This Week’s Various

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Lisa Slominski has a terrific piece about Minnie Evans (whose work is at the Venice Biennale, through November) at Burnaway

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta GA

from a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, 2022

Jennifer and Kevin Box, who created the Origami in the Garden exhibit that closes this weekend at the Atlanta Botanical Garden will open the exhibit at the Huntsville Botanical Garden in early March 2023

The Ritz of the Bayou: Nancy Lemann’s Shabby-Genteel from The Paris Review — the Fall ’22 issue includes her ‘Diary of Remorse

Dave Drake (Dave the Slave) jar, Birmingham Museum of Art

Dave Drake jar at the Birmingham Museum of Art, from a 2022 visit

The NYT does a piece on fall exhibitions, including Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in concert with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Roberta Smith writes Nellie Mae Rowe Levels the Wall Between Insider and Outsider Art: The artist has been a major — if underrecognized — American talent. But the biggest look yet at her achievement gives it a whole new stature. The exhibit is at the Brooklyn Museum through January 1.

Also written up at the New Yorker,.

There’s a documentary on Rowe, This World is Not My Own, coming out soon.

A curator talk, from the exhibit at The High in Atlanta

For no reason other than omgggggg what a classic

Remembering a piece Food & Wine did on Travis Milton’s (Kat Kinsman called him “an evangelist for Appalachian cuisine” with a sidebar on what Hillbilly Elegy portrayed the region) restaurant, Hickory at Nicewater Farm and Vineyards in Bristol VA, and you know, the first thing on the menu is ‘Whipped Spam: nori, miso pickles, yuzu hot sauce, fried saltines’ and I have to put it out there: I think this is missing the mark. Hard.

I *did* enjoy the chef’s piece: The Fettuccine Alfredo at the Wendy’s Superbar Turned Me into a Chef

One of my friends is selling one of her homes: a fab 1835 raised cottage with six fireplaces, on the Register, in Eutaw, Alabama

Did Kenworthy Hall in Marion sell? It’s an Upjohn. Almost positive it’s on the market.

1854 Snowdoun in Columbus MS had a $200k price change down to $500k now and how is that not getting snatched up?

Lucky Dog Cart

A Lucky Dog cart in the Quarter, from 2006. IYKYK.

At French Quarter Journal: My Son, the Genius: An Interview with Thelma Ducoing Toole who was of course the mother of John Kennedy Toole, whom we all know as author of Confederacy of Dunces. It’s a must-read, really.

Well, he was the talk of Touro Infirmary where he was born. He had facial expressions. The nurses crowded, they were laughing, they were delighted. He had the face he carried all his life. Now that’s rare. A baby. It takes a while to become attractive. They’re great miracles, yes, but
anyway, the head nurse would sit in my room, a Swiss-born woman. They were trying to see the enigma, who produced [him]. He was marking time. Yeah, I knew him. He raised himself out of the blanket they brought him in to me. I said, “Good spine.”

And all his life he was invulnerable. Modest, discreet, born sophisticated, born mature. And I was so afraid the older boys would pommel him. If he were a puny, bespectacled little boy, they’d have pommeled him. He was tall for his age. And his classmates were two years older than he and he’d call them “those children.”


He entered Tulane at 16 on a merit scholarship; he worked hard. I didn’t have the money to pay the tuition. I offered [Sheldon] Hackney, who was the former president, to reimburse him now. He didn’t want to. He said, “He’s credit enough.”

[John] did work in the summer months at Haspel’s Clothing Company on Bruxelles. He did typing for Wise Cafeteria. Very industrious fellow; he wanted to help me. I taught, I had a scant income. No one knew it.

And huge sidenote; of course you know Haspel…it was Joseph Haspel who brought seersucker to the South and made it an icon here. And if you’re the sort who likes to hate on Picadilly for being the end of Morrison’s Cafeterias, you can hate them for the same reason in being a large part of the demise of Wise.


I was wondering after reading America Magazine’s repost of a 1981 article how many copies A Confederacy of Dunces has sold. At that time, it was 45000. LSU Press says now it’s up to two million, in more than two dozen languages.

Also, don’t miss Margaret Eby’s John Kennedy Toole’s Hot Dog Carts, at Five Dials. So, so, so many good bits.

‘Over the years I have become very good at getting out of things I don’t want to do,’ (Walker) Percy later wrote in the introduction to Confederacy. ‘And if ever there was something I didn’t want to do, this was surely it: to deal with the mother of a dead novelist and, worst of all, to have to read a manuscript that she said was great and that, as it turned out, was a badly smeared, scarcely readable carbon.’

Through March 26, 2023: Some Boys, a Few Bunnies, and One Lousy Unicorn: Sculptures by Alex Podesta at the LSU Museum of Art will be a must see.

From the NYT: Alice Gerrard Didn’t Plan a Bluegrass Career. She Broke Its Glass Ceiling. Six decades ago, the singer’s duo with Hazel Dickens revolutionized the genre. As their albums are reissued, she reflected on her unexpected life in folk music and what’s next.

Super random.

Serious thought: We need to be endowing more scholarships at community colleges

Goth luxe baguette bag

I went to a meditation center last week (just because) and was so tickled with the sweet memories that popped up with fantastic clarity, and afterword read about the ‘Non-Toothache Meditation

Yessss to The Secret Garden restaurant in Amsterdam

Only four of the 2022 MacArthur Fellows live in the South

At Bookriot, a cookbook showdown: the best lemon pie recipes, tested and #spoileralert: Mary Berry’s is best

Why do the editors at Bon Appetit think this should be a thing

We lost Billy Sothern this month

May you always be a bit much

Definitely thinking of making this roll-up lasagna from W-S

I’ve taken Eurail from Venice to Paris, but the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is beyonddd

The founding fathers were actually super young

The Helis Foundation John Scott Center is now open in New Orleans’ CBD


pan of cornbread, 2012

There’s now a Lodge Cast Iron Museum

Dublin Dr. Pepper

Dublin Dr Pepper, 2007

The tasting notes on Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon:

“The nose rolls in sweetly and gently. Reminiscent of a new pair of hand-made leather boots. Or maybe monkey bread. Finishes subtly with spring jasmine. Dark as cacao chocolate with the fattest legs ever seen slowly rolling home. Syrupy Dublin Dr. Pepper and brown sugar on the center of the tongue. Blackstrap molasses. Carob and dates. Finish is chocolate bark from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.”

…had an armadillo absolutely ripping up my yard last year in central AL


Austin-based collage artist Deborah Roberts is suing Birmingham-based Lynthia Edwards and her Brooklyn gallerist for $1M for copyright infringement

“(Beavers) and Lynthia Edward have substantially copied and offered for sale… works of visual art that replicate the composition, content, style, framing, color, narrative and artistic intent of Ms. Roberts’ work.”

Dennery's in Jackson MS

The Dennery’s sign, 2005

Louis Vuitton just brought back Fred’s at Barney’s as part of its 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries project but I’d prefer Dennery’s in Jackson

Ruby C. Williams, Kentuck Festival, Northport AL

Ruby, from Kentuck 2009

The NYT ran an obit for Ruby C. Williams

sidenote that a very nice place to live is in the intersection of the Venn diagram of Grapico and Sun Drop distribution

Dr. Pemberton's Country House, Columbus Georgia

Pharmacist, Dr John S Pemberton country home in Columbus GA, from a 2008 visit. He came up with the original formula for Coca-Cola 

I am maybe the last person to unerstand that pharmacists were coming up with drinks (like colas, milkshakes, whatever) because they were looking for ways to “concoct something to put the medicine in that would taste good” as Nick Harrel at his charming 1916 pharmacy in Kingsville, Texas explains


CACHE (Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange) is hosting Pony Gate through next month at The Famous Hardware Store in Springdale:

…an uncanny dream of lush embodiments. Pony Gate acts as a series of dioramas, where each window operates as a model, animating the indescribable nature of our formative selves and our personal mythologies. The colors, shapes, and lines associated with the toys, games, and objects from the artist’s youth get broken down and pieced together to form bloated objects that appear to be inflated. Acting as relics, each artwork is personal and universal, inviting us to question each of our individual experiences, bringing us closer to our own personal identities that have been shaped over time.

Amish Community of Mississippi

Amish community outside Pontotoc, Mississippi, from a 2008 visit

Apple Butter in Appalachia, at Tennessee Farm Table


Brennan's New Orleans

Brennan’s, from a 2015 visit

Love that the NYT’s list of 50 restaurants they’re most excited about right now includes Brennan’s, because “What sets Brennan’s apart? It’s fun.” And it’s especially fun to go to bed knowing you’re getting dressed up early ‘cuz that’s what’s for breakfast.

And really want to give Yeyo’s a try the next time we’re in Bentonville.

So much more I’ll post next week. xoxo!