Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Lafayette, LA is like a bubble to me.

It's an amorphous place, one that I invertably get lost in (and I, as a general trait, do not get lost easily) because it throbs and shifts around a vacuous middle I never seem to see.

Also like a bubble, it is defiantly fun. Lafayette is considered the drunken girl-cousin to Baton Rouge's dowdy honor student, and that sense of easy joy permeates the place. The whole town looks like it was constructed in the late 1970s, lots of brick and wrought iron streetlamps, the nightclubs look like they were not very long ago a Shakee's Pizza, with hyper-sugar children running circles around a cadre of drinking parents.

The bubble in the photo was one I made in the bubble section of the Children's Museum of Acadiana. They have two big bubble tables with different shaped wands - everyone goes to the circle, but the money wand is the triangle; you make the big bubbles by rolling the bubble off on one of the points - and one of those cages where kids can stand inside and then pull a chain which lifts a circle of bubble around them. The staff just hangs out doing amazing bubble tricks. I would too. Every time I go I leave thinking I gotta set up a big bubble table in the backyard. For the children! knowing full well I would stand out there like a freak in the grass watching things float and pop while the kids were inside watching TV like sensible people.

I might be reading too much into bubbles, but they never fail to captivate me. Much like outdated college towns like Lafayette, they shouldn't really work, they are too flimsy, the world is too harsh to allow a fragile thing like that to persist. Yet there is some unseen force, some unspoken law of architecture that keeps the thing together.

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