Saturday, March 24, 2012

Out of the Ordinary

One recent morning, we awoke to a loud noise.

Soon several fellow campers had arrived at the channel shore. With cameras or coffee cups in hand, we speculated on the reason for the appearance of this huge crane and its accompanying tugboat in the channel past the campground.

With our guesses still unconfirmed by mid-morning, we decided to capitalize on the non-rainy day and head out for bagels and then lunch.

We've been in New Orleans for two weeks and have not made it into the French Quarter yet. All that means is that we have found gems along Magazine Street, such as Artz Bagelz.

We can be assured of finding some surprises, too. Here, along a wall, appears to be a beer-lover's dream. Unfortu-nately, the taps are not connected to kegs.

Along the way, we passed by Big Fisherman Seafood. It was here that Alton Brown stopped for an impromptu lunch. There are no tables at this market, so Alton and his motorcycle-mounted crew used a freezer top for their table.

This was one of their stops on a thousand-mile journey, following America’s first “superhighway”—the Mississippi. This and other eateries are detailed in Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run.

I was struck by the orderly display of upcoming events on this makeshift "bulletin board." Whereas in most such community news spots, the flyers are slapped on randomly, often covering other upcoming events.

I admire the attention to placement--four rows of three each, maintained by several people over a series of months. The obsessive-compulsive part of me was impressed--imagine finding that many people with a common approach to flyer-posting.

(I know that it could also be one person who is responsible for this "presentation," but what are the odds of it being one person's efforts.)

We were admiring the signs for the businesses along this section of Magazine Street. Slim Goodies Diner and

Nacho Mama's were added to our ever-expanding list of new restaurants in this foodie-favorite city.

We also paused to admire some of the homes in the area.

We could have extended our walk into the residental parts of this section of Magazine Street, but lunch was calling.

After lunch at Squeal (see yesterday's entry), we took a walk along a couple of blocks of Oak Street. One of our first stops was the Acoustioptic Gallery of "Frenchy," the artist whose work was displayed in Squeal.

As Greg Phillips writes, quoting Randy Leo Frechette: “I try to keep time with the musicians and mimic their music notes with my brush strokes. I try to translate the sound to the color. I call it acoustioptics, the relationship between sound waves and color waves and how your brain perceives it. It’s a science I’ve been working on for years” (

And just across the street from the Acoustioptic Gallery was this vehichle--perhaps, the canvas for an "automoptic" artist.

The most interesting aspect of this artwork is that it is an advertise-ment for the restaurant--Jacques Imo's.

"Located in uptown New Orleans on a section of Oak Street, Jacques-Imo's embraces and interprets the New Orleans funky psyche in a way that is fetching to both tourists and locals alike" (

Well, if the exterior is any indication, Jacques-Imo's put the FUN in "funky." As one of the small stickers on his front door says: "Keep NOLA Funky."

We may have to stop back for a meal.

And if the sign out front is any indication of what to expect--we are in for quite an experience.

An out-of-the-ordinary day.

(By the way, we have not found the reason for the crane in the channel.)

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