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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal: Scouting New Orleans 
28th-May-2010 04:46 pm
A Whole World Out There
Live from New Orleans: looks like we have a winner! It's a few blocks off St. Charles Avenue, quiet and lined with old trees. About a mile's walk or bike ride to the University. I'm on the second, main floor of a gorgeous old monster of a house, with some of the other five apartments taken by a Tulane med student, an Army Corps of Engineers engineer, a pair of Teach For America girls, and a law student. Looks pretty perfect. My department chair actually came on this visit with me because if I wasn't interested in it, he wanted to scout it for an incoming Islamist the department had hired, and he thought that it looked great from his own long knowledge of New Orleans apartments. So that was reassuring.

Getting the paperwork started on that got me out of the tedium of a few more scouting visits in this heat (90-ish, with 67% humidity, which the locals tell me is "a cool day"), after I had met some more of the faculty at a retirement party for a woman named Carol who I had met yesterday, and who had been running the Religious Studies office for 37 years, making her the senior member by far. I felt like I just sort of squeeked in right at the end of an era.

Now I'm killing a bit of time before going out to dinner with my chair, another prof, and the assistant Dean of my college this evening, up by the lake. Two nights dinners so far have included redfish in a sauce with nuts, raspberries and small shrimp at the College Inn on Carrollton, and then last night (with my chair and the chair of the Philosophy department) with a baked flounder (crawfish and andouille stuffing, corn, burdock, mushrooms, roast tomato vinaigrette) at a place in the Riverbend area called Dante's Kitchen. It's all pretty fab so far.
28th-May-2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
New Orleans. sigh. Good luck not gaining fifty pounds -- I know I would.

The apartment sounds great!
28th-May-2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
What's the line Pippin said in The Return of the King? That "I'm unlikely to grow any further, save sideways."?
28th-May-2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
PERFECT! You can take the St Charles streetcar line (which my best friends were married on last July) straight to The Columns, which my great-great-aunts owned when it was a Depression-era boarding house... /nerd
28th-May-2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
Seriously?! Tim, my chair, told me to go over there for a drink later on if I wanted, when he dropped me off last night. (I declined, having been walking back and forth all over the Riverbend area, and being ready to fall asleep by around ten.) He said it's now owned by Loyola alums or parents or somesuch, and is a big Loyola place. I'll check it out!
28th-May-2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Absolutely seriously -- my grandmother spent big parts of her Tennessee-Williams-esque childhood there. I never saw it myself until the aforementioned wedding last July (we gathered at The Columns, which is a great place for drinks, and then boarded a special streetcar for the ceremony)
29th-May-2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
The house/apartment building looks great, i.e. it has character. But better you than me living in New Orleans. Hot and muggy would not work for me and I have great aversion to fish and seafood (I know, my loss and everyone tells me). Now chickory coffee and Cajun music would be real nice. I am glad you are finding things to delight in t here.
3rd-Jun-2010 03:38 am (UTC)
Yes, the aversion to seafood would be a great loss down there: each of three nights out, that was all I had. But it looks like the disaster in the Gulf is going to be putting a crimp on the whole city's love of seafood for awhile. But I've had little exposure to Cajun food, none to Creole, and so I'm looking forward to that exploration. And, as you pointed out, the music's going to be fabulous....
30th-May-2010 10:50 am (UTC)
Nice house! It'll be amazing to live there for a while! There is so much amazing music and culture there.
3rd-Jun-2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Yes, it's just about as strong a culture you can have that's distinct to one American city and that hasn't been plasticized into a tourist commodity. It'll be a blast! There is, of course, guest room always available.
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