Friday, January 30, 2009

Baton Rouge II: Power Places

Miles since last blog: 10.4
Miles Total: 1871.6


Today I did make the trek into the center of Baton Rouge, but that's not what today was about. Today is about yesterday.

I may have briefly mentioned the concept of a power place before, but now is the perfect time to give a good solid definition with examples.

A power place isn't a place where you come across a surplus of power or wealth in a traditional sense, it's more of a place where things just come together for you and anything that you can dream up can happen. My friend from earlier in the trip, Free, was intrigued by this idea and had this to say of it, "I like this idea, I'll have to think more about it. Of course you have entire cities as power places, I'd probably have 10 square feet in the frozen tundra." Prague was a power place for me, and I believe that Chapel Hill, NC was too, and now Baton Rouge.

I admit, I had been wondering on the way here. The offers to stay in houses, my Jolly Green Friend, Jack, they were all signs. Within minutes of arriving at my CS hosts place I was describing my journey and explaining that in general, not to jinx myself, I am an incredibly lucky person, even if I don't believe in luck. She was reluctant to believe me. Then we headed into the center of town at 5 pm. She had been warning me that we needed to get moving because the city gets entirely gridlocked during rush hour, we flew, I'm not even sure she took her foot off the gas on the highway.

We arrived at the clock tower talking about how hungry we were and how we really wanted to grab a bite to eat, but we were meeting another CSer, my host tomorrow night at an event called Critical Mass. Critical Mass turned out to be one of those giant bike rides where they go all through town in support being 'green,' half demonstration, half guerilla warfare on the drivers that are disrupted by the cycle flooded streets. We had no bikes. We met the CSer and decided to head out to one of the local and most notable eating establishments, Chimes.

Things were going splendidly, I had my first gumbo, a tasty seafood gumbo. It was followed by an amazing spnach and artichoke cheese dip with bread, real live pints of Czech Pilsner Urquell and a half slab of ribs that were tender and delicious. We were laughing and having fun and as I am no slouch in the eating department I finished my meal off with no problems. My host was having trouble and slid hers across the table reminding me of all the starving children in China. Damn those kids, they're the reason I'm not losing any weight on this trip. Never daunted by a food challenge I set about the slow yet enjoyable task of consuming the rest of the ribs.

"Hey, I was wondering," said a man at the next table. "How are the ribs here?"

"They're good!" I said.

"They fall right off the bones." My CS host said.

"Do you want to try?" I asked, trying to pawn off some of my work.

"No, I don't think-"

"I'll try 'em," his wife interjected. I got busy cutting her off a rib while he shook his head.

"I can't take her anywhere," he said. "Once we were in New Orleans and . . ." he started to tell a story that was hilarious, but may not be the most appropriate for this blog. The short version is, we laughed and talked it them for a while and even got another table in the fray at one point. OUr dinner compatriots were offered dessert for free due to a mishap earlier involving a woman handling spaghetti. My host was nearly crying she was in such hysterics over the collective antics of the evening.

I reminded her I was lucky and it was contagious. "It's a power place."

"Yeah, but I'm not getting any free dessert." She was joking, we were both stuffed. She got up and went to say hello to another table. Our waiter, who knows nothing about Czech beer, strode up to the table.

"And what dessert would you guys like?" We were getting free dessert. We had to, there are starving kids in China, probably because I'm eating all their food. By the time we got home she was relaying the evening to a friend on the phone and dropping the phrase "power place." It's real people, get hip to it, find yours.

Oh and for those of you who were concerned, I may treat fast food casually and cheat on BK, but I'm a good guy when it comes to women. Shame on you for doubting my pure wholesomeness.


Ashley said...

Chimes rocks. You gotta go on Sunday for brunch. Seafood stuffed french toast is incredible! Everything on the menu is awesome and you can start drinking mimosas and bloody marys cause it's tradition :) There have been times and I've been at The Chimes until closing on Sat night and showed up on Sun morning ridiculously hungover for my mimosa and brunch :)

Anonymous said...

Trying to map out my route through Texas. I'm actually going to Ft. Worth/Dallas so what are you thinking about for a meet up? Let me know. And I agree with your feelings on Jack in the Box. My first time having it was this week and....yeah.