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There may be one more batch after this one... but here are some more New Orleans pics. Under ze cut, si vous plait, for your viewing plezure.

Photos Here )
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These are the "arty" pictures, so I put them up on my deviantart page. I'll put some under the cut here too.

New Orleans Pics! )
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All righty, quick final wrap up.

The fates were unkind and had me spend the night in Atlanta unexpectedly due to plane trouble last night so I didn't get to this then, so here it is now.

I went to Muriel's off Jackson Square, by recommendation, for jazz brunch. It was pretty good. I was a bit disappointed by the service. They asked me to take my hat off (I was sporting my cloche hat after getting sun burnt the previous day) and didn't ask a preppy lady at the next table to do the same. The food was adequate for the prices, and I really did like the goat cheese and crayfish sauce crepes.

I saw an Iron Man event, and took a picture of the lady who came in first amongst the women. Pretty cool.

Of the neighborhoods I visited in New Orleans (Garden, French Quarter, Mid City, and Warehouse) I really liked the warehouse district. No people, very cool things to take pictures of and good restaurants, what more could one want?

People in New Orleans are really quite friendly and seem courteous of one another in a way I haven't seen elsewhere. Its nice. I feel bad for them that their major industry is tourism.

What made me uncomfortable in the city wasn't feeling unsafe- I never really did feel unsafe except maybe occasionally in the Quarter, oddly enough (I hate narrow streets with sudden alleys). It was the feeling that there was an upper class and a lower class but no middle class to speak of. That was plain weird and disturbing.

Soon, I will post pictures.
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Day 4 of my trip.

I somehow managed, in spite of getting up extra early (6:00 AM) and arriving on time, to miss the tour bus for the field trip associated with my conference. I think I must have been waiting in the wrong spot. That was a real bummer.

(Another aside about the PsyOps meeting: While I was getting I noticed a ton of runners by the river, like more than you'd expect for 7 in the morning on a Saturday. Turns out the Industrial Psychologists have a 5k in association with their meetings. Wacky.)

But I decided to go on about a day anyway. First I went to the Hove perfumerie. That was fun. And then I went onto the Lafeyette Cemetery near Commander's Palace. I tried to get a table at Commander's Palace, but dang, they were booked. I should have made a reservation, but I was intimidated by the "dress code" thing.

So instead I wound up at Slim Goodies Diner on Magazine St. I had the Tex Mex Hashbrowns, which were fantastic. Their salsa was really good. For the price I expected a bigger plate, however. And the hash browns, while real hash browns, were not quite crispy enough for my taste. But I'd eat that meal again, no doubt. It was a fun joint, too, with lots of fun pics on the walls and nice waitstaff.

I did a little shopping on Magazine St. and I got my friend a tee-shirt as requested.

Then I went to the zoo. By the time I got to the White Alligator house (I am not sure why they keep the white alligators in a house and the others out...) I was pooped. It was cool in the building and there were loads of seats. So I sat a long time watching an alligator that was totally under water, waiting for him to come up. Nearly 40 minutes later, he was still under water. And he moved, so he wasn't dead. That was pretty impressive.

I love Audubon Park. Love love love it. I have spent a lot of time there this trip, and could spend more. The egret nesting grounds are especially cool- hundreds of white egrets on a little island. I don't normally think of egrets as making a racket, but dang, they make some strange noises.

For dinner I went to Voodoo BBQ, which is a chain in Louisiana. It was fantastic. I had been smelling it from the St. Charles street car twice a day, and decided that even though it wasn't a foodie tooty (my play on hoity toity) restaurant, I was going to eat there. Yum yum. I watched the Michigan vs Conn game while I ate. I didn't get the final line up right at all. Oh well. People are totally not into college basketball here, either.

Then I went to this Jumping on Julia event, which was basically a bunch of art openings. It was more neat to experience the scene than the art, I'm sad to say. I have seen some abysmal art in this town, and very little good art. I did see some paintings using oil on copper, which weren't great, but the technique was neat. I think many of the native artists are trapped by the culture of the town and stereotypes thereof, a bit. Lots of decadence/debouching themes. I ran into the gal who was staying at India House, but as it happens she is an artist who uses ethnobotany in her work, so she was in deep networking mode and not feeling otherwise social (or at least that was what I gathered).

Then my legs started cramping up big time. Ouch! So I bailed on my plan to find somewhere to drink and hang out, and went back to the hostel for a shower and feet up time. I don't think the sleep I'd like is in the offing, because Gary is working the desk and likes to blast NIN from all of the speakers in the joint till 1. At least. Ugh.
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I gave my talk. It wasn't bad, but it probably was a bit, hm, dull? elaborate? compared to some. No, wait, academic? dare I say it. This conference has a weird culture to it.

The dude who I quoted in it said he thought it was "interesting." I'm just going to take that as it was okay. I don't think I knocked the ball out of the park, but I didn't strike out either. I guess he walked out of one of his students talks, and he didn't do that at mine, so maybe that's good? Oh well.

At the creparie I had a bacon, spinach, tomato crepe. I also ran into a fellow I sat next to on the plane in, who was attending the "PsyOps" conference for Industrial Psychologists- there were like 10 of them on the plane. It must be huge, because later on when I was chatting to Paso about how I had run into the guy, a lady who was waiting behind us in line to get into Casamentos talked to us about her daughter from Tulane having gone to the conference too.

After the conference was done I went on a walk through Audubon Park and down Magazine St. with Paso, the plant geneticist dude who is staying at India House (he has documented the origins of vanilla cultivars via their genetics, and is doing a post doc working on sourcing corn varieties). After he had to take off for the conference banquet- which I really should have gone to, except the fee was steep and I never trust that the food at these things won't have msg, college catering is bad for it- I walked down Prytania St and took pictures of the uber posh houses. And saw oodles of people walking cute dogs.

There were not one, not two, but three fancy boutique pet supply shops on Magazine St. I get the impression folks are gaga for dogs here.

I had oysters at Casamento's with Paso. This is the first time I had raw oysters, and I really couldn't have picked a better place to try them for the first time, I think. They were quite good, but I was struck by how they ressembled cooked ones in flavor. Unless I'm in a place where I know they will be good, I'm sticking to fried. The fried oyster sandwich (they did not call it a po' boy, it was "an oyster loaf" was heavenly. The coating was just perfectly crunchy. There were signed shirts on the wall, and I took a picture of the one Martha Stewart signed "Its a Good Thing." Hee hee. That was so awesome.

I also had gellato at La Dolce Vita, they had all kinds of odd flavors, like Guiness, and a Bacon flavor. I normally jump at weird flavors, but after trying the Guiness flavor, I just had to go conventional. The Strawberry White Chocolate was really good.

I tried to check out the graveyard near Commander's Palace, but it was closed. It closes at 2:30. Boo.

Tomorrow I have to get up at 7 to get to one of the conference hotels for pick up to go on the canoeing field trip. I hope that my registration for it didn't get screwed up. We'll see.

I should be out partying, but damn, my feet hurt and I don't want to spend the cash. Maybe tomorrow.
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I start conferencing tomorrow. I got here a day early to get some touristing in and get settled, etc. I hope I have the street cars figured right to get to Tulane. Ah, that may be an adventure.

The place I'm staying, India House is eccentric, to say the least (but this was not unexpected). I'm staying in a little outbuilding that reminds me a great deal of a kid's fort. Uff da, now the kids fort adjacent to mine has inhabitants, and the fact that the walls are made of plywood is really um, obvious. I seriously hope they keep their activities quiet. It does have electricity though. And wifi. And a little koi pond in front of the outbuilding. Scary shared bathrooms and fellow guests though.

I went to Cochon for lunch today. I sat at the kitchen seat and chatted with one of the cooks. It was fun, and the food was quite good. The service was attentive, if a bit amateurish. The ambiance was trendy, but comfortable. I had the crawfish pie, which was basically a spicy rice/crawfish stew in a pastry shell. Almost too spicy for the delicate flavor of the crawfish, but quite good. They gave me a complementary small plate of head cheese, with toast points and dijon mustard. I'd never had head cheese before and that was good as well, like some blend between terrine and pate. And I had the cochon, which was fascinating. All the parts of the dish (except the cracklins for garnish) were necessary, the pulled pork, the pickled turnips and cabbage all played with each other very well. I had a pecan ale from a micro brewery in Mississippi which was good (though my server was unable to give me any details about the beers when I ordered). My only complaint was the salt level was a bit high in all the dishes, I felt that they tended towards the unsubtle in the flavorings. All in all, maybe not worth the price I paid, but quite good and I'd go there again, but perhaps order a sandwich instead.

I went to an art museum, took a bunch of pictures, wandered around, ate beignet at Cafe du Monde (ugh, I always think fried bread is a good idea, and it rarely is), and now my feet hurt. I don't really like being a tourist. I'd rather have something interesting to do, instead of just looking at stuff. But that said, it was a good day.

Oh, and a comment on the people. I've been called baby (by many people), sweet pea, and blondie all in one day. I don't know how many more diminutive nominatives given to me by strangers I can stand. Its making me feel like a crabby northerner for sure.
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Well, sorta. I'm going to be going on a trip for five days starting tomorrow at 5 AM, where I will network and present a paper at the Ethnobiology meetings in New Orleans. It should be fun, but I'm at the point I always get facing any trip where I really don't want to go. And its been a while since I traveled solo. Well, as long as I don't feel humiliated by the quality of my paper compared to the others, and don't get myself attacked by anyone/thing that'll be good. Low expectations are the way to go when traveling.

Time to finish packing and catch a bit o' sleep.

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