Dec 042011
 

Benjamin Morris

Oxymoronic as it may sound, pop-ups are now a fixture in our local landscape. Naturally for New Orleans, our chefs and restaurateurs first blazed the pop-up trail by finding new and creative ways to promote their creations, the vanguard formed by such establishments as MV Burger popping up at Slim Goodies Diner in Uptown, BooKoo Barbecue popping up at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub in Mid-City, and down on Frenchmen Street, the taco truck formerly on Washington Square Park now popping up in the kitchen of Cafe Negril. Economically, pop-ups are brilliant: little to no overhead, the buzz surrounding their appearance a burst of free advertising, and an opportunity to cater to a hungry public with a minimum of staff or long-term maintenance costs.

But chefs take note. There’s a new game in town: the art gallery pop-up.

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Nov 272011
 

Benjamin Morris

 

A chilly Thursday night. Tulane’s auditorium was full, the lights already dimmed, the audience alert, the staff restive and ready to start the show, but moments before the host began the evening’s introductions, a fire alarm suddenly sounded.

The crowd emptied onto the street, spilling out the doors to form a loose, nervous assemblage on the sidewalks, huddling together for warmth, unsure whether the show would go on. Staff members brandished their phones, receiving vague assurances from the authorities. Someone called out, to laughter, “Let’s just do it out here!” Precious minutes slipping away, the honored guest shrugged as if to say, sure, why not?

Yet when the host finally received the all-clear, and the crowd streamed back inside the auditorium, the room was – somehow – even more tightly packed than before.

And they say that poetry makes nothing happen.

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