Friday, September 23, 2011

TreeHouses and the Big Easy

Greetings from New Orleans!

I'm attending a conference here - are any of my quilting/blogging buddies who work in education here as well? If so, let me know - I turn 40 tomorrow, and while I am used to spending my birthdays on the road, alone, I'd rather do something fun here in this fun city like meet a blogging friend in person!

I had been having some fun in between the educational sessions. My hotel is on Canal Street, so I am very close to the French Quarter. I wandered down Bourbon Street yesterday morning to see what it looks like when there AREN'T drunken hordes in the streets - all very wet as they sprayed everything down, with delivery trucks lined up bumper to bumper. It amazes me that that street is like a party every night - how exhausting!

I made my way to the French Market, where I stopped at an artist's co-op called Dutch Alley Gallery. It is my dream to open an artists' co-op one day, so I had a great time perusing their wares and talking with the artists. Over near the quilted items, there was a painter named Dan Fuller who paints fanciful treehouses. As my children are OBSESSED with building a tree house (my fault for mentioning it in passing one day - it's funny, they forget that you asked them to take out the compost or clean their rooms, but that one comment lodged itself inextricably into their little brains...) I asked him if I could photograph him in front of his work.

I also bought one of his note cards to have him sign it. I wish I could have brought a whole painting home, but a) I am traveling with just a backpack and a laptop, and b) it isn't really in the budget this week/month/year.

After that, I strode purposefully to Cafe du Monde for beignets and frozen cafe au lait, black pants be damned. Just as good as I remember it from 5 or 6 years ago when I was last here, so I'll be going back again today (and tomorrow, and Sunday if they are open that early before I go to the airport). That delicious treat was followed by a stroll through Riverwalk, and then down to the Convention Center.

On my way back to the hotel yesterday, I passed this "treehouse", honoring the people and remembering the events of Hurricane Katrina.

Tree/house just seemed to be the theme for yesterday. One of the things I love about New Orleans is the architecture, from the amazing homes in the Garden District (where I had a wonderful dinner last night), to the historic gems in the French Quarter, to the great detail on the businesses down town. Check out this detail over a doorway of what is now a bank:

The other thing I love is the tropical-ness. There are palm trees outside my hotel. There are ferns hanging from nearly every balcony, and windowboxes every which way you look. There is a green square around every third corner - just foliage everywhere!

It inspires me to make a quilt with both houses and trees, both items I've been wanting to incorporate into a quilt sooner or later. What do you think, a Tree House quilt? Maybe for the kids to keep in THEIR treehouse, which one of these days, I'm going to have to get off my keister and help them build?


Lane said...

Erin, Happy, Happy Birthday on your travels. Make a special memory to go with it.

Beignet are sinfully wonderful. Have one for me. Lane

Char said...

Thank you so much for the tour. New Orleans is one of the places DH and I want to visit.

Happy Birthday Erin! Go enjoy yourself!

Barb H said...

Happy Birthday, Erin! Have a wonderful time in The Big Easy, one of my favorite towns, and let the good times roll!

Shay said...

I loved this little tour through New Orleans.

Happy 40th Birthday Erin- I hope someone pops up with an offer to help you celebrate your birthday in style.

joe tulips said...

You traveled in the right direction, but ended up way too south! Happy Birthday from Iowa.
Nice dream, but I am pretty sure nothing can compete with a real tree house, but it is worth a try!

Julie Fukuda said...

Happy birthday, Erin. Wish I could rush right there to celebrate with you. Our family made a visit there to look at schools and one kid ended up there for College. It is a lovely place.

Rachel said...

Oh I love New Orleans. I hope you're having a wonderful time there and enjoy your birthday! Happy Happy Birthday, Erin!

Wendy said...

I can't seem to send you and email and I hope that you read this. If you can go to Baba Blanket on 1330 Prytania Street. 504-599-4520. You want to speak to Aminata if you can. They have a project with women from Ghana. They have beautiful dyed batiks.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Have fun!

Taryn said...

Happy birthday! I am sorry I am not there to help you celebrate. I am sure your family will be ready to toast you even if it is a little after the day.