where would you go?

leaving Regina airport

plane leaving Regina’s airport on Friday afternoon while watching the sunset from Goose Island Overlook

If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?  I’m getting the itch to plan a trip.  Not sure where yet, but I would love to go back to New Orleans someday.

Barracks Street

Cafe du Monde

Craig Tracy Gallery

take me back to New Orleans

I imagine Halloween in New Orleans is pretty amazing with all the ghost stories, mystery, voodoo, and colourful, colorful characters.  New Orleans was amazing when I was there in March – so alive and loud, so much music and food, a little smelly down some streets, a little creepy, but so intriguing, and so unforgettable.  Everywhere you go there is something interesting to see, particularly, at night, when you see things in a whole different way. As you’ll see,  I took a lot of pictures of Royal Street in the French Quarter at night. I will go back someday.

cornstalk-hotel-at-night

Cornstalk Hotel on Royal Street, built in 1816.  Like many other buildings in the French Quarter, it’s reported to be haunted.

jackson-square-at-night

St. Louis Cathedral at night. Make sure to check out the last picture in this post…it’s the backside of the church.

jackson-square-at-night-2

During the day, Jackson Square is full of artists selling their work, buskers, fortune tellers, performance artists, magicians, and of course, tourists.  It’s pretty deserted once the sun goes down.

middle-finger-guy

My friend here spotted me zooming in and taking his picture from a block away while waiting outside a restaurant – and let me know I wasn’t his friend.

red-truck-gallery-4

Red Truck Gallery window on Royal Street, I took a picture of this sculpture called Steadfast by Tom Haney pretty much every time I walked by.  If money was no object, I would have bought it.

 

All of the following pictures are storefronts on Royal Street…

royal-street-shop-window-at-night

royal-pharmacy

I really enjoyed walking through the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art…

noma-sculpture-garden-3

noma-sculpture-garden-2noma-sculpture-garden-4noma-sculpture-garden-5

Back of St. Louis Cathedral…it’s quite a sight in person.

french-quarter-at-night

 

French Quarter after the rain

I loved taking photos at night in the French Quarter – it’s just as pretty and colourful at night as it is during the day.  The restaurant in the picture, the Italian Barrel, was one of my favourites of the trip, and I’d highly recommend it if you find yourself in New Orleans. A block or two down the street on Decatur is a really cool store that I can’t remember the name of (I’ve spent the last hour on Google and Google Maps trying to figure out exactly which store it was on Decatur)… it’s full of all sorts of weird, wonderful, bizarre, and beautiful treasures, oddities and works of art. I want to go back to New Orleans just to visit the store (discovered it on the last night of the trip) again!

Barracks Street-2

Italian Barrel restaurant on the corner of Barracks and Decatur

a reminder to tip street performers…

…or one might give you the finger!

flipping the bird

I laughed when I saw this after uploading all my pics from the trip –  I had no idea he was giving me the finger when I took it. I was just walking out of a restaurant, saw him, and quickly snapped the pic.  He’s likely very aware when people are taking his picture (and I feel kinda bad I didn’t tip him!).

There were several people throughout the French Quarter and on Frenchmen Street offering this…(I regret not picking a subject and getting a poem!). Next time.

pick a subject

 

 

Walking in the French Quarter

Two things about walking in the French Quarter – drivers in New Orleans are crazy and so are cyclists. Pedestrians don’t have the right of way when crossing at an intersection and if you’re crossing a one way street make sure to look the other way so you don’t get hit by a cyclist (who is often carrying an instrument on their back).  Once you understand those two things, you will have a great time exploring the French Quarter.  If you arrive in New Orleans with a car and plan to visit the French Quarter and the Marigny (particularly, Frenchmen Street) you won’t need it,  just park it and walk everywhere.  One of my favourite parts of the trip was just walking and admiring the different types of buildings…

Walking the French Quarter 4

double shotgun house (so-called because if a gun went off and the front and back doors were open, the shot would go straight through the house) 

Walking the French Quarter 2

Creole cottages

Walking the French Quarter 1

Creole townhouses

Walking the French Quarter

edge of French Quarter, approaching the Arts District

Walking the French Quarter 3

 

Craig Tracy Gallery

Art Gallery on Royal Street (my favourite street in the Quarter)

Antoine's

Antoine’s is the oldest family run restaurant in the United States (picture taken from the balcony at the Royal House restaurant where the balcony is at such a slope that they don’t allow glassware outside and I held onto my plastic cup the whole time.)

Throw Open the Windows

Spring is here! 

open window ursulines avenue 2

building on Ursulines Avenue in the French Quarter in New Orleans that caught my eye because of the open window

open window ursulines avenue 3

testing just how close I could get with my new camera – I envy those that live in places that allow them to have open windows all year long!

open window on Ursulines Avenue

pretty close – the light also changed pretty quickly while I took these, I actually took this one first.

the sun shines in New Orleans

Now that I’m home from New Orleans and have some new photos to share, I’ll be back to posting more regularly. For the foreseeable future, it will likely be very heavy on New Orleans pics.

We arrived on a Tuesday evening, after the sun had set, checked in to the apartment I found on Airbnb, and then set out to find some food and music.  It ended up being only a five minute walk to Frenchmen Street (where all the clubs are that feature local musicians), and despite some of the travel tips I read beforehand, it was perfectly safe to walk there.  During 12 days of walking around the French Quarter and the Marigny (where Frenchmen Street is) we never ran into any issues. Just like anywhere, be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts, and you’ll be fine.  In fact, the only place that felt remotely dangerous was Bourbon Street!  Just too much craziness there, it became a thoroughfare to get to places in other areas in the French Quarter, not a destination (of course, I did take a few pics, though).

Woke to a bright, sunshiny morning for the first morning of the trip…the apartment I found on Airbnb was one side of the ground floor of an 1830s mansion.

morning coffee

kitchen had great morning light

swinging my cares away

a lot of time was spent swinging my cares away… (and people watching)

1830s New Orleans Mansion

the upstairs – we were lucky enough to get a tour of the main house, but didn’t take any pictures inside

kumquats

a daily dose of kumquats, practically in reaching distance of the swing

Got to know the pets of the property quite well after 12 days…

Cletus the cat

Cletus, she owns the place – everyone else is just visiting

Maggie the poodle

Maggie the poodle would never look at me for a pic

Of course, a first day in New Orleans has to include a trip to Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait…with walking everywhere and the right amount of insulin, beignets ended up not being bad for my blood sugar! yay! (I just couldn’t eat all three!)

Cafe du Monde

 

New Orleans is a fascinating place…  It made me happy (just being surrounded by beautiful and historic buildings, music everywhere, lots of different kinds of art, and colourful characters). It made me both sad and mad (there are a lot of homeless people and many who are in their young 20s). It grossed me out (every once in awhile there are odd smells in the French Quarter). It made me full (the food was delicious, thank goodness for all the walking).  It intrigued me (ghost stories of the French Quarter and some of the dark/twisted art I saw).  It’s a place that is alive, vibrant, colourful, and really, the most interesting place I’ve ever been.  I would visit again in a heartbeat.