Oak Tree and Toilet on Octavia and Chestnut

Oh, it was a beautiful day. Ok, not in terms of weather; we had yet another rainstorm that meant cold and wet riding. But it was beautiful in that way a day is beautiful when you have nothing pressing to do except breathe it in. I rode down to meet a friend for brunch, and then I rode back Uptown for a haircut. I stopped to snap this picture on Octavia and Chestnut. I just love this tree. Oak trees in New Orleans just aren’t like other trees. They are outrageous. I mean, they’re enormous, and old, and tall, and spread out, and they support so much other life. It used to be I had no particular feelings about oak trees–they’re just trees. I didn’t realize all the things an oak tree suggests, with its moss and and its mardi gras beads and its excessive shadows and thick arms. Oak trees are a sign of the city, and I love them. I don’t always love the rain, but today I managed to ride my bike around the storms, staying dry also by virtue of my fancy new Christmas raincoat (thanks, pops!). Yep a beautiful day on the bike with plenty of reminders that it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive. Oh, and yes. That’s a toilet. Just sitting on the sidewalk.

3 thoughts on “Oak Tree and Toilet on Octavia and Chestnut

  1. You had me smiling, then laughing with
    the bathroom accent. Good one. What a
    gorgeous tree. Completely different from
    the oaks in the northeast. When I finally
    compile some resolve to get on the train
    (with one of my bikes, of course) it would
    be nice to see your New Orleans. Thanks
    for that invite, Kate!

  2. In “I saw in Louisiana a Live Oak Growing,” Walt Whitman compares himself to a solitary Live Oak, as it stood alone, “Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green”. The distinction he draws is that the tree appears to be joyous while solitary, while he is certain that he can’t feel like that without a friend or lover near. In your photo, the toilet is the surrealist touch reminding me not to ponder Whitman for very long before I go out for a bike ride.

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