New Orleans: A and MK’s Wedding (2009)

I had the huge pleasure of going to Asher & MK’s wedding ceremony and homespun reception in New Orleans this May. They are the most excellent people and Asher’s family is the warmest. It was a reunion of sorts as well, as old friends from high school or other summer dreamscapes all came together for easily the most lively, joyous wedding I’ve been to.

Ryan and I were on the same flight from Atlanta, so got to catch up, navigate public transportation, and walk around the Quarter for a few morning hours on our own before rousing still-sleeping friends. After trying to hold out for a perfect family restaurant, we found a tiny restaurant with swollen floors and wobbling ceiling fans and thought it look promising. Sadly, there was no soul or creole food on the menu and in desperation, I had a pancrepe of syrupy fruit and whipped cream. Still, it was wonderful to see him.

After our morning together, I found Carrie for more catching-up. Also a foray into the Lower Ninth Ward to see how different it is now since I last visited New Orleans. I stopped in at Common Ground’s blue house (now two stories), and of course no one was familiar or even distantly familiar with the ones I worked with. Carrie is now more than half-way through med school at LSU & very excited about an upcoming “Triple A” surgery (abdominal aortic aneurysm).

The first reading at the ceremony in City Park – so gorgeous, full of weeping oaks.

The wedding party immediately after the ceremony.

The Strunks!

MK, Asher & the wood burls (which look wild when carved – more like stone than grain because the growth is stressed & marbled).

MK was so beautiful in her mother’s dress.

At Sean’s near the dried pepper-flower-seedling streams that were made & strung around by Sean & his roommates, I think.

I love when I can just borrow someone else’s flash.

Light string snagged.

Breaking out the wedding cigars & Maker’s Mark.

Asher & Ryan dancing to a slow jam.

Johnny P’s speech, “Be Excellent to Everyone.”

My tiny eyeball. Akram is wonderful.

One of them was a truffle-espresso cake & I forget what the other was. Super delicious, that’s what.

The world is my oysta.

Found a brass band walking around the next day with Ryan, Hannah & the Strunks. The singer sounded like a very young Wayne Newton or Daniel Johnston.

Also: beignets and chicory coffee, of course.

A gaudy/gilt shop on Royal Street – probs also the most haunted street in New Orleans.

Iron railings make everything 1,000,000 times more beautiful.

I flew into New Orleans Saturday morning, and out Sunday evening; then up to Philadelphia on Monday afternoon, and back to Raleigh Tuesday evening. I was a student at UPenn for a single day.

There’s always far too much to keep track of -I have Montréal & a lovely early Raleigh summer to share when I get it together. To be brief:

• I’ve been cooking a lot this Spring – zuccanoes, Indian food (quorn + toms + onions + cilantro + yogurt + 1,000,000 spices), spinach ricotta calzones (CALZONES! My oven was at full capacity with 8 large ones for a friendfamily birthday dinner), polenta pizza pie, gypsy soup with chickpeas and bitty star pasta bits, soba noodles (with mango, cilantro, red pepper, jalapeno, peanuts, mint), etc.

• Anne & I now have a blooming garden, bursting at the frame with lots of tomatoes (Better Boys, cherry, yellow), peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, Italian basil, sweet basil, spinach, rosemary, parsley so on and so forth.

• I had my nose fractured playing softball in late April & then about a week and a half of symmetrical black eyes. My eyes were swollen shut for a few days & I had to take several off work, but was somehow convinced to go to a bar with full-on purpleblack eyes on the third day to scare the crap out of some strangers.

• I am going to be out of town way too much this summer. DC this weekend through mid-next week; Bois Blanc Island, Michigan the first week & a half of July; Oxford, UK for another week and a half at the end of July; Chicago for Lollapalooza at the beginning of August; and several beach trips squeezed between all of these.

• I got to see Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy last week – so incredible. He played Only Someone Running and gave me the only smile, directly into my eyes.

• I want a new camera so badly, so I’m soliciting advice. One that’s kinda small with a really high pixel count and longer shutter. Better colors, focus, zoom. The one I have now was supposed to be a temporary camera after my old one died a slow death. It all started when I was climbing & someone was swinging their spare shoes around, caught my camera sitting in my open pocket and I saw it arc out and fall in slow motion, then scatter down a cliff side in Wales. It escaped, but severely scathed.

• The seasonal pool is open again! I’ve never been happier to have a TYR tan line.

• Every statement begins with “I” – sorry!

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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