So, I went to New Orleans last weekend and I really didn't want to leave.
The first time I went to New Orleans was with two friends and our advisor for a yearbook conference my sophomore year of college. I will never forgot the look of wide-eyed horror mixed with bemusement on my friend Laura's face when I explained to her how girls get beads thrown at them on Bourbon street. If my yearbook advisor, Amanda, is reading this right now- don't worry, we made it through the trip without flashing anyone.
But of course you can't really see a city when your purpose for being there is a conference. So, later that winter, I had a few days to kill in between photo sessions and the start of the new semester, drove to New Orleans on a whim, and spent the entire weekend adventuring around with my camera and running around every inch of the city that a person can reasonably cover in 48 hours. New Orleans was the first city I ever explored on all my own, and that's one of the innumerable reasons why it holds a special place in my heart. In retrospect, I probably should have warned my mother before calling her from the French Quarter to let her know her innocent, underage daughter was alone in the Crescent City, presumably persuading unsavory men to buying her hurricanes on Bourbon Street and dancing on the bar of a jazz club (because that's what underage college students do in New Orleans, right?!).
But obviously the appeal of New Orleans isn't the booze (although the open container laws definitely add to its unique brand of charm). New Orleans knows that it's one of a kind, and more importantly, it flaunts it- the places sweeps you up in a whirlwind of bold colors, flavors, and sounds all its own. There's nothing subtle about it. For a place that has seen such sorrow, the overwhelming feeling in New Orleans is one of resilience and joy. It takes pride in its offbeat culture, and that pride is infectious.
This weekend I stayed in my favorite hostel for two nights with Katie, a new friend and fellow photographer whom I just adore. We (of course) walked the French Quarter, ate beignets in City Park, explored the art galleries in the warehouse district, found a farmer's market uptown (where I bought- and then promptly lost- a jar of pesto), got a history lesson and a free postcard (a lagniappe, as she explained) from the owner of a bookshop, ate pastries and drank coffee at a French bakery on magazine street, and listened to jazz and checked out the art galleries on Frenchmen St (one of my favorite streets in New Orleans). Of course, we also ate a whole lot (Katie's for dinner our first night, Carmo for lunch on Julia street the next day, Coquette for a nice dinner uptown, and of course plenty of coffee and wine and pralines thrown in the mix as well).
New Orleans, you inspire me like few places can, and since you're only 4-5 hours away... I'll be back soon. So, without further ado, here are the photos. More photos from past trips are here!