Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I read this book in a little under two weeks. It’s really a quick, easy, and joyful read. This is a totally different book from Eat Pray Love or Committed. I think she was trying to inspire people to create cool shit not, even if it never makes you any money. And I think that’s awesome.

Five Days in New Orleans

Sorry for the silence! After five days in New Orleans with Kristen, my sinuses freaked out and I was busy back at work, so, Tumblrs, sorry, you took a back seat. BUT! New Orleans is an amazing city. When Tennessee Williams said “There are only 3 cities in America, New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland,” he was not lying. So much history and art and music. The architecture is beautiful there. I was astonished. It’s also one of the most haunted cities in America. It’s ALSO cheap as hell. My beer at the hotel bar was $7.50 (RIGHT?). 

Kristen and I went on a ghost tour, got lots of beads (it was the verrrrry beginning of Mardi Gras), went to Frenchmen Street, drank Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens where they were invented, saw the shitshow that was Bourdon Street, got very sloshed at times, went to Cafe Du Monde for the coffee, listened to jazz at Spotted Cat, and ate lots of amazing food (Herbsaint and Three Muses – GO). And we walked an entire parade route down Dauphine Street (we only caught up the tail end of it, unfortunately) and saw lots of the Bywater.

When I was on my own, I went into the Louisiana and New Orleans #1 Cemeteries (saw Marie Laveaus’ grave), I went to the World War II Memorial Museum, walked around the French Quarter, the Frenchmarket, and the Warehouse District lots. I drank a $3.50 Shocktop (not happy hour, that’s just the regular price, WHAT). I went to one of the Louisiana State Museums to exhibits on Katrina and Mardi Gras, I went to a yoga class at Reyn Yoga when I was incredibly hung over. I walked up and down Royal Street in the French Quarter a bunch of times listening to the music. I spent a bunch of time in Jackson Square people watching (and listening to music). I ate at the Ruby Slipper and Sylvain (both were awesome!). 

For the first time ever I didn’t really buy any souvenirs. I just didn’t feel like I needed any. I brought coffee back for my office and pralines back for my parents, and lots of beads, but that’s it. 

The people were incredibly nice and there’s so much to do there. I was sad to leave the seventy degree whether for twenty degree weather, but I was exhausted. If you’re going to NOLA, go for 4-5 days for your first time. You’ll never be bored but it won’t be too much. LOTS of pictures below the cut…

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

I was lucky enough to be able to see a preview performance of All the Way a couple of weeks ago which opened a week ago tonight. It’s a new drama by Robert Schenkkan that received ridiculous reviews at A.R.T. in Boston. A drama about LBJ’s first year or so in office trying to get the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 passed starring Bryan Cranston as LBJ.

I love history plays so I loved this one. It was an era that I’d not known the exact details of. The violence, the struggle, the bargaining behind closed doors. It reminded me of the movie Lincoln if only because it reflected what’s going on today in government and how nothing really ever changes. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I’ve seen Cranston in a couple of movies, but not Breaking Bad (give me five years). But I was thoroughly impressed by his acting chops onstage. He conveyed to the audience his inner struggles excellently. I also really enjoyed Betsy Aidem as Lady Bird Johnson. Other noteables in the cast were John McMartin (duh) as Senative Richard Russell, Michael McKean as J. Edgar Hoover, and James Eckhouse as Martin Luther King Hr. 

That said, every person in the cast was fantastic. The lighting (Jane Cox) and sound designs (Peter Fitzgerald) were also notable and effective.

Was All the Way long? Oh yes. Clocking in at a few minutes under 3 hours, it was longer than your usual Broadway play. But did I care? Not for one second. Bryan Cranston was just that good.

Tickets provided by the production. All opinions are my own.