From Mardi Gras to Mexico: the journey continues

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Sunday costume – je suis un ananas!

I write from Austin, Texas. One week ago I arrived in New Orleans for Mardi Gras; two days ago I picked up my friends Jane and Ben and drove with them to Austin. Tomorrow we cross the Mexican border. The first leg of my journey is over, and from here on out I won’t be enveloped in the hospitality of old friends; I’ll be ‘hablo-un-poco’-ing my way into the lives of people I haven’t even met yet. I can’t imagine what awaits.

Mardi Gras was a dream, and I wish I’d had more time to spend in New Orleans. There are a few cities I’ve visited on this trip where I’ve felt like Yes, I could stop right now, park the car and just start living here. New Orleans was one of them. Unfortunately, it’s going to drown in a few decades – along with Miami – and I can’t decide if it’s brave or idiotic, romantic or head-in-the-sand, beautifully rebellious or blindly defeatist, to throw your chips in with a doomed paradise. Where were YOU the night the world changed forever? There is no such single night, really, and so every night along the road feels a bit like that. We’re poised on the edge of a precarious future, slipping further into it all the time.

Below, too many (and yet not nearly enough) Mardi Gras photos. Next missives from Mexico!

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Jakob on the way to Eris

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Eris winds its chaotic way through the streets towards the river

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The first of many, many, many marching bands I would see

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Beautiful faces in the crowd at Eris

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The jester, Eris

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Jakob on the railroad tracks as I walk on the wall beside them

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A moment of affection on the riverbank as the parade reaches its final destination

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The choir sings to close out the Eris parade

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Bacchus, where John C. Reilly threw me some Mardi Gras beads. 

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Bright lights and confetti at Bacchus

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LOUP GAROU, the canoe parade! Hands-down my favourite parade.

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Waterborne revellers

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The cacophony of being underneath a very low bridge with a very loud marching band and dozens of people hollering and banging their paddles

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Society of St. Anne’s parade, Mardi Gras day.

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More from the Society of St. Anne’s, Mardi Gras day.

 

 

Florida Keys

I’m writing this from a hotel room in Tallahassee, Florida. This morning I left Miami and began my drive to Clarksdale, Mississippi. “What brings you to Tallahassee?” the front desk clerk asked. “I’m on my way to see my grandmother in Mississippi,” I replied, which statement always makes me feel like (1) I’m Little Red Riding Hood and (2) I need to give some kind of explanation about why a West Coast half-Asian hippie has a Mississippian grandmother. Not that the front desk clerk, of course, gave a shit about anything other than fulfilling their company’s guidelines for friendly customer service.

Today’s entry is brought to you by ten hours on the road after not-enough-hours-of-sleep, and will therefore consist solely of photographs of the Florida Keys, where I was last weekend.

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highway through the ocean

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canals dynamited into the limestone by the army corps of engineers, so that everyone can dock their boat

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sleeping porch… basically, paradise.

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did you know: some species of bamboo can grow up to THREE FEET in one day, so fast that apparently you can hear it growing.

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palm fruits of some kind

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“the porch” bar in Key West

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feral roosters in Key West

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Bahia Honda beach

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sandpipers. I will never, ever get tired of their busy little legs.

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SPLASH

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Bahia Honda beach

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sponges