Whoops, it’s been awhile since I last posted, which means I’ve already blown my post-a-week resolution this year. But my mama told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And I’ve had a whole lot of nothing nice to say recently.
The good news is that my dear friend (and technically third cousin) Maggie came to visit this weekend. Sometimes it really takes an out-of-towner to reintroduce you to the very city you live in. I mean, I was born here and I know nothing of the city’s history nor what you do when you’re a tourist. I absolutely take it all for granted. So, I became reacquainted this weekend with an old friend, the place I now call home (again).
Maggie brought a guidebook that directed us to Mert’s Heart and Soul, a southern soul food joint with a Cajun flair, in the heart of uptown. It was a.ma.zing. Think warm cornbread with butter, salty collard greens, true southern mac & cheese, lightly fried catfish. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that we exclaimed, “That’s the best ___ I’ve ever tasted!” after every single bite. I had never heard of Mert’s before, and I would never have known it was there but for the guidebook suggestion and Maggie’s need to satisfy a craving for down-home cooking while she’s in the South.
After feeding our souls, we badly needed a walk, so we wandered over the new Mint Museum of Craft + Design. I usually get museum head really easily, but this exhibit is pretty manageable. This branch only opened a few months ago so the collection is really only on two floors. We perused art, furniture, pottery, clothing, jewelry and sculpture. I saw some really weird modern art, like a purple column on a white base called “Night Waves” or something. (I obviously didn’t get it.) But my favorites were the household items. We don’t usually see or appreciate the design and function of our coffeepots, telephones or vacuum cleaners, but the Mint has put some of those appliances from the 1950s on display. [There’s even a relatively recent Dyson vacuum cleaner, donated in honor of “mothers everywhere.” Okay…] These are the kinds of things we saw in our grandmothers’ houses or had in our own growing up — who knew someday we’d consider them “art”?
This new Mint outfit had been on my list to visit, but without a friend in town or an event to go to, I would probably never have made it over there. I’m so glad I had the excuse. Every time I discover something new to do in town, and see it through an outsider’s eyes, I fall in love with it a little bit more.