Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Gumbo: New Orleans Bloggers

Though not has humid as the past three days, the gentle breeze swirling through Bayou St. John today barely cuts through the warm damp feeling of the city. Having spent the past year in dry cold climates, I've forgotten what a real summer feels like, but mostly what this kind of heat and humidity does to you. I've been exhausted. I'm a rather slow moving Southern girl anyway, but the glacial speed in which I speak and move these days is almost . . . relaxing.

Yesterday, I woke a tad hungover and decided a nice long run was in order. I found a gym nearby that has a one month membership for out of towners. Inside the gym was only slightly cooler than outside. I wasn't 15 minutes into my run before my shirt was drenched and I was out of breath. I kept going but by the end of only 3 miles, I called it quits. Maybe just some weights and lunges. Nope. One set of biceps curls and 25 lunges made me want to crawl up in the corner and take a nap. The mysterious lack of cold water in the shower didn't help.

My failed attempt to complete a full workout led me to my other option. A beer and a bowl of Gumbo. I immediately perked up when I stumbled upon an old style 7 piece brass band standing in middle of Chartres St and St. Anne. I sat on my cruiser and listened and danced. The dripping sweat down my cheeks didn't bother me nearly as much this time. It was 330pm before I realized I hadn't eaten yet, was still hungover, and growing more exhausted by the second. Gumbo. Beer.

Not wanting to stray too far from hearing live music I wandered into a restaurant that had a big boiled crawfish sign outside. Not too touristy for a French Quarter place, but the Gumbo wasn't that great and the crab shells kept jabbing my tongue. Sleep was sneaking up on me fast. I barely made it the 2 miles up Esplanade Ave. to my apartment before crashing. The heat, the humidity, the too many Maker's Marks the night before, my throbbing left hand from crashing on my cruiser after leaving Pal's Lounge on the notoriously unrepaired roads, and the unstoppable sweating finally caught up with me.

Inside the tiny studio in the back of a multi-unit shotgun was almost hotter than the courtyard. I wish I could string up a hammock and sleep outside instead. Yesterday was pretty much a bust, but the brass band and the various sounds blasting out of all the little places on Chartres made the complete exhaustion and sleep arriving at 8pm worthwhile.

New Orleans Bloggers

Fix the Pumps: After Katrina the Army Corps of Engineer took responsibility for fixing not only the levees but also the sewage pumps that had given out under the stress. One blogger, Matt McBride, has been following this process and keeping up the pressure to make sure this is (1) done and (2) done correctly.

Library Chronicles: One librarian's observations on post-Katrina rebuilding and oil spill clean up. I can't find a profile on the author but each post says 'posted by Jeffery' underneath it. His archives go back to 2003 and when searching through 2005 posts, it seems that he moved to Nashville for a while after the storm. He is clearly a city man. "Last week I was horrified to peer out through the kitchen window and discover a deer.. an actual friggin deer.. merrily loping through the neighborhood as casually as though he were out for a morning stroll. What the hell!"

His posts are short, usually something snarky about someone at the library asking a stupid question. But there are really great links to interesting articles.

New Orleans Slate:
An interesting mix of recent New Orleans culture and emails sent to friends and family in the 2005 and 2006. His writing reminds me of the book Why New Orleans Matters, written by the author of My Cold War and New York transplant when he and his girlfriend moved to New Orleans, Tom, Piazza. Sam, the New Orleans Slate writer, also writes a sister blog called Katrina Refridgerator. It looks to be solely his emails to friends and families and the blog's tagline is "Some smells, like fear, anger, incompetence, death, mold and rotting meat, stay in your nostrils forever."

Mostly Cajun: And for a taste of a Southern Louisiana conservative, Mostly Cajun is written by someone whose name I can't find. Mostly political commentary with a good mix of receipes and what it means to grow up in Southwest Louisiana, which isn't New Orleans, but relevant enough.

Rene Claire

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