Friday, July 22, 2016


I apologize for the long silence. I'm feeling a little shell-shocked by the hate on display in Cleveland at the Republican Convention. Thank goodness it's over.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I went down to the crossroads

The intersection of US Highway 61 and US Highway 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi is said to be the legendary crossroads featured in Delta Blues musician Robert Johnson's famous song.

Not a lot is known about Johnson, but it is known that he lived for a time here in Clarksdale, and that  he possessed an extraordinary talent for playing the guitar.

Folks said his talent for playing guitar was so good he must have sold his soul to the devil for it - a notion Johnson encouraged, it being good for his popularity as a musician. Such a bargain would have taken place at a crossroads such as this one.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Healing sights

Echinacea purpurea, the purple coneflower that is native to the American midwestern prairie states, is said to possess healing properties. Scientists and doctors have been unable to prove the claims, however.

But for me, just being here in Geneva, Illinois, walking through Island Park on the Fox River and seeing a bed of purple coneflowers in full bloom is healing enough.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Oldie but goodie

She was born in 1956, a good year. It's hard to know the life she led, but it's clear that she had a roof over her head. She has lived a sheltered life since, as rumors go in the neighborhood, the 1960s. But the other day, she was finally brought out of her garage, and taken away.

The house, a single shotgun on Dauphine Street, is being remodeled now. There are still signs of the 2005 Flood on the front by the door, and the place looks shabby and down at heel, but there are workers in there now, revitalizing the place.

But it's no longer her home. The garage in the back is crumbling apart. It's time for her to go. This 1956 Dodge Coronet is saying farewell to Dauphine Street, at last.

We'll miss her pretty face.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The kindness of strangers

My next door neighbor, a young man who moved here from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, just came over and weed-whacked my tiny little back yard, where the grass had grown up past ankle- high.

He and his girlfriend are staying in a rental where her grandmother used to stay. They have a connection here. And a new puppy, now - I hope Jack will be able to play with it in the park soon.

When he cleared my lawn, I had to remove the pink flamingos. They've been reinstalled in the street planter box, where they'll gain more visibility.

My little container garden is thriving, despite the heat.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A typical New Orleans holiday weekend

Sometimes I look back at the end of my day and marvel about the adventures I experienced in only one day.

Today was Sunday, and I took the unusual step of sleeping in until about 10:00 o'clock. I cooked myself a nice breakfast, and then drove across the bridge into the Lower Ninth Ward to go to the supermarket in Chalmette.

After a sandwich at home for lunch, I went to my local bar, Vaughan's Lounge, and had a glass of wine in the company of my friend, the bartender, and a couple of other regulars. I had decided to go to a poetry reading Uptown, and needed a little liquid courage to relax in a new social scene.

Well - the poetry reading was interesting. Really, it was kind of the Land of Misfit Toys.  When I got there, people were milling about. There were a handful of older men with straggly grey ponytails. There was a large Earth Mother in a paisley muumuu who seemed to be in charge of the line-up. There was a slender young woman with a dried-out bleached blonde hairdo, wearing a long black sheath with a rhinestone collar, slinging a leopard-print bag over her shoulder. There was a bewigged lady all in white festooned with dozens of bracelets and necklaces.

I had a wine spritzer, and politely listened to about five authors read. A long-haired young man shyly intoned into the microphone. An older man spoke forcefully, but held the mic so close to his lips that it distorted all his words. A woman in a lace playsuit read a kind of good poem. The bewigged lady came up to the mic and said, "I don't have a poem to read today," so she proceeded to sing "Rose's Turn" from the Broadway musical Gypsy. 

The blonde woman got up, and instead of reading some psycho-sexual rant (which is what I anticipated) read a poem in rhyme (!) that was a reminiscence about her teenage years in the Girl Scouts.

That was when I decided to take off and head back to the Bywater. At least the degenerates and weirdos there are more interesting. And more attractive!!

Patriotic Pool party!
Once at Vaughan's Lounge, I was invited to a pre-4th of July pool party at the home of Dusty and Matt. I found a place to park right outside, and hung out in there with some neighborhood friends, some good sangria, and some tasty gazpacho. The crowd was great - families, kids, everyone.

After I went home, I walked the dog around the block and got to see my old neighbor Who Dat, hanging out on his porch and listening to his music.

Tomorrow there's a big holiday party potluck at Vaughan's Lounge; I'm bringing something, hope to have a nice time.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Giving a fig

It's fruit ripening season, and the markets are full of fresh wonderful fruit.

But so are the streets and sidewalks, if you know where to look. In my neighborhood, there are several fig trees, and while some of them are carefully tended by their owners, who harvest the fruit, there are others that bear gifts that no one notices....unless you happen to look carefully.

The other day, I plucked a handful of ripe figs from a tree on my block. These beauties are just here for the taking.

If you can beat the birds for them!

Fresh figs drizzled with honey and served with granola and yogurt.Yum!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

This afternoon's thunderstorm

Rolling in.....

From the Marigny bus, at Jackson Square.

By the time I got home. Thunder's rolling right overhead, the wind off the river is picking up.

Monday, June 27, 2016


When I flew into Los Angeles last Tuesday, the region had been suffering from a heat wave, an unprecedented change-up from the usual June Gloom, at least that was how the mild, entitled dwellers of the Westside and beach communities felt about it.  But the heat broke that Tuesday. "Oh, look," said Dan my host, "we've been running the air conditioner all week. This is the first evening we can turn it off and open the windows."

And the evening was cool, just like I remember those Los Angeles summer nights, with a breeze lifting the curtains in the upstairs guest room. It was pleasant enough to eat outdoors in the patio, though I needed the light cotton sweater I'd brought.