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By Joseph Dempsey simplepleasures

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Some the finer forms of pleasure are simple, even in an environment where pleasures run from seamy to spectacular. It all depends, one would surmise, on your definition of pleasure. Here on the French Quarter's Chartres Street, with Jackson Square park in the background, this couple's definition was uncomplicated. Offer food and stand back while local pigeons do their song and dance routine.

After this shot, I struck up a conversation with the couple. They were, as I recall, from Washington D.C. (or another eastern seaboard megalopolis). He was the former head of the World War II Jewish Veterans organization. The exact name of the organization escapes me. He gave me his card so I could send them a print but I misplaced it while packing.

Dumb me.

The pigeon feeding was deliberate. They brought some bird seed, crumbs, or other pigeon-friendly goodies. They were quite entertained and of course, the pigeons were ready, willing and able. This feathery troop never objects to an encore. Some people look at urban pigeons as a nuisance. Not this couple. After all, can a world-famous famous plaza be a plaza without pigeons?

From their appearance, it is obvious this couple were playing in the fourth quarter. It struck me as a fitting outcome. Here is a warrior and his spouse, members of what Tom Brokaw rightly named "The Greatest Generation." They are enjoying the peace and freedom he fought to preserve. There's something right about that.

PS: Notice the upper-left-hand side of the park bench. Those slats are half-inch steel and someone managed to bend them. Obviously the miscreant's mamma failed to teach him the finer points of public responsibility. Or, maybe she did and it went in one ear and out the other — and picked up speed in the process. There's something wrong about that.

N O T E S:  
Nikon N90S / Nikkor 80-200 f2.8D Zoom / Kodak CN400 film / Scanned with Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED / Post processed in Photoshop CS3

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