
  • - Architectural Composition
  • - Design Language
  • - Elements of Garden Design
  • - Chambers for a Memory Palace