It was a ridiculously sunny day today, and I got to spend it on my bicycle. I rode down to meet K. for brunch and then headed toward the Quarter. As a Friend of the Cabildo, I get free admission to–you guessed it–the Cabildo, so I stopped in for a quick visit (and to use the bathroom) before heading the St. Claude bike lane into the Lower 9. I did a quick turn around the third floor, which I’ve actually never visited. It’s the floor about slavery and plantations and the Civil War. It’s got that drum and fife music and period outfits behind glass, and it’s also got the story of the two major industries that used slaves in Louisiana: cotton and sugar. Apparently making sugar from cane was incredibly labor-intensive, and, according to the display, it was virtually impossible to get free labor to do the work, hence the whole slavery business. These discourses are so old. I got back on my bike and pedaled against an unpleasant headwind (NOLA hill training) out to Chalmette National Battlefield–another sure bathroom break for those riding out to the parish. I took a detour over to the Domino sugar plant in Arabi, where I snapped this picture of the old building, the smokestacks, the released steam making the air smell like burnt sugar, and these lovely palm trees that pretty the whole thing up. I don’t really know anything about the labor behind sugar production today–we hide production from ourselves when we can. I wonder what the Museum of the Future will say about Louisiana’s industries, who does what work, and how the organization of production has affected our social policies.