Junior Fellows New Orleans Tour: Day One

NOLA-Tshirt5_2013

By Will Phillips.

Day one of the “New Orleans Tour” didn’t turn out much as planned.

What should have been a six-hour drive to New Orleans was expanded into a nine-hour drive by numerous and lengthy traffic jams along I-10.  The long drive was broken only by a wonderful lunch at the Blue Dog Cafe.

Junior Fellows at Blue Dog Cafe

Junior Fellows at Blue Dog Cafe

While the food was good–I especially enjoyed my Pork Tenderloin–the restaurant also drove home the fact that the art world is a mystery to me.  How else can you explain the popularity of a pop art style commandeered by George Rodrigue in the form of a blue dog?  Maybe Rodrigue knows something about Louisiana and its tastes that perfectly captures the Cajun spirit, thus explaining his work’s enduring popularity. The Blue Dog is depicted everywhere throughout Louisiana.  Every state recognizes parts that make them unique to the other states by way of establishing their state flower, state bird, or even their state tree; but if there ever was a category for a state art piece, the Blue Dog would take the honors for Louisiana.

In addition to being the main artistic theme of the Blue Dog Restaurant which, by the way, included this piece with Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and, of course, the Blue Dog…

Blue Dog, Clinton, Gore

Blue Dog, Clinton, Gore

…the blue dog also adorned the side of the building across from our hotel and Rodrigue’s studio is about a block away.  We expect to see more of this dog on our trip…

We did have a chance to see a couple of iconic landmarks in the area.  We went to Jackson Square, where we saw some street performers.  Well, we assume they were performers.  While we were there they simply did a remarkable job of taking people’s money while counting down to what we presumed to be a performance.  We were there ten minutes, and there was no performance.  We did get a photo, though…

Junior Fellows near Jackson Square

Junior Fellows near Jackson Square

…and strolled through the gardens for another picture…

Jackson Square at Dusk

Jackson Square at Dusk

…before closing the evening with a nice dinner at Oceana Grill and a peek at Bourbon Street.

Bourbon Street and the JFs

Bourbon Street and the JFs

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