A Brief Visit to New Orleans

And here is the promised post regarding my New Orleans trip that is non-yarn related!

(Note: this post is heavy on the images, all have been linked from Flikr so sizing may look funny on the blog.)

I spent three days in New Orleans and I understand why it is the setting of so many of my favorite books. I spent a lot of time looking at the architecture and how current residents of the city have essentially repurposed their city. Viviane made a comment that stuck with me for the entire trip. I’m paraphrasing it because the exact words escape me at the moment, “It seems to me that they don’t believe in tearing things down and building new. They get really upset when someone comes in to ‘update’ a property.” I spent a lot of time looking at the shops in the French Quarter and the Garden district trying to imagine what each room was before it became a shop. Some where pretty obvious, others not so much.

On my first day there we spent most of our time in the French Quater. We took a street car down Canal street to reach the French Quater.  We Wandered in and out of shops simply taking in the atmosphere. In every commercial I’ve seen for NOLA there is a scene with street preformers playing their hearts out in the street. We passed a trio of musicians early on. A heavy-set black woman wailed on her clarinet. It was amazing.

Every single space seemed to be occupied. Little alleyways held art galleries featuring local artists.  There were so many art galleries. Viviane told me that it can take up to a year to obtain a license to preform/sell art etc. on the streets of New Orleans.

I went into a voodoo shop or two. Some hat shops, had a rather late lunch/snack and drink at Pierre Maspero’s on Chartes St. Although I did not eat at the Cafe Du Monde, I did go to one of their gift shops. I bought Pat O’brien’s Hurricane mix (it was a request). I was highly amused with this.

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On my second day in New Orleans I accompanied Viviane to Swan River Yoga where she taught Arieal Yoga. This was the first class and the two students who attended were great fun. I participated for part of the class. Viviane even managed to get me inverted in the air. (No picture unfortunately.) If you do live in New Orleans and are interesting in Arieal Yoga. Take her class. Seriously. It was a lot of fun.

Later that evening Erick grilled and Viviane taught me some Bartenieff Fundamentals, which had me rolling on the floor. Then there was Trivial Pursuit. I can’t recall having that much fun playing a game that tends to make me feel like I don’t know anything at all.

My third and final day in New Orleans had me visiting the cemetaries and the Garden District.

Our first stop was St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.  I took most of my random pictures there. It was fascinating to walk through. Along the way I noted the dates of some of the interred. Wondering all the while what it might have been like to live in the city during those early years. Here and there I would catch sight of Mardi Gra beads, a home made candle, dried flowers; and an occasional shrine.  It was quiet.

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St. Louis Cemetary No. 1 was not so quiet. There were more people wandering here and looking about. It is where Marie Laveau and her daughter are burried in this cemetery. Famous Voodoo Queens of their time. Their graves are marked with xxx’s and offerings litter the cracks and groves. Like thousands before me, I left my mark on one of the graves and an offering at the other. One of the last things that caught my eye as we left this cemetary was the plain door with a name – CuCullu.

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We hit Magazine Street just about Lunch time and cozied up to a Hotdog joint called Dat Dog. I happened to mention that I was from Dallas and the girl behind the counter gave me a slew of recommendations. When I couldn’t decide I told her to surprise me. She asked about toppings and put in an order. It was the best damned dog I’ve had in a really long time.

New Orleans 2014

We spent a lot of time in antique stores on Magazine street. I saw a lot of repurposed wood and fixtures from homes that no longer existed in the area. Giving me even further proof that New Orleans is really into recycling/reusing.

We took a break from antique shops and enjoyed some amazing gelatto from Sucré, a sweet shop that got its start in New Orleans. Yummy! After a few more stops along Magazine Street we made our way home and I packed my bag.

I’m positive there was more that I could have seen given more time. It would have likely overwhelmed me. This just means I have to take a trip to New Orleans again. And I certainly will.

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