Last Saturday was one of those times that I thanked my lucky stars that I live here.
I have been meaning to visit The Music Box, an “interactive musical village” that is in our neighborhood, and we finally made it over. What is there now is the first phase of a planned full-scale musical house called Dithyrambalina designed by the artist Swoon.
I tried to write a description of it, but you really should just go to the site I linked to above and look at the pictures. It’s like a little dreamland. We have tickets for the last musical performance this coming Saturday, and I can’t wait.
At night, we rode our bikes down to the river and took the ferry to Algiers. That in itself is fun because I love to go down to the riverfront. But for the first time, I got to see a Christmas bonfire. It’s a tradition in the area, and like the Mardi Gras Indians, it is a little mysterious.
The bonfires are also called the “feux de joie” (fires of joy) and seem to have begun between 1880-1900. The best page of information I’ve found so far is from Louisiana Folk Life, even if it isn’t able to give definitive answers. I suspect there aren’t any, really, which keeps things a little odd and mysterious. And just makes it more wonderful, in my opinion.
This year, the bonfire was special because the artist Jana Napoli’s installation called Floodwall was burned to the ground. The piece incorporated hundreds of drawers found in the city after Katrina, meant to help document what we lost after the storm. Burning it was a symbolic letting go. It was moving to me, and beautiful, with glowing ashes swirling around above our heads and the fire burning hot.
I didn’t take pictures, so here is a link to the newspaper’s photos of the event. Of course there was a choir, and a second line to the site. Music is a must with everything down here.
My heart was so full-up with love for the city and the people in it that day. Happy, happy day.