February is Beached Whale Salon

lego grinSo far, 2015 has been full of new beginnings: 12-step programs, coffee with butter and coconut oil, a new full-time job that comes with an office that I don’t have to share with an industrial furnace.

When you start the new year by assembling the Lego Swamp Police Station, good things are sure to follow.

Changes. It makes sense that the Studiola experiences some changes in formatting and programming, too. Starting this spring, I’ll continue to pursue people who have something to explore for a month at this site, but one change is that some of the months will be groups or collaborative efforts. As part of a local, food-focused writing semester at area schools, I hope to publish strong work by local New Orleanians who have observations of their city. Another change is that our partner website, NolaVie, will publish a New Orleans-focused piece by each month’s curator, instead of a piece on process.


city on a whale

Last night, I attended my first Chewbacchus parade. The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is a science fiction and fantasy-themed krewe and unusually easy to join (highly accessible–dues are $42) Mardi Gras krewe in New Orleans which parades along the main thoroughfares of the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods of New Orleans.


Last night, red shirts, light sabers, wookies, Ewoks and many, many Princess Leas paraded along St. Claude. Conan O’Brien’s sidekick Andy Richter served as a pope this year for the wookie-worshipping krewe.

The best part of the night for me was a white wolf dressed in a three-piece suit at the wheel of a pedaled cart. A reference to Dr Who’s Bad Wolf? Maybe. The point is, it was an animal wearing clothes. And that is well and good.

baron on top 2015

The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen inspired one gorgeous white whale float, complete with digital eyes at either side of its enormous head.





whale mouthUnfortunately, it broke down around Faubourg Wines by St Ferdinand Street, and couldn’t parade the route.



In honor of the whale that couldn’t on St. Claude, Studiola announces Beached Whale Salon for February 2015, in which a question is posed to selected people. The spirit of this beautiful creature, paused in repose, will live on as we use it as a metaphorical resting place to trade ideas.


About alison barker