Day 25: Street corn love affair

New Orleans, LA

Somewhere in Louisiana

Left our campground with a mish-mash list of all the sights + spots we wanted to see and the food we wanted to eat when we got to the city.

At some point during our little excursion, we visited the NOMA, which featured some incredibly cool pieces and installations with new exhibitions featuring works by Regina Scully +Jim Steg, as well as some permanent galleries that displayed quite a few paintings by Degas, Miro, Manet and several other low-profile artists like Picasso.

I absolutely loved, loved Jim Steg’s work. Also a huge fan of The Pride of Place, celebrating the contemporary arts + artists of New Orleans.

We ended our day with a comedy show at the New Movement, which brought up a lot of important issues that revolved around race, privilege, and gentrification, and while there are definitely still things/thoughts that I’m continuing to process + think about in terms of the performer/performance and the social politics of that I think overall it was very good + timely reminder of my own privilege, especially in regards to this project in itself.

We got to our campground pretty late (no surprise there) and I’m definitely very interested to see how the morning view will look like.

Lots of things. Lots of different thoughts. Ultimately ( while much too brief) our time in New Orleans was filled with lots of good food, history and lots o’ good memories--to which I am forever grateful.



“Get the most we can out of NOLA day” today.

The itinerary:
  1. Breakfast: Satsuma
  2. Cemetery & Battlefield
    We visited the Chalmette Battlefield - the historic site of the January 8th, 1815, Battle of New Orleans.
  3. New Orleans Museum of Art
    This was a really big museum. The exhibit “Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans” immediately caught my attention. This gallery was founded in 1978 by Arthur Roger as a space to celebrate diverse art and put New Orleans contemporary art in conversation with the rest of the art world on a global scale. I love when I see work I’ve studied in full scale. Knowing the context and background of an artist changes the experience dramatically.
  4. District Donut
    Sam HAD to have a donut from here. Unfortunately they didn’t have THE ONE (somoa donut), but she still quickly and happily settled for the peanut butter and chocolate donut (aka her three favorite things in one - win win). She seemed an average amount of happy about it.
  5. Mais Arepas
    After walking around a bit in Magazine Street we made our way to more food. Ok now let me tell you about this corn. “Grilled corn on the cob topped with our spicy butter, salsa rosada & cotija cheese”. I could eat this all day every day.
  6. TNM Presents: Transplant!
    A one man show by Dante Anthony Fuoco. This was presented by a white newcomer to the city of New Orleans ("How can young white people put down roots in a city that's maybe better off without them?") and brought up issues of race, privilege, black displacement and a commentary on white newcomers in the city of New Orleans. Post show, this brought up good conversation about our own privilege, especially concerning this project.

Really grateful for our time in New Orleans. Experienced a lot, learned a lot, and thinking a lot, especially about the show today.

- Dana

New Orleans all day y'all

Our day in New Orleans… what feels like our first just travel day.

Woke up, packed up and headed into the city for breakfast. And what a breakfast. Yummy yummy egg sandwich biscuit thing at Satsuma. Then we headed out of the city to get a little history fix at the Chalmette Battlefield, a site of the last battle of the War of 1812. It was pretty crazy. They were closing up for the storm so we walked through and it was hot.

Then we headed off to the New Orleans Museum of Art, which is huge. They had some really cool exhibits up. I probably spent the most time in the Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans exhibit (the longer we were there the hungrier I got and it was a big museum so I went through each section thereafter faster and faster). This is very obvious, but it really hit me in this exhibit how interesting it is to view history, especially of this particular place through the eyes of its artists. Specifically there was a lot of commentary on Hurricane Katrina, which I really didn’t know much about since I was in elementary school in 2005. There were also exhibits by Jim Steg and Regina Scully. The new arrivals section was full of some amazing works too with works by Dawoud Bey, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Carrie Mae Weems. In their collection we were shocked to stumble upon the Umberto Boccioni sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space that we studied in Design History. There were also works by Picasso, Monet, Degas, Manet, and Camille Pissarro. Some good stuff. I don’t know why it was so shocking, but I think I was expecting another museum like The Contemporary Austin. I almost like it better as a surprise. Made my heart skip a beat and makes me want to take more art history. This trip is reminding me how much I love history. It’s just a bunch of stories. I love stories.

By the end of the museum we were dragging pretty hard, so we stumbled into District donuts where we were trying to find the infamous somoa donut which was not there so then I ate this whole (like the WHOLE thing) giant mush of sugary whipped peanut butter and chocolate donut that I swear to goodness was the size of a real chubby baby’s head. Pretty instant sugar headache, but worth it. I was so hungry. Pretty soon after we pulled in to Mais Arepa and oh lawdy, what an experience.  Dana and I shared a veggie arepa and this CORN. This corn… saucy, roasty toasty corn. I’ll never be over that corn.

Post dinner we went to see the one-man show Transplant by Dante Fuoco where he explores the contradictory, multifaceted experiences of being a transplant in New Orleans. While funny, post show, we found ourselves reflecting on our own privilege and how that manifests into our relationships with other people and places.

So we got ice cream and called it a night. Which meant driving to a nondescript location outside New Orleans to set up our tent in the middle of the night feeling like serious outsiders in this very permanent RV park. Especially as we drove around and around these people’s home looking for the least uncomfortable place to set up our tent. Every spot felt like someone’s backyard. Glad we’re here so late hardly anyone’s up.

Tired and uncomfortable now… But the day was really cool. The museum and traveling reminds me of a bunch of stuff I love that I want to spend more time with. But that also brings up some insecurity like why is it so hard for me to follow through with this stuff. I could blame it on having gemini in five planets. It was literally in the stars when I was born to be super excited up front and then a little lacking in finishing up. Ugh, sick of it. I want to be deeply into one or two things, I’m tired of this surface level everything. Or at least that’s how it feels. Maybe that’s not true though. I’m not sure anymore. Anyway, I love the architecture here, but am definitely thinking harder about how privileged we are to even get to do this project. We’re so lucky to have the family we do and consequently the financial security and support to do something so absurd like this. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel kinda bad about it.

- sam

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