Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Steroid Injection to the Senses: New Orleans

At the invitation of some dear friends whose daughter was
performing in a play, I jumped at the chance to spend four 
days in New Orleans. My first time to NOLA, it was a wise 
decision to go with people with knowledge of this 
lively and gritty city.

I found New Orleans to be fascinating.  
And a little heartbreaking.

Arriving late on a Saturday evening (the Saturday before
St. Patrick's day)...sensory overload! 

Bourbon Street.
First impression?  The Disneyland of debauchery.

Live music drawing you in at every doorway,
drinks being dispensed a gallon a minute, shortage of people looking dazed and barely able to cope.

 (I think that's a woman doing those push-ups?)

A hopeful, hopeless counter to the madness.

 One wonders, has a gallery ever collapsed?

 Let's start over.  

Welcome to the French Quarter, 
The manifestation of charm.

A little nugget of wonderful was found on Dauphine Street:
The Audubon Cottages.

Our delightful 2-br cottage, with Madame et Monsieur looking on,
and a private courtyard.

The neighborhoods are visual eye candy for the photo-minded.

Music everywhere.

And art....

...for every taste.

And the FOOD!  And the SAUCES!!
Shrimp and grits.
Fried oysters topped with poached eggs.
Oysters with "crispy" eggs on top.

The essence of it all.

Every day, incredible music.
I counted 25 strings on this "Kora."

Authentic gas lighting everywhere.
The New Orleans water meter cover - a coveted source of pride 
for the city, and muse for much art and design work.

Becca's house.  Fit for a Tulane college student.
Perspective art in the entryway.

The Marigny Opera House. A former church.
Venue for the play Equus.

Very effective, simple staging and lighting.

Frenchmen Street.

Frenchmen Street Art market.

Spotted Cat Music Club....
...amazing jazz.

This painting reminds me of the little girl in "The Bad Seed."

Hotel Monteleone has the greatest bar....

The carousel seats rotate around the bar
(after a few Bloody Mary's there's some tricky
negotiating to do to leave your seat).

Oysters everywhere!

Fried oyster tacos.

But I prefer them raw.

Peche was so good we went twice.
Never eaten a collar of a tuna before.  Unbelievable.
(As were the curried mussels)

Our witty waiter, flanked by Craig & Elaine.


I didn't think surfers ever retired.

The Garden District.

This cemetery was mesmerizing.

The iconic Commander's Palace.

An old man on a bicycle told me this was the house used in 
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons," and is now owned
by Sandra Bullock.  I'm just repeating what I heard.

Magazine Street neighborhood.

The Country Club restaurant in the Bywater neighborhood.
There's a pool out back, clothes are optional.  Hilarious.

Just wanna know what's so mysterious about the dark goo.

The mighty Mississippi.

There's no way to describe New Orleans, one must simply experience it.


  1. This is fantastic. Thank you for sharing your experience of this amazing place.

    I liked the honesty of your first take and then, "Let's start over"! No account of the French quarter is complete without the gritty truth. You say it so well.

    And your photos and captions of the back streets, oyster bars, food, music venues, musicians, voodoo shops (!), art, architecture, and so many other interesting details. You capture the essence. And what a great essence it is. I have many favorite pictures. They are too abundant to list. Each one tells such a story of the past and how it is celebrated in the moment. Honored, cherished, appreciated, and remembered, come to mind as you eloquently frame the the symbols and metaphors.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Love your blogs,

    xox SunFlower, now in Port Costa, visiting some friends: )

  2. I'm so happy you enjoyed this post so much! I took over 500 photos, so editing it down (to 140!) was a real challenge. I'm glad you were able to discover how layered this city is with what was shown, though next time I would like to focus on the unique and charming people we met along the way (like the gallery curator we spent nearly two hours with who represents Francoise Gilot, Picasso's lover and mother of his children. She is 94 and still painting - I would have bought a piece, but the prices ranged from $40,000-$300,000! He was full of grand stories, photos and truly loved being the purveyor of her remarkable history).

    For a creative person, I highly recommend a trip to NOLA. There is so much inspiration once you look past the touristy bit - the symbols and metaphors are everywhere.

    How great you are in Port Costa.....that was one of my most favorite posts I've ever done (speaking of remarkable people ;).

    Love hearing your thoughts, thank you for sharing!