21c

Bilateral Time Slicer Intermix, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 2017

21c Museum Hotels is a combination contemporary art museum and boutique hotel chain. We visited the Nashville branch of this chain that was launched by Laura Lee Brown, heiress to the Jack Daniels fortune. There are currently ten hotels-museums in the chain. A venue in Chicago is opening soon and a Saint Louis branch is scheduled to open by the end of the year.

In all its venues, this is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art of the 21st century. The museum is open free of charge 24/7. All of the hotels are built in salvaged and repurposed old downtown buildings. The one in Saint Louis is slated for the old downtown YMCA building.

The intermix of faces in the bilateral time slicer include Anne, Becca, Corwin, Rey and myself. Think of it as a photo-booth, with extra artistic help. Anne was the first person to use this machine and for the longest time, hers was the only one displayed. She was eventually able to coax the rest of us in joining her on camera. With each new face, older images (in time, not age), are then pushed outwards, I managed to snap this photo, before my face was acquired by the AI.

We had lunch in Germantown, one of the older and now trendier neighborhoods in Nashville. We ate takeout Thai for dinner. With the game Gizmos, Rey took the gloves off on us today. It wasn’t pretty and he wants to play Scrabble next.

Rey and Becca are in full house hunting mode. They are focusing on the area near where they rent, which is very cosmopolitan. Unfortunately, ICE is preying on this diversity. Trump is complaining about the homelessness in San Francisco and LA, but the homelessness in Nashville rivals what I’ve seen on the left coast. Here is a better photo of Corwin, the man of the moment. Left Off! Power to the people! Or am I reading too much into that little fist?

Corwin

Powder Puff

Powder Puff

We drove to Nashville to see the new baby, Corwin. Friday’s big ice storm was kind of a bust. So, we had no trouble with weather on our drive down here. The temperature was mainly in the fifties and never below freezing. There was a lot of flooding that we drove through. Most of southern Illinois is underwater and the Ohio River was easily three times its normal width.

So, Anne is a great-aunt now. She was always a good aunt. I guess this makes me a pretty good uncle too. Rey and Becca’s two month old son seems hale and hearty. He has almost doubled his birth weight. Becca fixed an excellent Chinese fried rice dinner and afterwards, we played one of their new board games, this one is called Gizmos. Somehow, Anne won and I came in second, but don’t ask us how to play the game, except that it involves collecting cards, coins and marbles, not necessarily in that order. I’m sure that we’ll get another chance to better understand the game, but by then our beginner’s luck ought to have run its course. Mainly, we just sat around and went ooh and ah over the baby. Corwin seemed to enjoy the attention almost as much as we enjoyed giving him it. Tomorrow, we’ll try a field trip.

Spirit of St. Louis

Spirit of St. Louis

Dan and Britt left the Lou on Sunday morning, their destination, Brooklyn. This is normally a fifteen hour drive. This is a long drive in the best of circumstances. NYC born and raised Britt doesn’t drive and Dan was suffering from a cold. So, Anne and I had offered my services as a co-driver. I was up for it. I could extend my visit and see some sights, but Dan said that he was fine and could do it. The Pennsylvania turnpike tour bus wreck that had killed five, had already occurred and we discussed alternative routes. They finally made it, but were a good five hours late. Along the way, they saw not one, but two tractor trailers that were on fire. Dan sent a text at four in the morning. One of them they just missed due to a fortuitous dinner break and gas stop (Eat here, get gas.) They heard the sirens pass them by at the rest stop and were stuck with nothing to do except to wait for the fire to be put out. Anyway they made it and now Dan has a car, the Prius.

In another sense, Dan and Britt made it out-of-town in the nick of time. Monday saw no parking signs go up on the other side of our street. Today, the water company showed up for work. Fortunately, they will be tearing up the other side of the road. Two years ago, we saw the sewer company doing this kind of work. That job was on our side of the street. So far, the water company’s footprint isn’t as heavy as the sewer company’s was. No stacks of pipes, no port-a-potty on anyone’s front lawn, at least not yet. Again, no water shutoffs yet. Still, I drew a pot of water, for emergency toilet flushes. Dishes, showers and laundry could eventually prove problematic, at least during the day. We’re back down to only one vehicle again, which we can park off street in our driveway, but based on our experience with the sewer work, parking on another street may be necessary. This ordeal is supposed to last until March. Oh boy, we’re having some fun now.

Shakshuka

Shakshuka

And so, I’m back. Back from outer space. With that sad look upon my face, but I will survive. Sorry for taking that mini-blog vacation for the last few days, but I hope that you enjoyed the picture show. We are back in Saint Louis now. Anne, Dan and I, having driven yesterday across the foggy Midwestern plains. The new Toy Yoda handled like a dream. The Force was definitely with us. David had jetted off to Rochester the day before. He is spending New Years with Maren’s family. With his new job, he has limited vacation time. Technically he is a writer now too. I guess you could say that I am also technically a writer, but don’t say it very loud or too often. It might go to my head. Britt lands in the Lou today. Dan will pick her up in his “new” Prius. Before Dave took off, Anne and I and the boys luncheoned at Zola Bistro, which is across Washtenaw from Chez Harry’s place. Both Anne and I had the pictured Shakshuka. Zola was a very impressive establishment, in an interesting, if too crowded upscale strip mall. It came complete with a My Urban Toddler store, for future yuppies of America. The next day, on our way out of town, Jane joined us at Mark’s Mid-Town Coney Island for more conventional breakfast fare. There, I think that I am all caught up on all the news that you need-to-know. I’m ready to slide into 2020.

Failure to Launch?

Rooster Brunch

Whatever you call it, bomb cyclone, Snowmageddon, nor’easter or this week’s “storm of the century”? Whatever you call it, this storm descended just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend’s return home travel crush.

Failure to launch? No way! We’re A-OK all the way. We’ve got a plane. We’re onboard it now. Door closed. Pushing back. Oh wait, we’ve got a hold. We are sitting on the tarmac now, waiting and waiting and waiting. Oh no, we’re going back to the gate. “If you need to be picked-up at the airport, call us…”

They never did call us for a ride, but it was an ordeal. Dan landed first, in NYC, at LaGuardia. David and Maren eventually made it to Logan. Then there was luggage, Uber and finally sleep. Turkey Day travel is always tough, but adding bad weather makes it a whole lot tougher. It was great being all together for the holiday though and we are looking forward to seeing the boys again in just a few more weeks for Christmas break.

Hippity Hop

Hippity Hop

Eight sticks of butter, three pints of cream, whatever does this mean? Separated eggs, yolks from whites. Sugar, lots of sugar, some white some brown. Crème brûlée for dessert tonight. Along with a variation of Jane’s chicken enchiladas. Vegetarian, so sans chicken. Anne is rolling tomorrow’s pie crusts. Croissants to set out tonight, letting their dough rise, for early morning baking. Trying to get as much done as possible today, because tomorrow will be a very busy day in the kitchen.

Dave and Maren are due in tonight. Hippity hopping southwest from Boston on Southwest. A couple of Beantown buckaroos brought to us by aeroplane, hippity hopping home, here in the Lou. Could be a late night though, what with weather.