Empty Seats at the Audubon Aquarium IMAX Theater

I had the day free and I happily spent it playing hooky. I rode my bike downtown to a doctor’s appointment and then to the gym where I lazily lifted some weights and thought about what to eat for lunch. I went for a burrito and a beer, it being Thursday and all, before taking the bike to the aquarium. I locked up on one of their new bright yellow U-racks and picked up tickets for the fish and the IMAX theater for its 3pm showing of Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk. The aquarium itself is wonderful–penguins, otter, seahorses, jellyfish, sea turtles–but I advise you to skip the stingray touch tank. I rushed through the Gulf of Mexico Sponsored by Shell, BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil to get to the theater on time to get a beer (this is New Orleans), popcorn, and a seat. I snapped this picture while waiting–plenty of seats. I wonder how the occasional blue seat sneaks in. The old me would have either sat there on purpose or avoided it like it was diseased, but today I just sat wherever, admiring these soundproofing walls, happy to share the theater with those two old folks with the maps, the two parents and their toddler, and the Italian-speaking foursome who decided to sit right behind me. I slung my feet over the seat in front of me, drank my beer from its can-of-the-future, and swallowed a large small bag of popcorn, thinking life’s pretty good. But we’ve got to think about that river, people. Did you know that none of the Colorado River–not one single drop–makes it to the ocean? That its lakes are draining? And that 3D can make a movie jump out at you like that?

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