Grand Isle, LA… Southeastern-most point of the trip.
I ran across Boudreau & Thibodeau’s diner in Houma completely by accident and it turned out to be one of the best meals of the trip. Miles better than what I was finding in New Orleans even.
“I saw miles and miles of Texas, all the stars up in the sky
I saw miles and miles of Texas, gonna live here ’til I die.”
– Bob Wills
Marfa Lights viewing
According to the Find Your Spot quiz, Round Top, Texas was the number one place in the US that I absolutely should not move to. Of course I had to check it out, and while it’s not that bad in person (hell, you could probably rent a house here for a hundred bucks), I still can’t help but think that a City Confidential episode or tornado target is in its future.
Note to road trippers in this part of Texas: most diners and restaurants are closed in the afternoon or evenings – assuming that they aren’t closed completely for December-January. I lucked out at the Chappell Hill Sausage Company which closed just as I was arriving at 4pm, but the reward was some astonishingly outstanding BBQ sausages (and homemade oatmeal walnut cookies).
The signs welcoming you to town indicate that it’s “the dairy capital of New Mexico”, but Roswell has clearly hitched it’s tourist dollar wagon to the rapidly stale alien kitch zeitgeist. The International UFO Museum is the King Hell tourist trap in town but the knockoff alien “museums” surrounding it are much more interesting. Apparently, all you need is an alien “grey” dummy and a pickup truck full of old computer parts, circuit boards, and industrial contaminants. Correct spelling is not necessary but the savvier museums have free Wi-Fi. I especially like the Apple StyleWriter printer reconstituted as an alien stasis machine. The rest of town is your usual assortment of southwest blight with a Wal-Mart the size of an aircraft hangar and little else to do except drink and listen to metal.
I’m off to NYC for awhile so blogging is haphazard at best. One side-effect of all this traveling is that I’ve become a de-facto connoisseur of airport bars. I have come to the conclusion that the most dismal airport bar in the country is the Gibson Guitar Lounge at SNA. Nothing like a moldy old recent poster-sized photo of Lynyrd Skynyrd to put you in the mood for cross-country travel.
Saw Comets On Fire last night (one sentence review: they were OK in 3 minute intervals, but not necessarily for a full show) and caroused around with folks until very late. Trucker hat count of 4, including an awesome sighting when a hesher-looking dude with trucker hat briefly leaned back to peek into Lit’s back room where we were sitting. It was like seeing a UFO.
My one last “urgent and key” NYC destination was the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair out in Flushing Meadows. Not much is left of the actual fair buildings. The only remaining 1939 building is the New York State pavilion which is now home to the Queens Museum Of Art.
Couple things from 1964 are still around – most notably the Unisphere. I somehow fulfilled a desire I didn’t know I had and played around in the fountain underneath it. Still unbearably hot out – could have sat in it all day long.
These things are still there, but I have no idea what they’re called.
The Queens Museum of Art was wonderfully great to wander around in. There’s obviously a lot of Worlds Fair-related stuff there including a terrific Salvador Dali exhibit with his designs, prototypes, and sketches for his surreal “Dreams Of Venus” building for the 1939 fair. The show runs through early September – check it out if you’re in NYC.
The most mindblowing thing in the QMS is a giant scale model of the New York City area. Originally built for the 1964 Fair (and since updated) the model is accurate down to the scale skyscrapers and buildings. It’s difficult to photograph, but to give you an idea of the size, yes that’s another person on the opposite side in this photograph.