The Streets of New Orleans

You first enter New Orleans a little tone deaf and flat-footed, tripping over the broken, heat-stressed sidewalks and the frenetic pace of Bourbon Street. Maybe there’s a Hurricane in your belly. You feel like simmering gumbo, stirred together with so many strange people—your flavors and stenches mixing, mingling with the notes of a distant band. A young woman melts into the sidewalk, a puddle of booze, pouring through the fingers of some boyfriend who has no idea how to collect her again out of the tumbling trash full of plastic cups and beads and food wrappers. You may wonder what appeals to people in that neon stew.

Don’t worry. Bourbon is just one street in New Orleans. Each has its own tempo, one suited for college kids on spring break and another for people like me—a middle-aged woman celebrating her 40th birthday. And the incredible thing is, no matter what happens the night before, the evidence is swept away before daybreak. Trash packed. Streets cleaned. Friends found. Swish, sweep, done. In the morning, you get a second chance to fall in love with the city and how everything from its food to its music is designed to be a celebration.

Spend some time wandering around on foot, and you’ll find the right street for you. Live jazz saunters out of Frenchman in the evenings, if that’s your thing. On the weekends, newlyweds may parade around Royal under parasols, followed by a trumpeting brass band. Decatur offers beignets, and they’re easy to find-just follow the trail of powered sugar down the sidewalk to Cafe Du Monde. A friendly ghost may join you on Chartres if you stop by Muriel’s for a cocktail. One of my favorite things was sitting outside at Muriel’s, leaning over the wrought-iron balcony with a Honey Child, watching the crowds at Jackson Square (the ghost never made an appearance).

By the time you leave New Orleans, the city will feel less like gumbo and more like a warm piece of bread pudding, dripping with whiskey sugar glaze, sweet and satisfying. You’ll be ten pounds heavier. You’ll develop a certain fondness for bartenders who call you “baby” and the Uber drivers who share their life stories during lazy trips in and out of the French Quarter. It’s hard not to fall in love with a place like that.

_DSC1813
Jazz Band on Royal Street
_DSC1544
Early evening on Bourbon Street
_DSC1546
Random Couple that wandered into my frame
_DSC1583
Beads from parades past dangle from trees
_DSC1785
Another random passerby who added a little color to my shot
_DSC1500
Lafayette Cemetery

_DSC1871

_DSC1843
Waiting…
_DSC1879
Another way to get around the city
Food Staring at Me
My food is staring at me!
Pie
Bread pudding and shoe-fly pie
_DSC1837
Newlyweds march through the French Quarter
_DSC1842
Brass Band
_DSC1881
Muriel’s on Jackson Square
Nikon at Muriels
Enjoying a Honey Child at Muriel’s
_DSC1806
Jackson Square
_DSC1803
Artist on Jackson Square

3 comments on “The Streets of New Orleans

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s