Silver-man or -doll?

Feb. 22, 2011

There are many street performers in New Orleans, from musicians to painters, and to living dolls. In the French Quarter, near the Louisiana State Museum that has a must-see, permanent exhibition on the Katrina, “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina & Beyond,” I found this “living doll” in silver.

A man or a doll?

I was standing next to it for about three minutes without breathing to see if this guy actually moves or not. ‘If this is a real person, he is really good,’ I thought, as I didn’t see him trembling for a couple minutes, at all. Then I finally caught him shaking a little bit. “I gotcha!” I shouted, quietly, as if I won a breath-holding battle.

However, I wasn’t completely sure, and couldn’t take my doubts away. I decided to wait for a few more minutes until I was sure about it.

[Warning: If you’re to go to New Orleans and want to find it out yourself, stop reading from here.]

Right then a bunch of tourists flocked in, and started buzzing about the same question I had. And then a man, who had been standing at the corner, reading a book, walked toward the group and the living doll. I don’t know if it was he or the tourists who started talking to each other, but all of sudden this guy lifted the silverman without any difficulty and put it on his shoulder to pose for the tourists.

Adam (left) and Boudreux

It turned out, Adam, originally from SC, made the silverman, named Boudreux, of styrofoam. (The name doesn’t mean any, he said. He didn’t even have a spelling for it until I asked.) It was simply the wind that made Boudreux shaking.

“I saw you watching it for a couple minutes trying to figure out if he’s real or not,” Adam told me. “And that’s what I love about doing this,” he said with a smile, running his fingers through his hair.

+ Adam, who’s now living in New Orleans with his son, is a musician like many others I met in the city. But not jazz. He just began a metal band, which plans to have a national tour later this year, including Washington D.C. perhaps in April or May.

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