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?