06 December, 2008

New Orleans - looking back

So this July I went off to New Orleans for a veterinary conference, and a behavior meeting. This should have been an awesome trip - and in many ways it was. However, the end of the trip was tainted by a lot of stress and strife, drama that fractured the neo-relationships a few of us were building.

On the brighter side, I did take some fun photos in the French quarter during my trip, and thought I'd post a few favorites here.

Through the gates of Jackson Square.

Jackson Square is lovely, if rat-infested. The artists and buskers along the fences made for excellent people-watching. There was a particularly talented young boy - perhaps 14-years-old. He was painting amazing blue and black portraits in oil on canvas. Most of them featured faces from a variety of perspectives, some pensive, others sorrowful or troubled. All were surreal in the genuine feeling of the subject's emotions. I watched him for a little while, marveling that such morose images were flowing from the hands of a seemingly vibrant young boy.

That street corner on all the post cards. Look, I made my own!

Truly, the architecture in the French quarter is just like in the movies. The iron filigree is captivating - garish and modest at the same time. From across the street it appears soft like lace sewn in charcoal, but up close it is hard and cold. It should be smooth but a quick touch reveals chips and bubbles in the coating, the iron wraught like any other iron, welds gripping the metal and making it seem so ordinary. I was struck by the illusion of it, truly. New Orleans was surreal in that way - I got the impression most of the French quarter was a series of illusions and people hiding from the city, or themselves.

Perspective. I took a lot of photos from odd perspectives, and the shutters were some of my favorites. Many of the old buildings have carriageways leading to interior courtyards. These shutters cover the windows looking into the carriageway.

Fun street sign. Pirate's Alley is right off Jackson Square, and sandwiched between the cathedral and another building. The tiny pirate bar there was a lot of fun.

Of course, Cafe du Monde. I went here and had the required Cafe au Lait and Beignets. It was quite tasty. Then I sat on a bench just outside Jackson Square and read my book in the sun for an hour. Good relaxing afternoon.

This statue was described to us as "Touchdown Jesus" by a tour guide on our ghost tour. So I thought I'd try and take a ghost picture of my own -- voila! "Christ Ascends!"

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