Category Archives: New Orleans

New Orleans

Jones Hall Courtyard

In my Secular Rituals post, I mentioned the Jones Hall courtyard at Tulane. I was unable to find any photographs of it in a quick search before, but now that I’ve had a chance to go through my pictures at home, I’ve found my old drawing:
Drawing of Jones Hall Courtyard at Tulane

The open part of the courtyard (only the edge is shown) is to the left, while Jones Hall itself is behind the point-of-view in the drawing. I believe there’s another name for this courtyard, but I can’t remember what it is. It was (and is) one of my favorite parts of the Tulane campus.

Secular Rituals

There are a couple of things that I’ve noticed I enjoy doing roughly once a year. I’m not sure yet why I engage in these “secular rituals”. So far they include only:

The (plausible) reasons for reviewing these works that I have come up with so far are:

  1. To mark the passage of time internally.
  2. Because the experience is enjoyable, and after a year it’s not too repetitive.
  3. To remind myself of the feelings and thoughts that these media have evoked in me.

When at Tulane, especially when I was a freshman searching for meaning, I would do some other things periodically, mostly wandering around campus. In particular:

  • Visiting the Nydia, typically at night, when it was still in its glass enclosure.
  • Talking with Louis Rothbard, before they tore down the University Center and tore up the benches where he sat.
  • Sitting in the Jones Hall courtyard under the vines. Here’s a drawing I did of one part of it years ago:
    Jones Hall Courtyard Drawing

Like the more recent activities mentioned first, periodically I would feel compelled to do these things. Having done them, the need was sated for a few weeks or months, and would then come back again.

Have you felt like this? Do you have any secular rituals?

Mardi Gras is Not About Flashing

There’s a problem that New Orleanians often encounter when trying to encourage people to come for the Mardi Gras (said, “da Mawdi Graw”) — namely, they think it’s all about flashing (boobs for beads!).

With that in mind, I took some pictures this year to highlight the fact that it’s only that way in the French Quarter. And I’ve never been to the French Quarter during Mardi Gras, because I’m not insane. Here are some of the pictures.

Continue reading

The 2008 Post

Happy New Year! My friend Rob literally rang in the new year last night with a pot and spoon at my wife’s apartment in New Orleans. (No falling bullets were encountered.)

2007 was a very interesting year — a year throughout which I lived entirely in Baltimore, with regular jaunts to the Big Easy. This year that should change. This is also the year that I plan to finish my Ph.D.. Remaining steps include:

  • Finishing two papers.
  • Doing a graduate board oral exam (qualifier) at Hopkins. I’ve done one at Tulane already.
  • Writing and defending my thesis.

I want to graduate by December.

My current focus, however, is finishing my abstract in time for our big conference deadline on the 4th.