Monday, July 28, 2008

OMG we have a house.

After much trial and tribulation, Colin and I are pleased to announce that we have actually bought a house! It is the same one we featured in our earlier post about home purchasing, and now we have a signed title to prove it is ours. Among the awesome features we have just gone heavily into debt for* are:

1. A yard, including a mammoth tree. we plan on removing some of the concrete and converting it back to grass. We hope to grow some vegetables and ornamental plants, all suggestions are welcome for what we should put in.

2. A large dining room. Gone will be the days of squeezing our many friends into a small space, we think if we lay out the tables correctly we can have a huge group over for passover. Since everyone knows how much we like to entertain, this is a big bonus for us. Also, if it is an absolutely huge party, we can set up tables in the foyer.

3. An awesome foyer. Yeah, you heard me right, an entry way of epic proportions and style. It is kind of useless for any storage or actual use, except as dining room overflow, but it is pretty snazzy.

4. A kitchen with a gas stove and a dishwasher. After cooking on electric burners for a year, Colin and I are really excited to be using gas again. I am also thrilled to have a dishwasher, Colin is fine with hand washing dishes, but I feel it takes a lot of time that I would rather be doing something else.

The saga of the house purchase is long and horrific, and I will not bore you with it. Basically though, the sellers were a bit disorganized and we were afraid the sale would fall through at any moment. Given that, I am still in disbelief that we have managed to buy this place. I guess it will be more real when we move in. Our apartment lease is up on August 15th, and we will be moving our possessions in after the house is treated for termites (welcome to New Orleans, where termites are in everything).

* I joke, we have debt now, but I think we have it well in hand.


Annie is mean.

I still don't like Annie. She steals my bed, and when she is on it I do not want to jump up their and hang out with mommy. I try to annoy her in retaliation by stealing and playing with her toys in front of her, but this doesn't seem to work very well. I don't know if it is because she is older than me, or if she is just weird, but she does not play much. Daddy says she isn't a real cat because she does not play with toys that are thrown near her. I think she is a real cat, because she smells like one, but she definitely is weird.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wedding, part II

Last weekend (July 21st) Colin and I flew to Boston to see the wedding of my high school buddy Lauren. We had another awesome time, and I got to party and chat with my friends from Maret. The wedding was really beautiful, and did a nice job of incorporating elements from Dan's Christan background without ruining the Jewish tone of the wedding. This can be difficult, as Colin and I know. Their rabbi was awesome, and we spent some time talking to her about the difficulties of crafting a wedding which has elements of multiple faiths. Lauren and Dan also

Anyway, Lauren looked lovely. She did the whole princess thing, and had a cool tiara. Dan looked quite nice, and I appreciated his decision to not try and tame his normally spiky hairdo. My friends from high school looked stylish in their Black tie attire, and we had a wonderful time dancing and talking the night away. Colin and I decided that we need to rent a beach house on the gulf coast and invite them all down to spend the week with us and catch up on everything we have done since high school.

We really enjoyed being in Boston, the day of the wedding we were able to walk part of the freedom trail and go to a puritan grave yard and see some macabre gravestones. Colin, myself and Mike, a friend from college wandered all around the edges of Boston, looking at the harbor, the graveyard, and wandering into Little Italy.

if you want to see photos of us at this wedding, click here.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wedding, part I

This last weekend Colin and I traveled to Madison WI, for the wedding of our dear friends Annie and Doug. This was the first of the three weddings we will be attending in the next few weeks, and I have to admit that I am already exhausted. What is it about weddings that is so tiring? Perhaps it is the emotional upheaval that comes from seeing someone you love at the beginning of their new life with their partner. Despite my tiredness, I am so glad we were able to go, because the wedding was fabulous.

You always want to see your friends be themselves, even on as big an event as their wedding day. I am happy to say that Annie and Doug managed to design a ceremony that was meaningful, moving, beautiful and, most importantly, really reflected who they were. Colin and I both teared up several times during the night.

We also got to see some of our other friends from U of C, and we were able to spend a lot of time with Jasmine and Thomas. It was really great to see them for such an extended time (we bummed a ride from O'Hare to Madison with them) and get to talk with them about our lives in New Orleans.

It really was an idyllic visit.

If you would like to see some candid snapshots from the event, click here.


July 4th picnic

Colin and I decided to go downtown to see the fireworks from the riverfront. We thought that it might be nice to bike the 8 miles or so to the Canal Street Ferry, and then take the ferry to Algiers and sit on that side of the levee and watch the show. We packed plenty of consumables, and left early in the evening so as to be comfortably established for the 8pm "dueling barges" show. Here is a photo essay of our Fourth of July holiday.

Colin waits at the ramp entrance (the one for cars) at the Canal street ferry terminal.
Notice the overladen picnic basket and his styling chapeau.

The view from that same ramp waiting for the arrival of the ferry. Amusingly enough, the ramp had contradictory signage, which originally confused us, and made us wonder if we were allowed on the car ramp.

A unique view of the crescent city connection from the ferry.

We has a picnic spread! Also, space to spread our picnic, which was not the case on the East bank of the river, which was filled with people both for the 4th of July, and for Essence festival.

The view from the Algiers levee of the St. Louis cathedral, appropriately back-lit from the heavens. See how close we are to the French quarter? There were two boats shooting off fireworks in the mile between us and this church.

The beautiful fireworks.

All in all we were very pleased with ourselves. I had suggested going across the river because I thought it would be less crowded, and I remembered that the levee on that side of the Missippi was right on the water. We had a perfect position to veiw the fireworks from, and it was not too crowded with tourists. In fact, I think we were surrounded by local West bank families, and their picnics. All in all it was a complete success and a gorgeous evening. Even the weather cooperated, humidity was really low and there was a cooling breeze during our ride too and from the ferry.


Friday, July 4, 2008

I am not a happy cat.


I was all happy down here in New Orleans. I had my people, I had my porch, summer was coming and the bugs were out. Then mommy brought home another cat. She says that its only for a little bit (unless we like each other) and that I have to be nice to the other cat because she is old and her person is about to go overseas into the Peace Corps. So now I am stuck with an unwanted roommate for two months. The new cat, Annie, is really annoying. She spends all her time on MY bed, trying to snuggle MY people. In response to this affront, I am spending most of my time on the porch, escaping Annie.

The uneasy truce.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tomato fest

We went to the Creole Tomato Festival a few weekends ago, and I thought I would share some images from that tasty, tasty event. Colin and I went down to the French Market on June 15th to see what the tomato harvest looked like this year. We purchased a box of famous Becnels tomatoes, grown nearby in Belle Chase (which is just over the Mississippi river from us, about a 15 minute drive from downtown New Orleans). I have heard claims from locals that Becnel's tomatoes are the best of the local offerings, so I decided we needed to see for ourselves.

The rumors are true, these are dang tasty tomatoes.

We also got to try a southern specialty at the festival, fried green tomatoes. These were amazing. the corn breading was crunchy, but not too oil soaked, the tomatoes firm, bright green and flavorful, and the rémoulade sauce on top was to die for. Colin and I really savored the four slices we got for 5$, a reasonable investment since they were not only delicious, but also filling.

Green tomato slices, don't they look good? The staff of Voleo's Seafood Restaurant prepare the tomatoes by dipping them in cornmeal.

Perhaps the most exiting part of the day was the fact that the US Mint, a defunct mint and now a museum in the French quarter, was offering free admission. This meant that Colin and I were able to see the new exhibit Treasures of Napoleon for free. The exhibit was pretty awesome, filled with artifacts from all stages of Napoleon's life, from his schoolboy letters, to items from his home on St. Helena. The exhibit was well laid out, had beautiful pieces, and was informative. NPR has been playing advertisements for this exhibit for a while, which say: "Come see Treasures of Napoleon, at the old US mint ....(artifacts) including the sword that proclaimed him emperor, as well as one of his hats!". We were pleased to see that the exhibit did indeed include one of his hats, since that had been mentioned so prominently in the advertisement. We walked through the exhibit and would say to each other, this is awesome, but where is his hat? Finally in the last room of the show we found the hat. For some reason this made us ridiculously happy.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday Bike Blogging

Sigh. Another flat tire today. This one was really inconvienient. I was taking extra time for lunch to run to the Farmer's Market, and the flat happened on the way to the market. I had to walk the bike to the market and back, and get a ride home from Nora.

I added baskets to the bike because I was tired of awkwardly carrying a shoulder bag full of produce home from the market. So now I can carry all this food easily (when the tires cooperate at least). The front basket was a birthday gift to myself. I was also going to get a rear basket at the time, but the people at the store recommended that I bring the bike in for that. I didn't have the bike with me because I was also fixing a tire that day. I left without a rear basket. But a month later, I found a rear basket on the road while taking a different way home. I brought it home on the off-chance that it would be the proper style for my bike. It works perfectly. You can see both baskets in the photo:

The rear basket is not ideal, as it is somewhat heavy and doesn't fold up. But it works, and the price was right.

Also, in this week's New Orleans bike news, the Times Picayune had an article on Monday about bicycling in the city. They got good quotes from people from all over the city, including Richard Campanella, who commutes from Bywater to Tulane every day (14 mile round trip). I was excited to see him in there, because we own two (very gorgeous) New Orleans geography books that he's written.