|From Tom Strider's Wonderland series.|
This Thursday was different. I left work early, walked home to fetch the car, and headed out for an evening on the town way, way uptown.
First stop was an open house at Audubon Charter School in Carrollton, where both my sons are in the French language immersion program and mooching a first class education from the French taxpayers. Lucien's eighth grade class has been reading 19th Century French literature. From Madame Carole, their teacher, I learned of Lucien's keen interest in the later works of Guy de Maupassant -- especially that period when the writer’s end-stage syphilis had so infected his brain that he shifted from the droll ironies of everyday life as major themes, to tales of fantasy and unspeakable horror.
Beaming with fatherly pride, I drove down St. Charles to meet the Gal Pal and take in Tom Strider's new show, "Wonderland," at the Collins Diboll art gallery at Loyola. The show consists of dozen or so magnificent caterpillars in oil, and some larger drawings of same. The paintings get even better on close view. The surfaces have a curious crackling feature that reminds you of the tiny hairs on a caterpillar’s back. Beautiful, intriguing work. Well worth a visit.
We wound up at the packed opening of Salu, the new "small plates" restaurant and wine bar in the 3300 block of Magazine Street. The food was fabulous, the wine flowed, the joint jumped. But l felt somewhat chagrined to learn that I hadn't been to the opening at all. There had been a soft opening at Salu several weeks ago "you know, to get the buzz going," as one of the organizers told me when we hit the sidewalk.
|Opening night at Salu|
We said good night. I bought a Klondike bar for the drive back to the Quarter and was home and in bed by 11 o'clock, pretty much as always.
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Tom Strider's paintings are on view through October 21 with "Couples," a portrait series by Carol Leake.