I drove my girlfriend to the airport this morning. After I took her bag out of the car and put it on the curb, we stood there and exchanged goodbyes, and everything you can imagine comes with those.
But I didn’t tell her to “have a safe trip.” Why not?
Because I don’t hate her.
If you really care for someone’s happiness, is “a safe trip” really what you want for them? I mean, they already know you hope they don’t get harmed… because they know you don’t hate them. Every time you aspire to safety on someone else’s behalf — wishing them a safe trip, or flight, or holiday weekend, or whatever they’re about to embark on — “the terrorists” (or whomever) have won.
So if I like you, instead of a safe trip…
I hope you’ll have an amazing trip.
I hope your trip is unforgettable.
I hope you experience new things on your trip.
I hope your trip changes your perspective.
I hope your trip makes you smile many times.
I hope there are numerous photo opportunities on your trip.
I hope that, if you’re into that sort of thing, your trip takes you out of your comfort zone just enough to be remarkable.
And so on.
(Important exception: I’m thinking that if you’re someone’s mother, you get a free pass, because your wish is more than just words — it’s a reminder to not do anything stupid. And you’re hardwired to believe that, when our of your sight, your kid is constantly doing stupid things. But you should really consider trying something from the list above.)
I’m presently at a hotel, and I’ve found myself impressed with the Wi‐Fi here. The signal strength is okay and the speed is adequate, but that’s not what’s standing out. It’s the branding.
I’ve seen all manners of SSIDs since Wi‐Fi became commonplace in hotels, from “Free Wifi” to “[hotel name here],” but in my experience, this Howard Johnson location is truly singular… and perplexing to me.
The hotel offers multiple wireless access points. I’m guessing this is for better coverage, but they decided to give each one a different name. The names aren’t anything predictable, like hojo1, hojo2, either.
I’m impressed that the management actually took the time to integrate feel‐good corporate messages into each access point’s SSID. Using tech to communicate thoughts in nontraditional ways is certainly relevant to my interests. However, picking a different slogan for each AP not only seems technically sloppy, but makes for an awkward mish‐mash of old and new company taglines. Also, how am I supposed to know the AP I’m connecting to isn’t an evil twin? It’d be pretty trivial for someone to throw together something like hojolovesyou and have its potential for malice be imperceptible next to the other goofy networks.
My concerns over the wireless amenities are mostly theoretical, since my tethered Android phone has me adequately covered when it comes to Internet access. My use of the free Wi‐Fi is limited to consuming to high‐bandwidth content that would make my currently‐EDGE connection choke. (What’s more, as a Linux user — varoom! —much of what a theoretical attacker could do, outside of MITM, isn’t really a concern to me.)
Now, I’m not here to argue graffiti as a legitimate art form (which it is), or say that its presence is a net positive for society (which it’s not). I’d rather simply point out that during our recent trip to New Orleans, my sister and I twice stumbled upon works of perhaps the best‐known graffiti artist in the world: Banksy.
I remembered reading about Banksy’s pieces in New Orleans, but couldn’t remember at what point, post‐Katrina, they appeared. It was nice to know that at least a couple of them are still intact today, even if more (relatively) talentless stuff has gone up nearby in the year‐and‐a‐half since Lincoln. Nice, though, that the new additions respected Abe’s space!
The first time we saw one, we were exiting I‐10 at Canal Street, on our way to the Algiers Ferry, when something caught my eye… something from the Internet! I knew right away that I needed a photo of it, but couldn’t find a place to park just then, so we found ourselves stuck in Claiborne Street traffic for a while until we could make it back to Tulane Ave, the first street pointing in the right direction (after two inward‐facing one‐ways!). We made it back and found a place to park so I could get out and took a few photos.
The second (and sadly, final) Banksy art sighting of our trip happened on our last night in town, on our way to an ill‐fated trip to Yo Mama’s. We noticed the girl, missed the turn, and had to loop around a few blocks, but ultimately managed to capture the second piece you see above. It was right across Kerlerec Street from the Rampart Food Store.
Cool art, but what of the rights of the property owners? Yes, there is that… but Banksy can come ‘tag up’ on my car whenever s/he wants!
To say that my sister and I enjoyed the food during our trip to New Orleans would be an understatement. Anticipating a blog post like this (and for posterity), I took photos of nearly everything we ate, and checked in at each restaurant using Foursquare.
Foursquare normally annoys me, but in this case, was very helpful in logging all the places we went, on which days we went, and so on.
(Unless otherwise noted, my meal is in the foreground.)
Me: Hot Sausage Po Boy. Despite being a lifelong disliker of pickles, I decided to try my sandwich with them anyway, having ordering it “dressed.” While I’m not sure they added much, it was not bad with pickles. Mine was also a little light on meat, at least compared to Allison’s.
Both: Burgers (mine with cheese, hers with mushrooms) with baked potato. While I was a little surprised at the lack of fries as an option, I didn’t mind at all. The baked potato was amazing. Also, I wasn’t going to break out the flash, but yeah, the lighting was a little on the low side.
Verti Marte, a convenience store with sandwich counter in the back, had no seating, so we ate this meal in the car. Sorry, no photo; we were hungry.
Me: Muffaletta, something I had never tried. My reaction was along the lines of: “I’m pretty sure I’d list half of the ingredients on my do‐not‐like list, but boy are they good together!” Quite possibly my food highlight of the trip.
I did not expect a week in New Orleans to be this anti‐conducive to writing.
But, golly is this place pretty and the food so wonderful. If I don’t return with any sort of special insight into anything in particular, at least expect a quick restaurant rundown. I haven’t had a bad meal since arriving.