Monday, August 11, 2014

Starting week 4 and Mr.S and I are at our desks.  I hope T and Kiddo show up soon because I still feel quite lost without them here.  However, I am doing better than I would have when I started 3 weeks ago, so that is some improvement.

I started this blog because this place has an odd feel to it, something conducive to stories.  For me it feels like I and my coworkers are trapped in a setting that somehow combines the elements of John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces and the old TV shows of "the Addams Family."  However, these aspects may not be entirely visible to someone who just walks in off the street.  Speaking of which, it looks like we have visitors to the gallery.  I'll be back to write the rest of this after showing them around.

Back to writing again, and thankfully Kiddo is here.

Gave the quick tour to our visitors.  To those just visiting, what you are treated to is a beautiful 1st 2 floors of the building, well lit, with an assortment of quality paintings created over a century ago.  You'll be guided around by a slightly goofy/awkward, young, eager to please salesperson (yours truly) who contrasts with the much older gallery owner.  The salesman teeters between wanting to gush about the historical significance of the paintings and holding back fearing that you might not be interested and wanting to allow you to look and form your own opinions.  The older gallery owner on the other hand will demand your attention so he can tell you about the subject matter of the painting; for example how in the old days people would meet their sweethearts at the town well, as shown in one of the paintings in the gallery.  He doesn't hold back and is certain that what he says is what everyone will find fascinating, without any thought that you might not be interested, or that you might be more interested in spending time looking at a different painting, or that you might have more knowledge of art or interest in the academic aspects than a small child.

What fewer people get to see is the 3rd and 4th floor of the building, and its even rarer to see the entire building next door, also housing a substantial portion of the collection.  And then there is the apartment in the attic.  When you get away from the lighted and cooled 1st couple floors, which are a lesson in history in their own right, you find yourself in a time capsule, surrounded by memories of the past.

Something about these areas sets me on edge; its as if there are ghosts of the past, trapped there, unable to pass over to whatever awaits beyond, and simultaneously unable to come back and enjoy themselves here among the living.  Instead they hide in the dark spacious rooms, alone with the seldom seen masterpieces of centuries past that hang on the walls.

And then, there is the apartment in the attic.

The apartment in the attic looks about the way it did in the late 60's/early 70's when it was used as Mr.S's party pad in his days as a New Orleans playboy.  As I understand, there are a few small changes; the Picasso that hung on the wall up there has since been sold and there is now a painting that had been a "Puck" magazine illustration hanging in its place.  However, the overall feel is still the same.  The walls are covered in odd wallpaper with characters that appear to be from some creepy spinoff of Alice in Wonderland.  There is a card table with matching chairs, with tarot card designs emblazoned on it.  There is a bar/drinking area with a huge lazysusan.  Finally, there is a large jacuzzi tub with a porcelain zebra in it... in the living room area.  I have mentioned before in other posts how some things can only be found in New Orleans; this is one of them, but even in New Orleans this is one of a kind.

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