Chicago was fun. A coworker from Detroit was also there teaching, so we went to the Art Institute's museum and dinner afterwards on Thursday evening. There was an exhibit of old B&W photos of Paris dating from the mid/late 1800s to about the mid 1950s. Some very early photography, and it was surprising how good condition these pictures were in. One thing that was interesting were some pictures taken to document the original layout of some Paris neighborhoods that no longer exist. After the revolution, a big effort was made to tear down and rebuild some neighborhoods to make them more amenable to modern infrastructure, straighten street layouts, and widen the streets-- preventing the easy erection of impromptu barricades that were so key to neighborhood battles in the late 1700s/early 1800s. A photographer was hired to document these neighborhoods that would be completely flattened. It was kind of sad to think, this neighborhood, which looks like so many you might see in Paris, no longer exists at all.
This week I'm off to Halifax, Nova Scotia. How many times will I have the opportunity to visit Nova Scotia for free? I'm taking an extra day on Friday to look around. It'll be chilly, but not too bad. Weather forecasts say lows in the upper 30s at night. Heck, that's about like Raleigh. Anyone have suggestions for things to see in Halifax? I hear that the Bay of Fundy has some of the biggest tides in the world- that should be intersting to see. And I bet their seafood is outta sight.
The Guy Fawkes Day celebration was SO much fun!! I think we should have bonfires more often. Burning Stuff!! What a joy! It was like camping without the camping part. With a house! And toilets! And TV! And extra pickle relish in case we ran out! We burned the Guy F effigy and learned that yard scarecrows from the grocery store are not flame-retardant. They torch like they're made of lighter fluid.
During the bonfire, we were all cooking hot dogs and s'mores over the flames, and eating WAY too much. Everybody was QUITE full but still eating, when someone pointed out that we were really just eating as an excuse to keep burning things. Well, why do we need an excuse?! So we burned stuff. We burned everything we could find. Acorns, marshmallows, wrappers for everything, hot dogs, buns, mini chocolate bars, aluminum cans, paper plates, junk-mail catalogs, you name it. If it wasn't nailed down, it went into the fire. Did you know that aluminum can burn? Well, they melt into a little puddle. Close enough.