between the lands

Jessica and Andrew’s travel journal

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oklahoma city–all of it!!!0

Posted by Andrew in oklahoma, USA (August 18, 2006 at 11:10 pm)

JESSICA SEZ: We just crossed over the Oklahoma-Texas border. Yee haw!
(ANDREW SEZ: please ignore the fact that this is being posted weeks later–lets all pretend were in the present, since thats when this post was written…)

In Norman, OK, our host was Scott Gurian, another talented radio producer. He gave us the most comprehensive tour of any city we’ve had so far. In one day we covered Oklahoma City, pretty much ENTIRELY!
- Federal Bldg bombing memorial & museum
- OK State Capital Bldg (senate & house chambers AND supreme court room)
- OK History museum
- Myriad Botanical Gardens
- The Art Museum (feat. Dale Chihuly glass exhibit)
- Asian section of town with largest Asian grocery store I’ve ever seen
- Centennial celebration (2007) humongous bronze sculpture garden (incomplete)
- Bricktown
- And we saw the local animal-shaped public art sculptures: Buffalo!

buffalo soldier buffalo.jpg

The next morning we got a tour of the Oklamhoma Univ. campus and the facilities of community radio KGOU/KROU. Whew!
KGOU control board.jpg

The site of the federal building bombing (April 1995) has been memorialized with a really amazing park and museum. I’m sure I never would have thought to see it at all if our guide Scott hadn’t taken us there. Parts of the destroyed structure are still standing, and there is a field of “empty chairs” representing each of the people killed.
memorial from distance-night.jpg
The museum tells a riveting story of a normal, beautiful morning that quickly changed into the largest domestic terrorism attack in our nation’s modern history (I’m not sure of exactly when & where, but there have probably been larger massacres of native people). People’s stories of death, survival, bold rescue, and comfort are told as you wind your way thru the museum’s 3 levels and thru the park. Half of the 7-story building was blown away instantly, hundreds of local buildings were damaged, and a whole bunch had to be totally demolished. It was one monster bomb. And a very thoughtful, serene, and engaging memorial. I gotta give props to the architects and engineers in Oklahoma – they really did it right.
shadow jessica.jpg

Besides that, the main observation to relate about OK is it is REALLY HOT! Over 100 degrees with lows in the high 80s. And that’s in the middle of the night. But you know, what they say about humidity is really true. I was sweatier and stickier in New Orleans and Tampa than in 100+ degree weather in the dry mid-west.

Thanks to Scott for the hospitality—better late than never right?.
Check out this award winning radio piece he did about an Oklahoma tradition—fishing with your bare hands for catfish—its called noodlin…

I was interested in what I learned about the story of the land rush—they had all this land with no body on it(Injuns didn’t count of course) and they just set up a startin time, shot off a gun and let everybody grab what they could get.

Im sure it was ugly then, but lord have mercy if they tried that nowadays…

Onwards to the great Southwest…

down but not out in nawlins2

Posted by Jessica in louisiana, USA (August 15, 2006 at 4:43 pm)

As usual, New Orleans did not disappoint. It was an intense visit on many levels.

We had driven about 2000 miles at the time we got off I-10, and within 10 minutes of driving on the city streets, our bike rack dropped a rivet on one side and the bikes were scraping the street. Thank god we were finally traveling at low speed!! That rivet must have been working its way loose ever since we left Tampa, and we never knew it. Andrew took one bike off to ride along with the car, wrapped the other one onto the remnants of the rack with some bungees, and we crept along the rest of the way to our crash pad. Luckily we were nearby and we actually knew where we were going. The next day we picked up some bolts at the local hardware store, and replaced the missing rivet. We also replaced the remaining rivet just in case it was on the way out too. Bike rack – better than ever!!
jessica fixing bike.jpg

August in New Orleans was HOT. And we stayed with a friend who had no air conditioning, so we made sure to get ourselves totally beat so we could fall asleep when it was time for bed. I was so happy to be staying in one of those typical little old NOLA houses with the double French doors and heavy wooden shutters. COOL!!!

Also, our friend who so graciously put us up and gave us full run of the house (felt like it was home: internet, bathroom, set of keys…) was of course, NOT on vacation, but working very hard chasing down interviews and trying to produce a story between his day job and taking us out to see the sights. He did indeed take us around the French Quarter and Bywater areas of the city, and really gave us a detailed historical analysis of the socio-economic development (and fall) of the area. He also poured us some really good white port, which was a new one on me. Thanks, Christian! It was truly fascinating.
christian on bike.jpg

We actually spent 3 nights there, the longest we’ve stayed in one place since we hit the road on Aug 1. I definitely appreciated the opportunity to slow down, catch up on emails and laundry, and not be on the move quite so fast! Plus I just love that town.

The car stayed parked the whole time we were there. We took down the bikes and rode them anywhere we needed to go, including from bar to bar a couple nights. It’s a great pace to see the details of the neighborhoods, you can park anywhere, and you won’t get a DUI! Plus in the peak heat of the day, riding a bike creates a much-needed breeze. Ahhhh!

The city is still in a state of inexcusable disrepair. The anniversary of the flood approaches (along with hurricane season) and folks still got no way to renovate their destroyed houses. There’s rescue-graffiti still on most houses, though many are occupied again. Water quality is questionable, housing is scarce and expensive, grocery stores are hard to find. Except for the touristy areas, it’s still hard to get stuff you need. It’s sad to see it remain like this so long. Seems to me when there’s a cataclysmic disaster that half destroys a city, the federal government ought to step in. What good are they if they don’t do that?
nola destruction 2.jpgnola destruction 3.jpgandrew w:nola destruction.jpg

You CAN still catch some GREAT music in New Orleans. We saw a great band at Donna’s on Rampart. They were serving up free BBQ chicken and red beans inside as well.
nola band.jpgnola singer.jpg

watch some live new orleans late night jazz…..

you can listen to them here

Well, NOLA, don’t know when I’ll see you again, but I hope you fare well until then. It’s been great to wander your streets again. Next time, I hope it’s oyster & crawdad season…j and a in nola 2.jpg

ATL to chi-town0

Posted by Andrew in georgia, illinois, louisiana, USA (August 14, 2006 at 8:25 pm)

well no trip is without its challenges and set backs. weve survived a few lately. I got a nasty case of Poison ivy(for those who remember 2000, it aint that bad; For those who remember 85′ or so, it was more like that). But more importantly, a real tragedy–the pictures from Atlanta are no where to be found. Needing to pay respects to the city some of my family calls home, Ive decided instead to kill several birds with one stone. Im callin a flashback–to a trip to chicago and greenbay wisconsin a couple of months ago we took for Shaba’s wedding. Its kind of the pre road trip-trip photo slideshow; featuring wedding pics, shots from around the city, and of course some of my ATL homies who deserve their props.

chi town

if you are upset you arent in the slide show–talk to Yvonne.

and for those keeping track–ATL was indeed almost 2 weeks ago–im tryin to keep up and keep it straight. Now we are in New Orleans–headed to Oklahoma City tomorrow..

mississippi goddamn0

Posted by Jessica in mississippi, USA ( at 7:02 pm)

we headed south from memphis toward New Orleans, and we decided to take highway 61 and route 1, just to get off the interstate for a while. we drove thru mile after mile of mississippi: farms and fried chicken grease markets. andrew had tips on some juke joints in greenville, near where we planned to crash for the night. but those places had no jukin goin on. we asked where to find some live music, and got routed back to the white side of town where there was a strip with about 3 bars and some sidewalk plaques honoring blues greats from mississippi.

we picked a bar and ordered some beers and chicken wings.
i mentioned to andrew that i hadn’t seen so many dixie flags since the black confederate soldiers handed them out at juneteenth several years ago. andrew told me the guy next to him on the other side had JUST said the same thing.

the skinny old drunk guy saunters over to our table and *playfully* takes a chicken wing bone off my plate. and puts it in his MOUTH. then he prances back to the dance floor. i was pretty shocked. i was still blinking my eyes trying to understand what had just happened when the guy lumbers back, kind of leans over me and spits the chicken bone out onto MY PLATE! the owner pounced on him within seconds and threw him out. he also comped my food, and brought me a free beer and a jello shot to smoothe things over. the good (?) news is, no one else in the place had seen anything like that either. a few onlookers expressed their gratitude that andrew did not deck the guy and turn the place into a brawling barroom. he’s a lover not a fighter.

we left greenville taking route 1 south to Leroy Percy State Park, which boasted RV camping, SHOWERS, disc golf, and “artesian wells”. i think we saw the “wells” but they just looked like a high-pressure pipe pouring water on the riverbank. we definitely saw an alligator. CIMG2079-gator.jpgand signs warning you not to eat the fish cuz they’re all polluted with pesticides. mmmmmm!

we rolled on outa miss-sippi the next morning, and took the scenic route (hwy 61) all the way to lousiana. next stop: new orleans!CIMG2054-loadedcar.jpg

memphis, tennessee1

Posted by Jessica in tennessee, USA (August 11, 2006 at 11:47 pm)

we are chilling in memphis, tennessee. listening to WEVL 89.9 fm.
this station is great. listining to a blues show. the singer is wailing about drinking him some GAS-o-LINE….. there’s some great radio in this town. i cannot believe some of
the things i’ve heard them say! tune in online.

last night we crashed the Ecoloigical Society of America’s dorm at the University of Memphis (thanks *John and *David), and spent a little time on beale street. it’s a lot like bourbon street, a stretch of streets with traffic blocked off and TOO-LOUD music blaring out of every club. we picked a place and ate some AMAZING ribs to the music of duelling pianos. todAY we ate fried pork chops and fried chicken, and fried okra, french fries, and some green beans and yams. so not EVERYTHING was fried! mmmm, good eatin too.
*names have been changed to protect the guilty

this is andrew in some loud bar on beale street - i don’t recommend beale st unless you got earplugs, and probably only if you have a specific act you want to see. the ribs were outstanding though.

tomorrow we’re planning to go to the Civil Rights Museum and the Slave Haven. i never heard of the haven before, but it’s reportedly a house in the underground railroad, with tunnels underneath to smuggle folks thru.

i’m serious y’all, this station 89.9 is really good. look them up online in memphis

making movies in kak-o-lak0

Posted by Andrew in north carolina, USA (August 6, 2006 at 1:16 pm)

taking some beautiful adventures in North Carolina. Meg Crenshaw taught me how to make movies on my computer. I had never done it before. So much thanks to the Crenshaw family for the hospitality in Lake Toxaway. so here goes my first try–very basic. featuring triple falls and a view from the nose of looking glass rock.

north kak-o-lak

we are now staying in Asheville with another great movie maker, Ronald, check out his website—

hes got this great film hes slowly working on about an agricultural genius from Lesotho, J.J. Machobane. Check this guy out.

north carolina5

Posted by Jessica in north carolina, USA (August 4, 2006 at 12:55 am)

north carolina is purty!

today we were dragged on a board behind a motorboat at *high* speeds. there was some swallowing of lake water.


we’re visiting friends of andrew’s. they are on vacation on a beautiful lake, so everyone is having a good time. and we pretty much feel human again after several days of insufficient sleep. jessica on hydroslide.jpgandrew on hydroslide.jpg

thanks to Molly for the pics!

leaving tampa1

Posted by Andrew in florida (August 1, 2006 at 4:53 am)

yes its will be our departure. welcome to this new journal everyone. were gonna try and keep you informed, and entertained along the way. its almost 5 am, and we still have stuff to pack, but rather than dwell on that, lets think about the peacocks in our yard…

one of the dozens of peacocks on the block
There are lot of things to miss about Florida…