Tag Archives: volleyball

Street Art, Banksy and SLS St. Petersburg

Last night, one of my volleyball teammates, K., and I were discussing street artist Banksy‘s visit to New Orleans, where he painted/stenciled art all over the city. If you click on the link above, the one with the “Gray Ghost” painting over the sunflower is kinda near my house, on Clio across the street from The Big Top.  I took a picture of M. (who was the first person to tell me about Banksy) in front of it. If I can get the image off my phone (and M. gives permission), I’ll post it here, alongside the regular image below. If it’s the same image (and I think it is, from the details at the bottom), then the sunflower’s been painted over since then and the image has been covered in plexiglass to protect it.

At least one business owner didn’t know what they had on their building and painted over their Banksy (apparently, in some places, a Banksy can improve your property value, which I dig). But like most street art, there is that element of the ephemeral, of catching it. And some places and people do what they can to embrace and protect street art, so that’s pretty amazing.

K. and I moved on from Banksy to discuss the street art I found while I was in St. Petersburg, Russia two years ago and later, images I found in New Orleans. It’s something of a hobby of mine to photograph whatever I see. Below, some Banksy images, street art from St. Petersburg, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Talking about St. Petersburg made me miss it pretty violently. I have moments of that, where I’ll remember smells and tastes and sights from St. Petersburg in this visceral, compelling rush and for a moment, I can’t breathe for wanting to go back. I went as part of the Summer Literary Seminars in 2007, during the end of White Nights where there’s almost 24 hours of daylight. So I got hundreds of photographs and rarely had to worry about lighting – though consequently, any photo that required a flash came out strange or crappy. I saw so many parallels between St. Petersburg and New Orleans while I was there and so it’s strange to miss one city while I’m in the other. But of course, they are very different too. Though, my “local” grocery in St. Petersburg was called Dixie. 🙂

Then, less than 24 hours after talking to K. about Banksy, street art and St. Petersburg, I opened up an SLS email about the new literary contest. Something was missing. Russia wasn’t offered as one of the programs. So, I followed the link to find out why. I know it’s a difficult city to organize something like the summer seminars in, even in the best of times. The program is now on hiatus till 2011, unfortunately. SLS still has programs in Kenya, Lithuania and Montreal. But, judging by my (oh too short) experiences in St. Petersburg, Russia’s the best. 🙂 Anyways, while on the Russia program page, I caught a link to 10-minute video about the 10 years of SLS in St. Pete. It’s a cool video and it gives you a pretty good idea of the experiences of the program. I saw some familiar faces and places and that made me…what? homesick? what’s the word for sick for a city that’s never been your home but completely transformed you? Just heartsick, I guess. I want to be in the position to go back to Russia in 2011, to spend more time and to see more, in addition to reacquanting myself with the old “neighborhood.”

I tried to tie it all together to see if there are any known Banksy pieces in Russia. Couldn’t find anything. But, I did find two Russian references to Banky’s Kissing Policeman. First, a photograph of two Russian Policemen kissing in a winter Siberian Forest. Second, what looks like a photograph of Russian officers (a male-female couple) kissing on a Russian sidewalk paired with Banky’s piece. May I be the first to suggest that Banksy take a visit to Russia? He can take the Trans-Siberian and really do it right.

Oh, here’s a video I just found of Banksy (?) in Palestine. Check it out. .


[10.21.09: Here’s the picture of M. with the “Grey Ghost” Banksy I told y’all about. Enjoy.]


Filed under art, Friends, New Orleans, pop culture

Bragging on some friend redux

This is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue. No posts so far for all of September! Here’s why – new job, new season of volleyball, taking on more writing for PureSYTYCD, always with the freelance and some Novel meltdowns. Oh and you know, the social life thing. Cue manic laughter.

However, in the midst of all of that, I drove up to Baton Rouge with Jamey because she was asked to read in the EGSA Alumni Reading and I was asked to introduce another of the readers, Mary McMyne (who I’ve written about for 225 and here, as well). Honestly, even if Mary hadn’t asked that I introduce her, I would’ve totally have been there because the lineup was the literary equivalent to something like three of my favorite bands all headlining together. The third reader was the lovely and calm and talented Ronlyn Domingue, whose book The Mercy of Thin Air made quite a splash. So Mary did me a favor and gave me a great excuse to go to an event I would’ve paid really good (and really precious, right now) money for. These ladies are rock stars, though they generally blush when I say that.

And as I knew it would be, it was a fantastic evening. It reminded me, vividly, that I am a writer and what I want from my writing life. I want more evenings with writers like these, ladies I admire and adore. See picture for full definition the terms “writers,” “admire” and “adore”:

Emilie, Nolde Alexious, Mary McMyne, Ronlyn Domingue, Susan Kirby-Smith, Jamey Hatley

Emilie, Nolde Alexious, Mary McMyne, Ronlyn Domingue, Susan Kirby-Smith, Jamey Hatley

Haven’t talked about Ronlyn lately because she’s in the depths and the bowels of Book #2. But she’s going to be posting essays monthly on a site called The Nervous Breakdown. She read a phenomenal essay at the event that will be next month’s contribution. Check out the current essay now, called Fowl Freak-Out: A Vegetarian’s Tale. [9.14.09 I should say, Mary also writes for The Nervous Breakdown. Check out her first (hysterical and gross) piece here. Ronlyn’s newest is a must. ]

And this reminds me. I said that I would tell y’all when the 225 piece I wrote about Rheta and Poor Man’s Provence was available and it’s up now on the magazine’s website, here.


Filed under bragging on, freelance work, Friends, So You Think You Can Dance, writing updates

A tale of a brave little phone who could

So I lost my cell phone yesterday while playing volleyball. There were very few places it could have gone, but there was a scramble when it started to rain as everybody grabbed up their things and ran off. The volume was turned up high and everybody I knew called the thing, so it seemed pretty clear nobody had it. Yet, I looked for it in the rain and it was no where in sight.

Out of sheer stubbornness (and hopefulness), because I couldn’t afford to pay $200 to replace a phone I paid $50 for, I went back to the courts today and there, in the middle of our court where it must have fallen out of my bag, was my cell phone. Half buried in sand and still on.

It still works! After almost 24 hours in wet sand, undoubtably being rained on some, the thing is still going. I cleaned it off, and so I have my cell phone back. I’ll never take my brave little cell phone who could for granted again (Sanyo flip phone for anybody who’s interested) and this is a perfect demonstration of why nobody can reach me while I’m playing volleyball. Usually, I don’t take it with me. 🙂

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Filed under New Orleans, pop culture, weirdness


Sunday is often my catching up with tv day (after volleyball). And that’s what I did.

I’ve become rabid about two new shows – Dollhouse and Castle. Just found this article about the campaign to save Dollhouse that started before the show ever aired. Let’s just say us Whedonites are nervous nellies (justifiably, I think).

Basically, my thoughts echo the title of this discussion thread: Fox – Don’t You Dare Cancel Dollhouse. But ABC, you consider yourselves similarly addressed regarding Castle.

I’ll burn a cd of my favorite music for the person who can best describe the link between Dollhouse and Castle (and the constant fear of their cancellation) to my amusement and satisfaction.

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