7.29.2010

The return of Fugly Architecture Thursday

I had a blog post all ready to go last night, and then I recieved a challenge on twitter by one of my best friends from grad school to resurrect my "Fugly Architecture Thursday" series.  I hadn't thought about it since I left grad school, but I had definitely seen my fair share of nasty looking buildings here in New Orleans. and one automatically jumped to the front in my mind. 

When people think of what lines the shores of the scenic Mississippi River, usually the image of stately antebellum plantations, bustling ports and sprawling parks come to mind.  That's semi-true in new Orleans.

Enter the Army Corps of Engineers.  Yes, yes, I know they have a terrible reputation post-Katrina (which they are working tirelessly to redeem themselves in current work), but NOTHING will redeem them for this abomination of a building.

Does anyone else think it looks remarkably just like a bunker?  Stretching four blocks in the VERY historic uptown/Black Pearl area, it is constructed of  steel panels and glass.  Those materials can be beautiful if used in an appropriate way.  BUT, this is what happens when an engineer is brought in to do an architect's job.  My husband's an engineer and loves this building because it is "practical."  He makes my case for me.  Granted, it can withstand hurricane force winds, but so can most of the gorgeous historic New Orleans buildings that have done that very task for centuries without looking like a building from Soviet Russia.  And just so you don't think it is only the back that looks horrid, here's the view from the Mississippi:


What a view!  At least they incorporated curves on this side as well as that fancy little fanned portico over the entrance.  So now it has gone from looking like a Cold-war era bunker to a Soviet designed cruise ship (which come to think about it, wouldn't be a fun cruise at all...).  Oh engineers, when will you learn that yes, form should follow function, but form should also follow CONTEXT!

I would LOVE to hear your comments about this particular fugly piece of architecture (do you agree or disagree with me?).  Also, if you have your own peice of fugly architecture that you pass every day, I'd love to feature it on what looks like will be an every Thursday feature.  All hail ugly architecture!

7.27.2010

Back and Busy Busy

Last week, we returned from our much needed and incredibly relaxing vacation on the Outer Banks to our crazy-is-normal lives.  Design projects have been taking up the small amount of time when I'm not at my regular job, so blogging has definitely taken a backstage to everything else.  But I've decided for this post to give you, my lovely loyal readers, a little recap of our spectacular vacation.
Puppy's first trip to the Beach -- He loves the sand, hates the water (sadness)

puppy and Mr. Bama soaking up the rays.

Bear and my parent's dog, Joey, playing in the backyard.  Man our Pup is lanky


did someone say "icecube?"


Bama family picture


Enjoying some QT out at our fave family resturant in Corolla - Northbanks B&G

And that pretty much sums up our vacation - simple, relaxing and perfect.  It was also Bear's first long distance car-ride to and from North Carolina - 19 hours!!  And he handled it like a champ.  We also noticed that Bear has a funny little habit....
  video

Oh puppy, your ear twitches are almost as awkward as you are.....

7.13.2010

Summertime, and the living is really easy

The view I had all day yesterday:



Back at the Outer Banks for the first time since the wedding. The weather is perfect and the company great:



Now this is a holiday! I'll be back in blogging action next week - till then have a great week everyone.

7.06.2010

Some Things (People) I Will Just Never Understand

This 5th of July, Mr Bama and I decided to take Bear to the Dog Levee to go run around and "be free."  Perfect, because a) there is a shortage of dog parks in the city, b) everyone in the city has a postage stamp for a yard, c) the newest dog park, which is actually pretty cheap to join, opened in March and already reached its max membership by April.  So we really really appreciate the NOLA cops kind of looking the other way with the leash law so pups can just go run, have fun and their owners can relax for a little. We had a spectacular time, Bear met up and played w/ some friends, he went a teeny tiny bit farther than he'd ever gone before into the river (he's still pretty nervous about wake and swimming) and I worked on my tan a little bit.  We were walking back to the car along the top of the levee when we noticed a woman, man and a super fluffy-bear-like dog on a leash walking toward us.  Now note: Bear is still a baby and in his mind he wants to be friends with everyone.  We've been very successful at making him sit or lay down rather than running up, all willy-nilly to whatever dog looks like a fun playmate to him.  So seeing furry bear-like dog, he gets all excited, sits down and waits.  The couple and the dog come close, and Bear then slowly gets up, walks over calmly with a very happy-wagging tail, to say hi and ask the dog to be his new BFF.  Then the rather large and in charge lady goes "UHHH UNNN, nah, no no, get your dog away.  My dog's mean and he's a fighter."  Mr. Bama says, as he grabs Bear's collar "Oh, I'm sorry, he's just a puppy trying to say hi."  The lady then retorts "Well I don't care, when your dog comes charging (read: slowly walking) at my dog, I don't want him to make my dog aggressive." 

I seriously just stood there with my mouth open.  Have you seen my lanky giraffe, err, puppy?  The worst thing I think he's ever done is bark too much at the puffy white cotton ball-dogs that walk past our window.  He is also scared of ripples in water and our Swiffer.  And besides -- What are you doing, miss thang, bringing a dog that YOU OPENLY CLAIM IS AGGRESSIVE and a "FIGHTER" to a place where you can see, there are many happy friendly dogs running around OFF THEIR LEASH making nice and just being goofy dogs?   And this is why I openly become agitated by stupid people that I will never understand.  Or maybe I could just lower my frustration level and join the stupid masses... and then I could train Bear to be a fighter.


"I love mah alchy"
Nevermind

7.05.2010

Cheesy Teenage Vampire movies -- in Grown Up Style

Ok, so I must admit - I am a fan of the Twilight movie series.  No, not in any way, shape or form because of the "superb" screenwriting or "stellar" acting.  Rather, I like the series because for 2 hours, I can turn my brain off, not think and just enjoy an uninterrupted dive into the overly dramatic and ridiculous Bella - Jacob - Edward love triangle.  I have fond memories of seeing for the first time the original (and painfully boring) Twilight movie as one of my & Mr. Bama's first long distance dinner and a movie date movies (long story).   However, the first time I saw New Moon was in a movie theatre.  BAD decision.  I was surrounded by a wide range of squealing preteens, high schoolers, college sorority girls and obviously bored- with-their-real-lives 40 year old moms.  I couldn't tell you what happened during the first 30 minutes of the movie (well, not really, since I did read the books) because every single time a guy showed up on screen, shirt or sans shirt, the whole theatre erupted in a high pitched squeal.  Not my idea of a great time.

Fast forward to the second to last weekend in June.  My momma and I were walking around the fabulous Shops at Canal Place and to my joy, we passed the newly renovated and opened Theatres at Canal Place.  I then gasped at how gorgeously nouveau-deco fabulous the theatre looked after its renovation:  Smooth, shiny, sleek surfaces, gorgeous lighting, an attached posh gourmet restaurant and snappy looking employees that honestly looked like they really enjoy their job.  I vowed to find out more info about this beautiful destination once I got home.  I then found out that this new theatre is amazing.  Why?  Well, because a) you can actually have a full dinner at your  theatre seat.  b) dinner is served by waiters who come to you at the touch of a button c) you have a choice of tasty alcoholic beverages that you can drink while watching your movie d) you can reserve your seats online and e) no one under the age of 18 is allowed admittance.  YEEAAAHOOOOO!!!!  finally, a theatre made for me!  Most importantly, I found out that they would be breaking from their mantra of  "we only play indy and artsy movies," to show Eclipse.  It was at that moment that I whipped out the credit card, made reservations for the Saturday, July 3rd showing and then sat, back, ecstatic that I would be able to enjoy my cheesy teenage vampire escape in non-squealing bliss. 

and oh did I

I was pretty darn frazzled once we arrived at the theatre (EssenceFest + Annual NEA convention + driving past the NOLA Convention Center to get from one side of the city to the theatres on the other side of the city = unhappy, p.o.-ed New Orleanian).  But as soon as I entered that cinematic mecca, the stress fell away as I was able to sip my Zinfindel as Bella and Edward angstfully looked into each other's eyes repeatedly. I shoved gourmet Parmesan and black pepper flavored popcorn into my mouth as werewolf Jacob and his pack fought off an evil newborn vampire army.  Mr. Bama and I ate a delightful pizza as Edward and Victoria had a rather nasty altercation (I wont get any farther into details for those who haven't seen the movie).  Mr Bama enjoyed the experience, not because he likes the movies (fact: he does not) but because he knew he could drink all of the Abita Ambers he wanted to drown out the poor dialogue that usually drives him mad.    He was a little peeved that they were out of his crack, err, Reese's Pieces, but the beers i think made up for it.  Needless to say, it was the most wonderful theatre experience I've ever had -- and unfortunately I think may have ruined being able to see movies at any other theatre.  But I think I can suck it up and take it, as long as it holds the "squeal."
If you're in NOLA and want to have a GREAT movie going experience, then check out:
http://www.thetheatres.com/
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