tropiavera: a garden gnome sightsees ([✉] prefer to dream)
With a little over a year left to go, I am 32% finished with my "101 in 1001" list. Lots of those - not enough! - are "in progress", mentally "almost finished", but still. Let's go, self, goshhhhhh.

One thing I did recently: bought myself tickets to the NYC Ballet performing Balanchine's Swan Lake as a birthday present! It was amaaazing, I got all emotional during the finale because I am a total wad about music I listened to too much as a child, and my darling husband fell asleep several times. Obviously. Every time I've been back to New York since college, more of my friends have moved there, but I never regret leaving, not really. It's good to be able to go back and visit friends and the places that feel like old friends.

I'm going to Florida for business tomorrow, but I would really like to just rest my feet for a while, please.
tropiavera: Margaret Olson ([✈] donna - human - yes)
Salutations, internet! I have just returned from a four-day trip on my first trip to the deep South, and it was super delightful! We went through Louisville, Nashville, and Birmingham, and then did the reverse. I'm pretty sure I put on about eight pounds in cornbread biscuit consumption alone.

We also went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, which was fascinating. It's laid out to make it experiential and visceral, with a lot of media footage and whatnot. It was also interesting going in with two historians, who were obviously much more familiar with all of this stuff than I am, and were able to provide more commentary on some of the political erasure aspects. The building where the institute is housed is across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park, which has a series of statues dedicated to the civil rights moment as well, like a piece with police dogs leaping out and so forth. There's an interesting feeling that I think you get sometimes in northern states about the civil rights moment, one that is similar to the way people sometimes think about Europe, as being "where the history is from", that I think is flawed and problematic in both cases, but that still gets promoted in the way we think about things. It was remarkable to actually experience how small Birmingham is, and how much that must have affected things.

In a much sillier note, we also stopped at Nashville's Parthenon replica and Birminghams' Vulcan statue, both of which were constructed for World's Fairs, with the result that I think I'm going to be one of those people who are weirdly into World's Fairs. I was really into the Chicago World's Fair (1893) in elementary school when we learned about it, but they're all so weird and rad! So many weird things are built for those! LIKE 2/3 SCALE REPLICA PARTHENONS!!

We were nominally there for football, but a) I don't care, and b) we lost, so. I'm in it for the weird local culture. It was also surprisingly comforting being in Birmingham, despite being a super obvious outsider (especially on game day, when literally everyone we ran into while getting breakfast came up to us to chat about how we were visiting Alabama and what we should go see), because as much as I am a city person I still try to chat with, like, baristas and whoever more than people on the East Coast do. Thanks, southern hospitality!


tropiavera: Margaret Olson (Default)
the once and future tropie

February 2014



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