I recently traveled to Louisiana to spend time with my friends MaryLinda and Stephanie. We get together once a year (although this year we decided twice would be better), so for our lagniappe trip we chose New Orleans.
This photo is more of what MY Louisiana is like. The northern and southern parts of the state are quite different, but we both have bayous, Spanish moss, cypress trees, and good food.
Speaking of food, we pretty much ate our way through part of the French Quarter. I cannot say I am sorry. That would be a lie. This billboard speaks truth.
Unfortunately, we only made ONE trip to Cafe Du Monde for hot beignets.
And I “did” it wrong by having a Diet Coke rather than cafe au lait. . .but I was happy. . .and ML and Steph didn’t have coffee either.New Orleans is OLD. Really, REALLY old. . .1700’s old. The first time I visited New Orleans was in 1985 WITH, interestingly enough, MaryLinda and Stephanie (and a bunch of other friends). We were in high school, and our undefeated football team played the state championship in the Dome. I remember thinking at that time how OLD it looked. I think it has to do with the color of the stone. . .the erosion of edges and corners. It was also DIRTY. . .two and a half centuries of grime in the Louisiana heat takes its toll. Katrina did a lot to wipe some of the grime away, but at a high cost. I would LOVE to know exactly how old this building and those chimneys are.
Most of the major streets in the French Quarter had signs similar to these.
We were out in the morning, and they still wash their sidewalks and stoops to clean them off. As pretty and historic as the French Quarter is, there are many who sleep on or against stoops like this each night, hence the washing.
I have never been to Mardi Gras, and can honestly say I ever want to go. . .but here is a quintessential shot on Bourbon Street that tells the tale.
Come with me on a weekend stroll through the Quarter. .
“New Orleans ladies. . .all the way from Bourbon Street to Esplanade, they sashay by. . .” I didn’t see any of the “ladies” that the group Leroux immortalized in song, but I liked this sign.
I cannot begin to describe the way this gal plays the clarinet. Brought me to tears. Seriously have never heard anything like it.
A place we actually did NOT eat. If it’s on MaryLinda’s list, we WILL eat there someday.
And this lovely, lass just appeared out of nowhere with her Robin’s egg blue bike, dark red lip and hair, and wrap skirt. It was like she stepped right out of the early 1960’s. I barely had time to snap this shot. She was on a mission.
Caricature dude with a tale on Jackson Square
The Louisiana Supreme Court building 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
The three steeples of the St. Louis Cathedral
Too dark to take a photo, but I tried anyway. They are getting ready for Christmas.
Transformer Dude was pretty amazing to actually see.
If I’d had room in my car (and a boat load of money), I would have taken this set of lions home with me.
This one is staring across the threshold at his twin–maybe they are discussing how to eat that lamb that is just feet away. Also, it wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the “do not photograph in our show room” placard. I’m such a rebel, but I was on the sidewalk anyway. . .
Traditional French Quarter Horse Head Hitching Post.
This is one of the views from our room at The Ritz Carlton New Orleans. We had two windows–this one looking down Canal. . .
. . . and this one with a view towards The River. Old Man River. The Mighty Mississip.
Our 12th floor room gave me the PERFECT vantage point to photograph the iconic Ritz Lions.
I think this might be my favorite photograph of the entire trip.
And being the photography happy yokel I am, I couldn’t resist this shot.
There is never enough time, so when we discovered we had taken NO photos (but one failure of a selfie) together, we had the valet who brought the car take some shots of us. . .all blurry. . .all hurried. . .but here we are–happy to be together.
So, we were all “home” in some sense of the word–MaryLinda still lives where we all grew up, Stephanie was born in Texas but spent most of her growing up years in Louisiana, and I was born there and moved away. It matters not–when we are together, we are home. We carry it with us.