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New Orleans - A Photographic Foray through the French Quarter

New Orleans – what an amazing trip. I treasure spending time with Sandy, together as a couple without the kids, but New Orleans’ striking character rushes you on a literal trip away from everything familiar. The city’s stunning architecture abounds, with beautiful design details everywhere, yet, its seediness and grittiness seeps in to all the gaps. The contrasts magnetized my roving eyes. We stayed just outside of the French Quarter, within easy walking distance of everything. I’m an early riser, no matter the hour to bed, so I walked the streets with my camera, while Sandy slept the morning away. This is what I saw:

Gaslights (love these) and ironwork intersperse with neon glare.
Old world, street side charm glows in the morning light,
one block from Bourbon street, littered with bars and strip joints and mounds of yesterday’s garbage.

Each streetscape communicates its own unique vignette, seductively historical, yet so present and tangible.
Cobblestone streets, fresh and shiny in the rain, charmed me and transported me to another place. I think New Orleans’ magic blossoms from this very otherness.
Streetside cafes and unique shops beckon from every corner.
Iron work detail decorates the architecture throughout the French Quarter.
Historically, the quantity and level of intricacy in your iron work spoke to your level of wealth, as it required constant upkeep.

Streetcars can take you many places in the city. The photos in this post are all of the French Quarter, but the Garden District, Uptown and Fauberg Marigny are also amazing places to visit and visually stunning, as well. I highly encourage a visit if you get the chance.
Music flourishes on the streets, ranging from low country folk bands to jazz to current pop blaring out every bar on Bourbon Street. The music literally goes all hours with much raucous dancing, singing and toe-tapping from admiring crowds. One of my favorite New Orleans memories includes dancing in the street with Sandy to a local jazz quartet in Fauberg Marigny at 2am – seriously, what a town!
We traveled to New Orleans to go to the Alabama-LSU game. My husband is a HUGE Bama fan and this trip was a dream come true for him. The pride, energy and excitement that pulsed through the streets stunned me day to day. From the thrill after the Saints won their playoff game, to the anticipation for the big LSU-Alabama game, the excitement continued to build. The more the hours passed, the busier and crazier the town got. The streets and the balconies bulged with people. The mother in me was a tad worried!
I mean, really, are those balconies designed to withstand all those people?

And then, here is Bourbon Street before the game–throbbing with people, loud music pumping out every door, college cheers erupting from all directions. You inch along the street with people yelling, stumbling, drinking, laughing, cheering, and really quite polite for all of it . . . I found it fascinating and oddly compelling.

Alabama won, followed by wild celebration in the street afterwards. Hoarse with excitement and loud cheering, we danced our way down the street late into the night, collecting pats on the back, high fives, and enthusiastic “Roll Tide”s the entire way. Both the LSU fans and the Bama fans were courteous to the end.

Whatever is said about New Orleans, it will remain vibrant, bustling and quite charming in my memory. Its unique character grips me. I will be back.

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