Waiting on the Train at St. Claude and Homer Plessy Way

A train stalled on the tracks in the dark.

Ok, so this isn’t what I saw riding my bike around today, but I’ve been in a writing funk that I’m climbing out of, so I’m going to write about some past bike rides as I get back in the habit of biking and writing about it. This picture is from a ride I took back in early November. I was in New Orleans for the American Studies Association annual conference, the first in person since my last trip in November 2019. It was so, so good to be there, to see so many old friends, to be all sweaty and hot in November. I was going for the intellectual community, the colleagues and friends, but if I’m being real, I was going there for the biking.

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Krewe of Choctaw Plantation Float at Charles & Louisiana

Krewe of Choctaw Plantation Float at Charles & LouisianaI spent my Friday packing Brompty in her new suitcase and then flying slowly south to New Orleans for the first weekend of Carnival, my annual pilgrimage to this place that used to be home. It was Brompty’s first flight, and I had all the jitters of a new mom dropping her baby at day care as they took my sweet bicycle away with the rest of the checked bags. She came out fine at the other end, and oh, I was glad I brought her along for a Saturday riding all over town. I headed toward Uptown from the Treme, a ride I used to make as often as I now make the ride up the hill from the Inner Harbor. This time I was off to meet P. and C. and the rest of the gang for the day’s Uptown parades. Continue reading

Dita Von Teese As An Orientalist Fantasy at the House of Blues on Decatur


I had a lovely day, up early, got some work done at the coffee shoppe, and then got a good bike ride in, first to R.’s place for a little bike lesson and a lot of catching up. It has been moons since our last session, and R. claimed to have forgotten everything she knew. I moved the seat down for her so she could sit and shuffle, pumped up the tires, and away we went. After mere minutes she did three revolutions on her own–she can ride a bike! I left her with my two cardinal bike rules: the faster you go, the easier it is to balance, so just keep pedaling, and second, look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go, which is really a basic life philosophy. She promised to practice and I continued my ride Uptown to meet C. and H. for burritos and cat visitation before speeding back downtown to swap shoes and bag before pedaling back out to meet J. for Dita Von Teese’s burlesque show at the House of Blues. I could go on and on about the show, especially the part where Dirty Martini was there with her twirling tassles…she’s amazing, but you know what? That closing number? The one where Dita is some kind of Orientalist fantasy, from the “opium pipe” down to the hair and the awkward bowing? Yeah, that just kills my buzz. I’m sure I could make a case for it being an interesting mimesis that subverts yadda yadda yadda, but really, come on, can we please get a break from those tired tropes, especially when we’re a bunch of white people? Thanks in advance. After that bout of humorless feminist I was ready to head home, grateful for J.’s offer to drive me and my bike, because it is way past my bedtime.

Stories About Racism at the Race Exhibit at the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter


I woke up uncharacteristically early this morning, so even after fussing around for a couple of hours, I managed to catch much of the morning session of the Danziger Bridge case. I hopped on my bike and headed down to the courthouse, locking up to the Where Ya’ Rack bike rack in Lafayette Square–thanks, YLC! The last witness before lunch was Ignatius Hill, a cop who was on the Budget rental truck that carried the cops and their guns to the bridge that morning of August 6, 2005.

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Empty Lot at Galvez & Lafitte

After a much-needed day of doing absolutely nothing yesterday, and a morning and afternoon spent finishing up a project, I was ready to get on the bike and head out to see what might happen today. And then I felt the heat. Sometimes I’m up for biking in it, sometimes, not so much, and today I was in the mood for something a little cooler. Continue reading

Erika Wennerstrom Setting Up at One Eyed Jacks on Toulouse & Chartres

I had every plan to finish that article today, so I spent the morning to early afternoon at home, tapping away at the computer, type, type, type, delete, delete, delete. I was trying to write the introductory paragraph to this article I’m working on, and every time I got to the road map part, I just got stuck. Continue reading

Coke Freestyle Machine at the Wendy’s on Tchoup

Today was my birthday which meant I could do whatever I wanted to do to celebrate being alive, and believe you me, I’m enjoying this whole life thing. I slept in, talked to my sister on the phone forever, and then hopped on the bike and headed out for a massage. Afterward, because it was my birthday, I left my bike on the rack and walked the several blocks to Wendy’s for a spicy chicken sandwich, add cheese, fries, and a drink. She asked me what kind of drink I wanted. I foolishly said I wanted a Diet Coke, but what I didn’t know was that I’d be filling my cup from the crazy new zillion flavor Coke machine newly-installed in the lobby. Continue reading

Houses Behind a Fence at Galvez & Cleveland

Saturday’s my day off, and I spent mine riding around on my bike visiting friends. I rode down to the Quarter this morning for croissants and coffee with S., mom, and friend, and it was nice to be out riding around early, catching a few tunes around the corners of the Creole Tomato Festival. Continue reading

New Orleans Antebellum, Civil War, & Reconstruction History at the Cabildo in Jackson Square

I’m feeling quite out of sorts with all the moving and things this week, but today, after a brief stop at the old place to clean out a cabinet and collect my security deposit, I am done. For now. What I need is a little normalcy, so I took myself out on the bike to meet friends for some work at the coffee shoppe and then to the Cabildo for a little Louisiana history. Continue reading

Blue Sky, Clouds, and Power Lines at N. Peters & Bienville

I spent my morning finishing up my book and dismantling furniture for my upcoming move before heading out on the bike for various and sundry social activities in Mid-City. I stopped for a burrito and an afternoon sangria with myself–a favorite Saturday afternoon activity of mine. Continue reading