doing nothing in nola

Love this writer:

Jenny Odell

In her how to do nothing article, she writes about Mierle Laderman Ukeles, whose Maintenance Manifesto, 1969 is familiar to me from earlier aimless Internet browsing.

We bicycled past a labyrinth in New Orleans but didn’t stop. I was dead set on giving a well-curated tour experience to my partner. I had the idea, maybe mistakenly, that he is easily bored. We also rode right past the Tree of Life, which is clearly marked on the map as a destination for photos. We ended up in Riverview Park, riding the wrong way on one way streets and trying to avoid giant puddles. The river view was obscured by thick white banks of fog, which itself was interesting. My friend said the fog developed because the water was cold, flowing down from the north. This was surprising to me.

We got charged a penalty of $10 for locking the bikes outside the service area of New Orleans (?).

We spent a lot of time walking muddy, gravel-y, pot-holed, puddled streets in front run-down neighborhoods. It was real public space, not faux public space as distinguished by Jenny Odell. It felt healing. A lot of “Happy New Years” greetings were exchanged. We laughed and goofed around with people outside St. Coffee on St. Claude. It was fun.

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