Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flying Mexicans At The 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival In Washinton D.C.

Click on the above video to enlarge it.
These Mexican performers do this twice a day at noon and at 4p.m.
I have much more on the 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival posted two posts below. Scroll down to read it.

Threefoot Building In Meridian Mississippi Is On The List Of The 11 Most Endangered On The National Trust For Historic Preservation.

Click On the picture above to enlarge it.
Read the above and see a flickr group of photos of the building. And be sure and read the comments which are very good.
Click below to read more about the history of this building.
The link below will show you a Flickr group of photos of the Threefoot Building with some close ups and details of this beautiful art deco building.

Friday, June 25, 2010

2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival On The Mall In Washington D.C.

Click on the video above to enlarge it.

The picture above is from the 2002 Festival when it featured the Silk Road.
In the link below there is a history of past festivals going back to 1967.
Click on the above to read and see and hear all about the 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Held each year on The Mall in Washington, D.C.
There is a link in the website above to live webcasts from the festival. Also history about past festivals.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is a great annual event usually held the last week of June and first week of July every year. And it is always held when the weather is really HOT and HUMID. D.C. has brutally hot and humid weather in the summer.
We have been going to this festival every year since it began in 1967.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Living Theater New York City 1960 Martin Sheen Got His Start Here

Click and double click on these pages to enlarge them.
In another production by The Living Theater during the 1960 season Martin Sheen's name is in the credits as a stage technician and also as a percussionist.
In the link below you can read about Martin Sheen's first jobs at The Living Theater in 1959.

Click and double click if necessary on all these pages.

More information on The Living Theater click on the link below.

The Living Theater New York City 1960 The Connection Freddie Redd And Jackie Mclean

Click and double click on these pictures to enlarge them.

Click on these videos to enlarge them

Click on the link below to read about The Connection.

I went to see this play in 1960. I still have a program from that performance which I intend to add to this post later. Check back here to see it. See post above.
I remember at intermission they invited the audience to talk to the actors and the musicians in the lobby and give them requests or ideas to talk about ad lib after the intermission. I found one of the musicians and asked him to talk about existentialism, He said, "Ok, give me 5 dollars".
Note: The original LP of The Connection on Blue Note Records with Freddie Redd and Jackie Mclean cost $4.95. Now if you had a perfect copy of that LP it would be worth quite a bit of money.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Renoir's Luncheon Of The Boating Party

Click on the picture above to enlarge it.
This is Renoir's Luncheon Of The Boating Party. It is the centerpiece of The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. See my post below about The Phillips Collection.
The Japanese once paid 5 million dollars to borrow this painting.

Washington D.C.'s Best Kept Secret The Phillips Collection

Click on the above picture to enlarge it.
We lived 4 years from 1967 to 1971 at 2010 P St. N.W. which is about 3 short blocks from the Phillips Collection. At that time admission was free. The place had an old time feel since it was in a house not a museum. It had comfortable couches in all the rooms. It was a place to go as often as possible and enjoy the art on the walls. A terrific collection of art. Over four years I got an education in fine art just by visiting the Phillips Collection as often as possible.
Now the place has been renovated and spruced up and there is an admission fee or request for donations during the week and a special fee for special exhibits. But it is still the best kept secret in Washington D.C. for places to go.
Here is more information about the history of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. near Dupont Circle.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blue Note LP Album Covers 10" and 12"

Click on the above videos to enlarge them and go to Youtube where the person who posted these has many many more fine Blue Note(and other)jazz videos on his jazz channel.

Click on the above video to enlarge it. It is from the Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton, N.J. and contains rare Blue Note and other Jazz LPs.
Beautiful art work on the great Blue Note LP Records. First the 12" LP Covers and then the 10" LP Covers.

Brendan Behan And Thelonious Monk in NYC 1963 At The Five Spot Cafe

Click on the videos to enlarge them.

Click below for information on Brendan Behan.

In the summer of 1963 I was in New York visiting my brother and he suggested we go to the Five Spot Cafe to hear Thelonius Monk. We went with my friend Jeff Barr. Monk was playing when a drunk got up from the bar and went over to the piano and started singing Irish songs. I wondered why the owners of the bar didn't throw the guy out. Then someone said "It's Brendan Behan". So they left him alone to sing Irish songs as Monk improvised modern jazz. Monk did not seem at all upset or surprised. When we left and got back to my brother's apartment he suggested to Jeff that he write about it and send it in to Downbeat or Metronome magazine. Jeff did and one of those two jazz publications printed a small item about an unusual evening of Irish Folk Songs and Modern Jazz combined.
I think I read that Behan had escaped or checked himself out of hospital that night.
Brendan Behan died soon after that in 1964.
Here is some information about Thelonius Monk that includes where he is buried.
Here is information on the Five Spot Cafe. And down at the bottom are links to Five Spot Memorabilia. Click on that to see a copy of Monk's contract at the Five Spot for bewteen May 1963 to September 1963. I think we went to see him in June 1963.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Frederick Hart Washington D.C. Sculptor

Click on the above photos to enlarge them.
Frederick Hart was one of many artists around Dupont Circle in Washington,D.C. in the late 1960s. He used to come in the Admiral Benbow which was a really good old time Irish pub on Conn. Ave near Dupont Circle. Many artists,dart throwers,beer drinkers, would be artists,writers, and would be writers used to hang out at the Benbow. It later changed it's name to Ellen's Irish Pub. The Benbow was a great place to drink beer any time or day or night though I usually would leave after 11pm because fights generally started around that time or a little after.
It was located right next to the Janus Movie Theaters. Janus 1 and Janus 2. That was the best theater in DC to see art films like Towers Open Fire with William Burroughs and other hard to find films like Triumph Of The Will. I remember the film I Am Curious Yellow played there for a long time.
The Benbow had a dart board and a friend of mine used to throw darts in there. He was a dart hustler just like a pool hustler. But all sorts of characters hung out in the Benbow. It was a dive bar for artists to drink beer and meet their friends. One of those old time dark bars with wooden tables and chairs and old time wooden booths.
Frederick Hart(or Rick Hart as he was known then)used to drop in from time to time.
I was in there with some friends one afternoon when Rick Hart came in(this would have been in 1968 or 1969)and sat down with us. The first words out of his mouth were,"I just did something that I have always wanted to do. I made love to two women at the same time".
Later on Rick Hart became famous as the sculptor at the National Cathedral and even better known as the sculptor of the 3 soldiers at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.
Read all about that in the article below by Tom Wolfe written after Rick Hart died.
It is so well written you should not pass up the opportunity to read it. Tom Wolfe is a great writer but I think he is off base in his judgement of what is art and what is not. Still his article about the art world still makes me laugh every time I read it.
I dont know if any of these articles I link to mention it but there was a famous lawsuit filed by Rick Hart against the makers of the movie The Devil's Advocate starring Al Pacino. The makers of that movie stole(without bothering to ask)Rick Hart sculpture at the National Catherdral and used it in their movie. Using some method that made it move and writhe. Rick sued them and he won.
Read about that lawsuit here.
Here is a good link to see some of Rick Hart's art.
Be sure and read the Tom Wolfe piece below. It is too good to miss.

More on Frederick Hart. Click on link below. on the link below to read something about the criticism of Frederick Hart's art. It mentions the famous art critic Paul Richard who takes a negative view of Frederick Hart's art.

Frederick E. Hart
Article by Tom Wolfe
Reprinted from The New York Times Magazine, January 2, 2000

The Lives They Lived: Frederick Hart, b. 1943;
The Artist the Art World Couldn't See
By Tom Wolfe
Frederick Hart died at the age of 55 on Aug. 13, two days after a team of doctors discovered he had lung cancer, abruptly concluding one of the most bizarre stories in the history of 20th-century art. While still in his 20's, Hart consciously, pointedly, aimed for the ultimate in the Western tradition of sculpture, achieved it in a single stroke, then became invisible, and remained invisible, as invisible as Ralph Ellison's invisible man, who was invisible ''simply because people refuse to see me.''

Not even Giotto, the 12-year-old shepherd boy who was out in the meadow with the flock one day circa 1270 using a piece of flint to draw a picture of sheep on the face of a boulder when the vacationing Florentine artist Cimabue happened to stroll by and discover the baby genius -- not even Giotto could match Frederick Hart's storybook rise from obscurity.

Hart was born in Atlanta to a failed actress and a couldn't-be-bothered newspaper reporter. He was only 3 when his mother died, whereupon he was packed off to an aunt in a part of rural South Carolina where people ate peanuts boiled in salty water. He developed into an incorrigible Conway, S.C., juvenile delinquent, failed the ninth grade on his first try and got thrown out of school on his second. Yet at the age of 16, by then a high-school dropout, he managed, to universal or at least Conway-wide amazement, to gain admission to the University of South Carolina by scoring a composite 35 out of a maximum 36 on an A.C.T. college entrance test, the equivalent of a 1560 on the College Boards.

He lasted six months. He became the lone white student to join 250 black students in a civil rights protest, was arrested, then expelled from the university. Informed that the Ku Klux Klan was looking for him, he fled to Washington.

In Washington he managed to get a job as a clerk at the Washington National Cathedral, a stupendous stone structure built in the Middle English Gothic style. The cathedral employed a crew of Italian masons full time, and Hart became intrigued with their skill at stone carving. Several times he asked the master carver, an Italian named Roger Morigi, to take him on as an apprentice but got nowhere. There was no one on the job but experienced Italians. By and by, Hart got to know the crew and took to borrowing tools and having a go at discarded pieces of stone. Morigi was so surprised by his aptitude, he made him an apprentice after all, and soon began urging him to become a sculptor. Hart turned out to have Giotto's seemingly God-given genius -- Giotto was a sculptor as well as a painter -- for pulling perfectly formed human figures out of stone and clay at will and rapidly.

In 1971, Hart learned that the cathedral was holding an international competition to find a sculptor to adorn the building's west facade with a vast and elaborate spread of deep bas reliefs and statuary on the theme of the Creation. Morigi urged Hart to enter. He entered and won. A working-class boy nobody had ever heard of, an apprentice stone carver, had won what would turn out to be the biggest and most prestigious commission for religious sculpture in America in the 20th century.

The project brought him unimaginable dividends. The erstwhile juvenile delinquent from Conway, S.C., was a creature of hot passions, a handsome, slender boy with long, wavy light brown hair, an artist by night with a rebellious hairdo and a rebellious attitude who was a big hit with the girls. In the late afternoons he had taken to hanging about Dupont Circle in Washington, which had become something of a bohemian quarter. Afternoon after afternoon he saw the same ravishing young woman walking home from work down Connecticut Avenue. His hot Hart flame lit, he introduced himself and asked her if she would pose for his rendition of the Creation, an array of idealized young men and women rising nude from out of the chaotic swirl of Creation's dawn. She posed. They married. Great artists and the models they fell in love with already accounted for the most romantic part of art history. But probably no model in all that lengthy, not to say lubricious, lore was ever so stunningly beautiful as Lindy Lain Hart. Her face and figure were to recur in his work throughout his career.

The hot-blooded boy's passion, as Hart developed his vision of the Creation, could not be consummated by Woman alone. He fell in love with God. For Hart, the process began with his at first purely pragmatic research into the biblical story of the Creation in the Book of Genesis. He had been baptized in the Presbyterian Church, and he was working for the Episcopal Church at the Washington National Cathedral. But by the 1970's, neither of these proper, old-line, in-town Protestant faiths offered the strong wine a boy who was in love with God was looking for. He became a Roman Catholic and began to regard his talent as a charisma, a gift from God. He dedicated his work to the idealization of possibilities God offered man.

From his conception of ''Ex Nihilo,'' as he called the centerpiece of his huge Creation design (literally, ''out of nothing''; figuratively, out of the chaos that preceded Creation), to the first small-scale clay model, through to the final carving of the stone -- all this took 11 years.

In 1982, ''Ex Nihilo'' was unveiled in a dedication ceremony. The next day, Hart scanned the newspapers for reviews . . . The Washington Post . . . The New York Times . . . nothing . . . nothing the next day, either . . . nor the next week . . . nor the week after that. The one mention of any sort was an obiter dictum in The Post's Style (read: Women's) section indicating that the west facade of the cathedral now had some new but earnestly traditional (read: old-fashioned) decoration. So Hart started monitoring the art magazines. Months went by . . . nothing. It reached the point that he began yearning for a single paragraph by an art critic who would say how much he loathed ''Ex Nihilo'' . . . anything, anything at all! . . . to prove there was someone out there in the art world who in some way, however slightly or rudely, cared.

The truth was, no one did, not in the least. ''Ex Nihilo'' never got ex nihilo simply because art worldlings refused to see it.

Hart had become so absorbed in his ''triumph'' that he had next to no comprehension of the American art world as it existed in the 1980's. In fact, the art world was strictly the New York art world, and it was scarcely a world, if world was meant to connote a great many people. In the one sociological study of the subject, ''The Painted Word,'' the author estimated that the entire art ''world'' consisted of some 3,000 curators, dealers, collectors, scholars, critics and artists in New York. Art critics, even in the most remote outbacks of the heartland, were perfectly content to be obedient couriers of the word as received from New York. And the word was that school-of-Renaissance sculpture like Hart's was nonart. Art worldlings just couldn't see it.

The art magazines opened Hart's eyes until they were bleary with bafflement. Classical statues were ''pictures in the air.'' They used a devious means -- skill -- to fool the eye into believing that bronze or stone had turned into human flesh. Therefore, they were artificial, false, meretricious. By 1982, no ambitious artist was going to display skill, even if he had it. The great sculptors of the time did things like have unionized elves put arrangements of rocks and bricks flat on the ground, objects they, the artists, hadn't laid a finger on (Carl Andre), or prop up slabs of Cor-Ten steel straight from the foundry, edgewise (Richard Serra); or they took G.E. fluorescent light tubes straight out of the box from the hardware store and arranged them this way and that (Dan Flavin); or they welded I-beams and scraps of metal together (Anthony Caro). This expressed the material's true nature, its ''gravity'' (no stone pictures floating in the air), its ''objectness.''

This was greatness in sculpture. As Tom Stoppard put it in his play ''Artist Descending a Staircase,'' ''Imagination without skill gives us contemporary art.''

Hart lurched from bafflement to shock, then to outrage. He would force the art world to see what great sculpture looked like.

By 1982, he was already involved in another competition for a huge piece of public sculpture in Washington. A group of Vietnam veterans had just obtained Congressional approval for a memorial that would pay long-delayed tribute to those who had fought in Vietnam with honor and courage in a lost and highly unpopular cause. They had chosen a jury of architects and art worldlings to make a blind selection in an open competition; that is, anyone could enter, and no one could put his name on his entry. Every proposal had to include something -- a wall, a plinth, a column -- on which a hired engraver could inscribe the names of all 57,000-plus members of the American military who had died in Vietnam. Nine of the top 10 choices were abstract designs that could be executed without resorting to that devious and accursed bit of trickery: skill. Only the No. 3 choice was representational. Up on one end of a semicircular wall bearing the 57,000 names was an infantryman on his knees beside a fallen comrade, looking about for help. At the other end, a third infantryman had begun to run along the top of the wall toward them. The sculptor was Frederick Hart.

The winning entry was by a young Yale undergraduate architectural student named Maya Lin. Her proposal was a V-shaped wall, period, a wall of polished black granite inscribed only with the names; no mention of honor, courage or gratitude; not even a flag. Absolutely skillproof, it was.

Many veterans were furious. They regarded her wall as a gigantic pitiless tombstone that said, ''Your so-called service was an absolutely pointless disaster.'' They made so much noise that a compromise was struck. An American flag and statue would be added to the site. Hart was chosen to do the statue. He came up with a group of three soldiers, realistic down to the aglets of their boot strings, who appear to have just emerged from the jungle into a clearing, where they are startled to see Lin's V-shaped black wall bearing the names of their dead comrades.

Naturally enough, Lin was miffed at the intrusion, and so a make-peace get-together was arranged in Plainview, N.Y., where the foundry had just completed casting the soldiers. Doing her best to play the part, Lin asked Hart -- as Hart recounted it -- if the young men used as models for the three soldiers had complained of any pain when the plaster casts were removed from their faces and arms. Hart couldn't imagine what she was talking about. Then it dawned on him. She assumed that he had followed the lead of the ingenious art worldling George Segal, who had contrived a way of sculpturing the human figure without any skill whatsoever: by covering the model's body in wet plaster and removing it when it began to harden. No artist of her generation (she was 21) could even conceive of a sculptor starting out solely with a picture in his head, a stylus, a brick of moist clay and some armature wire. No artist of her generation dared even speculate about . . . skill.

President Ronald Reagan presided at a dedication ceremony unveiling Hart's ''Three Soldiers'' on Veterans Day 1984. The next day, Hart looked for the art reviews . . . in The Washington Post . . . The New York Times . . . and, as time went by, the magazines. And once more, nothing . . . not even the inside-out tribute known as savaging. ''Three Soldiers'' received only so-called civic reviews, the sort of news or feature items or picture captions that say, in effect, ''This thing is big, and it's outdoors, and you may see it on the way to work, and so we should probably tell you what it is.'' Civic reviews of outdoor representational sculpture often don't even mention the name of the sculptor. Why mention the artist -- since it's nonart by definition?

Hart was by no means alone. In 1980, a sculptor named Eric Parks completed a statue of Elvis Presley for downtown Memphis. It was unveiled before a crowd of thousands of sobbing women; it became, and remains, a tremendous tourist attraction; civic reviews only. And who remembers the name Eric Parks? In 1985, a sculptor named Raymond J. Kaskey completed the second-biggest copper sculpture in America -- the Statue of Liberty is the biggest -- an immense Classical figure of a goddess in a toga with her right hand outstretched toward the multitudes. ''Portlandia'' she was called. Tens of thousands of citizens of Portland, Ore., turned out on a Sunday to see her arrive by barge on the Williamette River and get towed downtown. Parents lifted their children so they could touch her fingertips as she was hoisted up to her place atop the porte-cochere of the new Portland Public Services Building; civic reviews only. In 1992, Audrey Flack completed ''Civitas,'' four Classical goddesses, one for each corner of a highway intersection just outside a moribund mill town, Rock Hill, S.C. Has been a major tourist attraction ever since; cars come from all directions to see the goddesses lit up at night; nearby fallow cotton field claiming to be an ''industrial park'' suddenly a sellout; Rock Hill comes alive; civic reviews only.

Over the last 15 years of his life, Hart did something that, in art-world terms, was even more infra dig than ''Ex Nihilo'' and ''Three Soldiers'': he became America's most popular living sculptor. He developed a technique for casting sculptures in acrylic resin. The result resembled Lalique glass. Many of his smaller pieces were nudes, using Lindy as a model, so lyrical and sensual that Hart's Classicism began to take on the contours of Art Nouveau. The gross sales of his acrylic castings have gone well over $100 million. None were ever reviewed.

Art worldlings regarded popularity as skill's live-in slut. Popularity meant shallowness. Rejection by the public meant depth. And truly hostile rejection very likely meant greatness. Richard Serra's ''Tilted Arc,'' a leaning wall of rusting steel smack in the middle of Federal Plaza in New York, was so loathed by the building's employees that 1,300 of them, including many federal judges, signed a petition calling for its removal. They were angry and determined, and eventually the wall was removed. Serra thereby achieved an eminence of immaculate purity: his work involved absolutely no skill and was despised by everyone outside the art world who saw it. Today many art worldlings regard him as America's greatest sculptor.

In 1987, Hart moved 75 miles northwest of Washington to a 135-acre estate in the Virginia horse country and built a Greek Revival mansion featuring double-decked porches with 12 columns each; bought horses for himself, Lindy and their two sons, Lain and Alexander; stocked the place with tweeds, twills, tack and bench-made boots; grew a beard like the King of Diamonds'; and rode to the hounds -- all the while turning out new work at a prolific rate.

In his last years he began to summon to his estate a cadre of like-minded souls, a handful of artists, poets and philosophers, a dedicated little derrire garde (to borrow a term from the composer Stefania de Kenessey) to gird for the battle to take art back from the Modernists. They called themselves the Centerists.

It wasn't going to be easy to get a new generation of artists to plunge into the fray yodeling, ''Onward! To the center!'' Nevertheless, Hart persevered. In the four months since his death certain . . . signs . . . have begun, as a 60's song once put it, blowing in the wind . . . the sudden serious consideration, by the art world itself, of Norman Rockwell as a Classical artist dealing in American mythology . . . the edgy buzz, to use two 90's words, over the recent sellout show at the Hirschl & Adler Gallery of six young representational painters known as ''the Paint Group,'' five of them graduates of America's only Classical, derrire-garde art school, the New York Academy of Art . . . the tendency of a generation of serious young collectors, flush with new Wall Street money, to discard the tastes of their elders and to collect ''pleasant'' and often figurative art instead of the abstract, distorted or ''wounded'' art of the Modern tradition . . . the soaring interest of their elders in the work of the once-ridiculed French ''academic'' artists Bougereau, Meissonier and Gerome and the French ''fashion painter'' Tissot. The art historian Gregory Hedberg, Hirschl & Adler's director for European art, says that with metronomic regularity the dawn of each new century has seen a collapse of one reigning taste and the establishment of another. In the early 1600's, the Mannerist giants (for example, El Greco) came down off fashionable walls, and the Baroque became all the rage; in the early 1700's, the Baroque giants (Rembrandt) came down, and the Rococo went up; in the early 1800's, the Rococo giants (Watteau) came down, and the neo-Classicists went up; and in the early 20th century, the Modern movement turned the neo-Classical academic giants Bougereau, Meissonier and Gerome into joke figures in less than 25 years.

And at the dawn of the 21st? In the summer of 1985, the author of ''The Painted Word'' gave a lecture at the Parrish Museum in Southampton, N.Y., entitled ''Picasso: The Bougereau of the Year 2020.'' Should such turn out to be the case, Frederick Hart will not have been the first major artist to have died 10 minutes before history absolved him and proved him right.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Central Grocery New Orleans,Louisiana And The Muffuletta Sandwich

Click on the above picture to enarge it.
This is the Italian Olive Salad which is a main ingredient in the Muffuletta Sandwich. You can buy these bottles of the olive salad at the Central Grocery in New Orleans,La.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge them.
Central Grocery
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Restaurant Information
Established 1906
Current owner(s) Salvatore T. Tusa
Food type Italian, Greek, French, Spanish, and Creole table delicacies
Street address 923 Decatur Street
City French Quarter of New Orleans
State Louisiana
Country United States
Coordinates 29°57′32″N 90°03′39″W / 29.958792°N 90.060969°W / 29.958792; -90.060969

"Central Grocery is a small, old-fashioned Italian-American grocery store with a sandwich counter located at 923 Decatur Street, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. He operated it until 1946 when he retired and his son-in-law, Frank Tusa took over the operation. Today it is owned by Salvatore T. Tusa, Salvatore's grandson and two cousins. The store was one of many family owned, neighborhood grocery stores during the early 20th century, when the French Quarter was still predominantly a residential area. Though tourists are more common in Central now, it has retained much of its old world market feel.

It is famous as the home of the New Orleans muffuletta sandwich invented by Salvatore Lupo[1], to feed the Sicilian truck farmers who sold their produce at the Farmer's Market on Decatur Street in the French Quarter.[2] The Muffuletta was only locally known until the late 1960s. Now, it has international fame. The Central sells not only the sandwiches as take-out or eat-in, but also the ingredients of the muffuletta—including olive salad by the jar—for people who want to make the sandwich at home. Because of the muffuletta, they were featured on the PBS special Sandwiches That You Will Like and "The Today Show" [five best sandwiches series].

Central Grocery also sells Italian, Greek, French, Spanish, and Creole table delicacies. They also carry less mainstream selections, such as chocolate covered grasshoppers and bumble bees in soy sauce, which are perennially displayed in the store front windows. Marie Lupo Tusa, Salvatore's daughter is author of the cookbook, "Marie's Melting Pot" which has hundreds of Sicilian, French and Creole style recipes."

We used to go to this place often in 1965 and 1966. Back in 1965 a Muffuletta Sandwich cost $2.50 and was so large that cut in four pieces it would feed 4 people. Now I think it cost about $12.00. Still it is the same sandwich and will feed two people with enough left over for another meal. Left in the paper wrapper the olive oil will soak in the bread and I think it actually tastes better the next day. Central Grocery is located on Decatur Street across from the old French Market. Their olive salad which is used in the sandwich is terrific. And it is worth buying a bottle or two to take home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tujague's Restaurant One of New Orleans Best Kept Secrets

Click on the above picture to enlarge it.
This is the place to go in New Orleans for a great meal at a fair price. It is one of New Orleans oldest treasures. It is on the corner of Madison and Decatur Streets in the French Quarter. Click on the link below to go to their website and read the history of Tujague's and see their menu.

Galatoires Restaurant New Orleans

Click on the picture above to enlarge it.
Galatoires first floor main dining room shown in the picture above.
Click on the link below to see their website and menu.

Jimmy Buffett Parrott Head Walking Tour Of New Orleans And More Besides

Click on the above video to enlarge it.
The above video would mean a lot to anyone who grew up on the Gulf Coast. It meant a lot after hurricane Katrina in 2005. It means a lot now after the on going oil spill. The Gulf Coast was once a fine place to grow up. Now it seems all is lost for the forseeable future. But Jimmy Buffett sings Bama Breeze and brings back many good memories of bars on the Miss. Gulf Coast like Spiders. Growing up on the Gulf Coast was once a paradise. Now it is an oily mess.

The above video of Johnny Cash is from the TV Show Hootenanny. Aired Jan.11,1964. It was filmed at the University of Florida. I remember seeing this show because the folk group mentioned below was on the same bill. Or at least that is the way I remember it. Johnny Cash looked really strung out that night.
I found this walking tour of New Orleans French Quarter on a Parrott head Jimmy Buffett webiste. It mentions the Bayou Room where Jimmy Buffett first got his start back in the mid 1960s. I knew some of the other entertainers who played there back in 1963 and 1964. One group was a folk group who played on the Hootenanny TV show in early 1964 on the same night Johnny Cash played and sang and looked really stoned. I will put that video on here. I can't remember the name of this folk group but I knew the girl friend of one of the musicians. She will remain nameless. She also worked as the cashier front door person at the Bayou Room. I had met this group which used to play in clubs on the Miss. Gulf Coast because the girl was a former girl friend of a friend of mine. Folk music was a big deal in 1963 and 1964 and then in 1965 after Bob Dylan went electric folk music faded away and so did songs like Puff The Magic Dragon which this group played often and the crowd would always yell out to hear it more.
A couple of years later in 1967 I heard that the girl had caused a big problem for that group. She had threatened to commit suicide and was holding a razor blade. Her boyfriend tried to stop her and in the ensuing fight she cut his wrist so badly he couldn't play the guitar and was thusly out of business for a long period of time. That was the last I heard of them.
So here is a walking tour that mentions the Bayou Room in New Orleans around that time. Middle to late 1960s.

That is a somewhat disappointing list they have since it is really not very personalized about Jimmy Buffett. And certainly not very complete.
So I will add some places of interest I knew about in the period from 1958 through 1966.
1.Lafitte's In Exile. Just down Bourbon Street from Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop but a different sort of place. Lafitte's In Exile was a prominent gay bar. It also was the location of the gay costume judging contest on Mardi Gras Day each year out on Bourbon Street in front of Lafitte's In Exile. Many of the gay men made up as women were better looking than most women and almost impossible to tell from a real woman.
2. Two Greek bars located down on Decatur Street near Canal Street. One was The Acropolis and one was the Gin Mill. They were located side by side. Great place to see Greek Dancing late at night during Mardi Gras. I once saw a drunk sailor dancing with a transvestite and the sailor had no clue it was a man who was dancing with him and kissing him. I think both of these places are now closed.
3. Brocato's Ice Cream parlor on Ursuline Street. We lived a few doors away in 1965. Great old time Italian Ice Cream parlor. Tile on Ursuline street still there marks an entrance for Ladies. They moved to another location but are still in business in New Orleans.
4. Sydney's Liquor Store on Decatur Street. Back in the 1960s Sydney ran Sydney's Newstand but when I was in New Orleans in 2004 I saw he is now selling liquor. We went in as he was celebrating with his family his birthday. I dont know how old he is but he is a nice guy. They had some Southern Comfort Praline Liquor for sale so I bought some. It is truly a great desert sprinkled over vanilla ice cream.
5. La Siete Mares Bar or The Seven Seas. A great bar with a nice patio in back with a ping pong table.
6. Cosimo's bar. Another great bar still in existence.
7. Felix's Oyster Bar. My favorite oyster bar. Acme oyster bar opened after we moved away from New Orleans.
8. Brennan's Restaurant. Great for breakfast. Bloody Mary's for breakfast is a New Orleans tradition.
9. In the Monteleon Hotel is the best bar in the French Quarter. Right off the lobby is the Carousel Bar. It turns so slowly in a darkened room you might not even notice it. I was in there one night and a lady was at the bar and found herself over on the other side of the room and she screamed, "This thing is moving!" The drinks in the Carousel bar are strong. You get two shots of liquor instead of one. A whiskey sour at the Carousel bar is really strong.
10. Forget Pat O' Briens it is now owned by a corporation and they have opened knock off versions of Pat O'Briens in Houston and Memphis. Their drinks in the back patio now come in cheap little plastic glasses mostly filled with ice.
11. Galatoires Restaurant located down on Bourbon Street. In the heart of Bourbon Street but it is one of New Orleans finest restaurants. My favorite. They dont take reservations. You line up outside and if you are dressed well enough and look ok they let you in. Maybe. A meal for two is 80 to 100 bucks but worth it.
I will add some more places of interest as I think of them so check back now and then.
12. The Penny Arcade down on Royal Street near Canal Street. Great place for old time machine penny arcade games. Long before Pac Man and other electronic games arrrived.
13. Sho Bar on Bourbon Street. This is where I saw stripper Candy Barr in 1959. Also on Bourbon Street at that time were Tempest Storm and Lili Christine and other exotic dancers.
14.La Casa de los Marinos.A great 3 room bar on the corner of Decatur Street and Toulouse Street. This had been a merchant seaman bar until Tulane Students discovered it and then it filled up with all sorts of people including college students. Sometimes during Mardi Gras you might see men in tuxedos dancing there after or before a Mardi Gras ball. La Casa as it was known was right across Decatur Street from The Jax Brewery. You could smell the beer brewing all night long.
First room had Latin music like merengue on the jukebox. They had conga drums that customers could use themselves.
The back room had American and British Invasion rock and Roll. In the second room was a wall with red devil faces all over one wall.
15. Jewel's Tavern. Jewel's Tavern was a bar near the corner of Gov. Nicholls and Decatur Street. It was on Decatur Street. It was a merchant seaman bar. There were two merchant seaman unions in New Orleans in 1965. The S.I.U(Seaman's International Union)and the N.M.U.(The National Maritime Untion). Jewel's Tavern had a good country music jukebox with songs on it like Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire and Hank Williams,Sr.'s My Son Calls Another Man Daddy. Jewel's Tavern can be seen in one scene in the movie WUSA starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. That movie was made from the book Hall of Mirrors by Robert Stone one of my favorite novels about the Crescent City also known as The Big Easy and New Orleans.
16. The Volunteers of America Thrift Shop. This was the only good thrift shop in the French Quarter in 1965/1966. They had a little bit of everything. I saw a rack of old tuxedos for 2 dollars each. I bought one. I went looking for some 78 records to play on an old windup Victrola I bought at a white elephant sale at the Ursulines Convent one day at a sale there. The Voulnteers of American thrift shop had a whole wall floor to ceiling of old 78rpm records for 5 cents a piece. I only bought about 40 of them. One was Happy Trails by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. I have often thought about that thrift shop and what record treasures they and other thrift shops and record shops must have had in New Orleans in 1965 before record collecting became a big business. Now old records cost a fortune in New Orleans.
17. There were some great pawn shops in New Orleans in 1965. The ones I remember best were on the other side of Canal Street on Rampart Street. I bought an old stand up 1930s style Underwood typewriter in one of the pawn shops. They had had them refurbished.It was good as new. I used it for 10 years.
18. The Quorum. New Orleans first Beatnik Coffee House circa 1964.
Here is another link to the movie The Quorum.
Below is a link to the movie mentioned above. It is 10 minutes of the 59 minute movie.
I only went to the Quorum once or twice as I recall. I thought the poetry being shouted from the stage there was really bad. Plus the whole beatnik thing was old hat by 1965/1966. Electric Rock and Roll had arrived with Bob Dylan in 1965 and the Beatles the year before. A whole new world was opening up and dim coffee houses were a thing of the past. And folk music was on the way out. I was glad to see it go. I thought modern jazz and old time blues were much more interesting. I found it hard to listen to folk music. In fact I hated it. If nothing else we owe Bob Dylan and The Beatles a great deal of credit for putting an end to commericial folk music. Folk music was boring. I listened to modern jazz and old blues musicians.
Babe Stovall is mentioned in the article about The Quorum. He was one of the better musicians around the French Quarter in the 1960s. A little known but excellent blues man.
Here is some good information and a discography on Babe Stovall.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Per Is Back And He Swings As Always

This video is by Per who lives in Paris. He has many other fine videos of his trumpet playing,piano playing,singing, and guitar playing on Youtube. Check them out.
He is also an artist who does fine art paintings.
Check out his video Smile Clara Smile. Double click on the video above to go to Youtube and find his other videos. Share some of them with your friends. I think he is an exceptional jazz trumpet player and gifted on other instruments as well. He is a Dane orginally but now makes his home in Paris. Lucky him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Can't Win By Jack Black A Book That Strongly Influenced William Burroughs

Click on the above picture to enlarge it.
Click on the above link to read about this book. This is the book that most influenced William Burroughs when he read it as a youngster.
Also click on the link below to read about Carny Slang.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Alice Cooper At McDonalds And Glug Glug The Geek At Mardi Gras In Mobile, Alabama 1972

Click(and double click) on these pictures to enlarge them. This is Glug Glug the Geek at the 1972 Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama.

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them.
The picture above is not from Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama in 1972. I will add some of those later. But it the same idea. Some "geek" is put in a cage and supposedly eats some live frogs and or snakes.
I saw one of these operations at a carnival like set up in Mobile, Alabama during the Mardi Gras in 1971 and 1972. It was a different guy each year. One guy in a cage would rattle the bars and cage and scare those who paid 50 cents to walk up and take a look. Often this guy would be dressed like one of the natives in a Tarzan movie.
The next year it was a little white guy who looked really harmless but who also looked like he really was eating the frogs or snakes or whatever.
The point of this story is that the carnival was set up across from a McDonalds on Government Street in Mobile. And one morning early I saw this young carnival worker who played the geek going into McDonalds to get his breakfast. That was interesting I thought.
But better than that was when Alice Cooper and his band came and did a big concert at the Mobile Convention Center drawing thousands in 1972. That was the year they had the big hit "I'm 18". And "School's Out" and other Alice Cooper hits. I happened to be standing outside that same McDonalds on Government Street when I saw a big limo pull up and go through the drive through. It was Alice Cooper and the band. All that money they were making and they chose to eat McDonalds food. And they chose to go through the drive through in a limo. Well Alice Cooper's act was something like a carnival geek if I remember right.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eleanor Dickinson Once of Knoxville,Tennessee From San Francisco Since 1952

The above is the book for the show REVIVAL at the Corcoran Gallery Of Art in Washington D.C in 1970 by Eleanor Dickinson. A beautiful book of line drawings of evangelicals at their worship services. The show at the Corcoran also included audio tapes and music such as "I'll Fly Away" and "Life Is Like A Mountain Railroad". And "The Great Speckled Bird".

Click on the above photo to enlarge it.
Those drawings were obviously done earlier and not part of the show REVIVAL.
That is the way Eleanor Dickinson looked in 1967.

I met her in 1969 when she came to Washington, D.C. to do her show REVIVAL for Walter Hopps at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Below is a link to a good interview with Eleanor. You can also see more about her by clicking on the link to the home page.
Click on the link below Introducing Eleanor Dickinson.

Eleanor Dickinson is the woman mentioned in the posts below about Elkmont,Tennessee and the rustic cabins there which she saved from destruction. See posts below.
Eleanor's family owned one of the cabins. It was called the Creekmore cabin and is marked #6 on the maps. Creekmore was Eleanor's family name in Knoxville,Tenn.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Elkmont Tennessee Cabins Great Smoky Mountains Update And How Eleanor Dickinson Helped Save The Cabins in Elkmont

Click on the above video to enlarge it. It is good news to hear and see work being done to restore the cabins in Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
See post and links below for more information about Elkmont, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
The link below is about the Elkmont Fireflies.

Elkmont In The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Click on the above video to enlarge it.
Elkmont is located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. There is also a campground located near there.
Here is good good information about Elkmont,Tennessee.,_Tennessee
And the link below gives more good information about the Elkmont cabins.
I stayed in one of these cabins in the summer of 1970. A friend of mine who was from Knoxville,Tennessee let me and another fellow stay there over a long weekend. Her family was one of the original owners of one of these cabins.
It was rustic with little to do so my friend suggested we drive in to Gatlinburg. We didn't know but at that time Gatlinburg had a very early curfew. The police stopped us since it was after 10pm. We had just gone in to buy some beer. They checked us out and let us go after telling us that thieves use the highway from Tenn. through the park over to North Carolina with hot cars. By the way here is a little known fact. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the only National Park without an entrance fee. That is because when the park was created Tenn. and North Carolina demanded that the main road that runs through the park remain open and free of any charge and if this was ever changed the area would revert to Tenn. and North Carolina. So there is no entrance fee to enter The Great Smoky National Park. And that is one reason along with the location of the park that it is the most visited of all the National Parks.
We revisited Elkmont in 2004. It was a sad sight to see the cabins have fallen into disrepair. But plans are afoot to restore some of them as you can learn by reading the articles above.
Elkmont is cool in the summer. A welcome relief and retreat from the heat.
There is another story concerning Elkmont. It is where the notorius killer Bradford Bishop left his station wagon and disappeared in 1976 never to be seen again.
Here is a link to information on the case.
Rather than post many pictures one by one of the cabins the way they look now here is a link to a Flickr photo set that has many good photos of the place as it now looks.
Be sure and click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Eyes Of Willie McGee by Alex Heard

Click and double click on the above video to enlarge it.

Click on the link at the bottom to go to the page about this book. You have to do that to use the look inside feature shown above. And also to enlarge the photo seen above.
I just finished reading this book. A really good book full of little known history.
Click below to read about the book and be sure and read the comments at the bottom of the page. The readers'comments are excellent.
Here is some additonal information. Including a tape of the live broadcast from Laurel to a Hattiesburg radio station of the execution. This was in 1951.
I still say the best thing is to read the book to get the full picture. Alex Heard is a great writer and a great investigative reporter.
Below is a link to the author's website. Click on it to see photos concerning the case and much more information.

Below is a link to the Greenwood Commonwealth newspaper on line and their story about this book. Also you can see a video there of Alex Heard reading from his book at Turnrow books in Greenwood. He is reading a section from the book about William Faulkner.

The Revolt Of Mamie Stover By William Bradford Huie

I read this book when I was in high school. How could I not with a cover like you see above? The parents of one of my friends had gone away for the weeked leaving him alone at home so he had his friends over. While he and a couple of other guys were out in the garage working on a car I went into the living room and found this book and decided to read it. Right away I was swept up in the story. Plus I had unexpectedly discovered a really good writer. The other guys went out riding around somewhere but I stayed put because I wanted to finish the book. I read most of the night. It was pure pleasure to discover Mamie Stover and William Bradford Huie. Since then I think I have read and reread all of his books. Note he wrote a sequel called Hotel Mamie Stover. Click on the above picture to enlarge it.
Click on the link below to read all about William Bradford Huie and all of his books.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Storyville in New Orleans Photos of E.J. Bellocq And Jazz And Al Rose, Bill Russell And Larry Borenstein

Click on the link below to read about the book STORYVILLE,NEW ORLEANS by Al Rose.

Video above is Sweet Emma Barrett performing at Preservation Hall. She was also known as Sweet Emma The Bell Gal. If you watch the video you will see why.

Here is a link to a good article about 3 important men who kept Jazz Alive in New Orleans. Al Rose who wrote about Storyville and Larry Borenstein who started Preservation Hall in 1961. Somebody had to do it and he did. When Borenstein died he owned about half of the French Quarter. In 1965-1966 I used to see him sitting in his art gallery on Bourbon Street. He had found an artist who painted large canvases of Jazz musicians. The tourists loved them and bought them like the were French donuts or beignets.
Larry Borenstein is also the guy who found the glass negatives of E.J. Bellocq the famous photographer of Storyville. Borenstein sold them to Lee Friedlander who had them published in book form. The pictures also appear in Al Roses' book STORYVILLE published by The University of Alabama Press. The pictures inspired the movie PRETTY BABY starring Brooke Shields.
Here is some information on E.J. Bellocq.
And here is the article on Al Rose and Bill Russell and Larry Borenstein.
You can see many more of the photographs of E.J. Bellocq here:
Click on all the pictures to enlarge them.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Big Black Bear On Skyline Drive in Virginia Memorial Day 2010

Click on these to enlarge them.

Rachel made these videos near Big Meadow Lodge on Skyline Drive in Virginia on Memorial Day 2010. It is the largest black bear we have seen in the park. It drew a large crowd of on lookers.