Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vote Early, Vote Often

I am out of town today so I voted preventatively last week in Florida's preferential primary elections. I showed up at the courthouse on my wife's stolen Vespa (the Bonneville was in the shop getting it's annual check up) and threw my ballot into the box as usual.


The Supervisor of Elections, retiring after this go round, predicts a 40 percent turnout which seems odd when you consider what a kerfuffle our political scene is these days. With all the ranting and posturing you'd think more native born Americans would get up and off their backsides to have their say. These are local elections so our votes actually do have meaning at this level. I figure the one per centers have already chosen President Obama for a second term but I doubt they have put their oar in to select school board members in Monroe County or Ron Saunders for one more job in Tallahassee, so I voted with a will. Early voting is quite popular alongside the absentee ballots of yore, yet that must leave half my eligible neighbors not bothering to show up. What a waste.


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The Pretty Vieux Carré

The thing about New Orleans is that every street, every corner, every alley, every shadow, is worth a picture.


They call their excessively wide median strips "neutral ground" as historically the medians separated the antagonistic Anglo and Francophone factions in the city.


The French Market was actually created by the Spanish authorities in an effort to sanitize the sale of foodstuffs in the damp and insalubrious climate.


This saying is making the rounds in a city ravaged by bad luck. I think it could be applied to people who choose to live in the Florida Keys.


There is a fair bit of French snobbery in effect in New Orleans.



However New Orleans' history is as much Spanish as French, perhaps more so. The Spanish first found Louisiana in 1528 but the French started settling it in 1699 and started the process of moving the natives out. Spain took Louisiana after the Treaty of Paris in 1763 but more French speakers came south from Canada. Napoleon took back Louisiana in a secret treaty in 1800 but lost interest in the Americas after Haīti had a successful revolution of its own. The French formally took over Louisiana for a couple of months and quickly sold the mess to the United States in 1803. There ended the brief French moment of power in Louisiana. The Cafe du Monde seen below, sells Frenchness...


...though unlike in France dogs aren't allowed, so Cheyenne had to sit on the sidewalk and watch us drink coffee and listen to...


...music and patter as though we were on Mallory Square.



It makes a change for me to be in a photogenic town where I don't know where everything is and turning a corner can surprise me.


I am pretty sure it would drive me nuts to live here even if I could afford it.



But it is nice to look at.



Parking in summer isn't so bad, we had no problem finding places to leave the car and we needed the car as we had Cheyenne to worry about and we weren't allowed to leave her unattended at La Quinta.


I walked her a lot in the city and she enjoyed the new smells,



...but theheat and humidity slowed her down after a while.



We walked and paused so I had lots of time to take pictures...



...before we rejoined my wife at the French Market where she had been doing some gift shopping.


I had my light frothy souvenir pictures, Cheyenne was tired from her walk, so all was well.



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