Saturday, November 07, 2009

Ocean Springs, MS... and the Big Easy

My first full day in the South started with a tip from the Baton Rouge hotel clerk: Beniets for breakfast. A hot, deep fried pocket (kind of like a sopapilla, for those more familiar with southwest cuisine) dusted with powdered sugar. So much sugar that exhaling on your beniet covers the table in white powder. A $2 order consisted of three of these puppies. Here's the one that travelled half a day with me and only got better when the sugar started to crystallize.

I got off the interstate for much of the drive down to Ocean Springs, MS. Slowed down on the two-laner and stumbled on some nice folk art at a muffler shop...

The screening at the Mary C Okeefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs was lovely. Bigger crowd, totally devoted to the subject in the Q&A. I basically had to kick them out of the theater so we could adjourn to yummy thai food and wine in the lobby.

The next morning, an off-day, I stopped by the coast in Biloxi, MS so I could stick my feet in the warm gulf. Found myself across the street from a new Frank Gehry art museum under construction.

The last part of the day was spent I spent with my good, childhood friend, Chris Idzik, a master teacher from Massachusetts, who's spending a year working in a newly re-0pened school in New Orleans. Was the first time I've been to the Big Easy. From still-devastated sections of the Ninth Ward, to the very-much recovered French Quarter, it left quite an impression. The last pic is of Chris and me at the final stop, an all-night diner.