Thursday, August 31, 2006

Landmarks - New Orleans Tribute Day 3

Here are some of my favorite landmarks. I apologize if I got any of their names wrong. I found as many as I could online. When I was walking around snapping pics I didn't always stop to ask what building I was shooting!

St Louis Cathedral

After Katrina, President Bush addressed the nation from here

Andrew Jackson

Louis Armstrong park sign

French Market

Leftover Mardi gras beads

House of the Risin' Sun

Preservation Hall. Just re-opened this week!

In almost every movie ever shot here : JFK and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil I believe had shots in front of this building. I couldn't find the name of it online.

Interview with a Vampire location

More of St Louis Cathedral

-The Old Ursuline Convent. Supposedly, in the the nuns here became pregnant and
killed the infants, burying them on the grounds. Unfortunately, it must have taken quite a hit from Katrina as it is still listed as closed on the visitors bureau site.

note the shutters on the attic sealed shut. This is very controversial because they are supposed to be able to be opened to air out the attic. There are many creepy theories as to why they are sealed. Very creepy at night.

Our Hotel Le Richelieu

Buildings behind our hotel

RR tracks between Jackson Square and the Mississippi

Cool balconies

Andrew Jackson at night

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Faces of New Orleans- tribute day 2

The hardest part of watching Katrina coverage was wondering what happened to all these folks we met during our stay, who likely didn't evacuate immediately.

This gentleman sang Amazing Grace as we were walking by, then stopped and gave me this huge smile when I took his picture. He came to mind later when I saw the emotional interview of Harvey Jackson, the man who was wandering around with two small children in tow on the streets following Katrina. He was in a daze after losing his grip of his wife's hand on his roof as flood waters swept her away from him.
Though we tipped this performer he never begged for money. Just like the rest of the musicians and singers we encountered throughout our stay, he seemed to be singing for the sheer joy of it.

That was not the case with he kids tap dancing with beer caps on their tennis shoes pictured below. They would stop performing and grab their cardboard tip boxes and chase you down. Though street performers are everywhere and highly tolerated with or without permit, these young kids were kicked out of every storefront.

The woman clarinet player and male tuba player were together, and some of the best talent we heard. She was on a special on New Orleans that was filmed before Katrina, but aired after.

The painted mimes were everywhere, but these two were the best we saw. I particularly liked the bronze man who took his tips straight to the slots.

The balloon sculpture guy was a perverted, TB hacking nut. We disposed of the germ ridden pornographic balloon he made for us as soon as we could get away, and tried to shoo small children away from him.

I caught this handsome guy reading in the park

We had a chat with this British tourist- nice chap.

Rick snapped the fashion challenged duo.

Getting Sweaty with Harry (No no.... NOT Connick Jr---Harry Anderson of Night Court and Cheers fame.) Maybe he caught the "fever" from....

This singer givin' a Fever in Jackson Square

And the best for last....

The musicians were awesome. I wish I would have taped more so I could hear them again.

Singin' the blues in the streets

and blues in the bars

Singing do-whop on the sidewalks

Jammin' in the park

And Gettin' down

And dirty on Bourbon Street

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tribute to the Big Easy

One year ago today I sat glued to my television as I witnessed a naturally disastrous attack on the city in which Rick and I had celebrated our honeymoon only five months before. Four months pregnant myself, I helplessly watched a part of our extraordinarily advanced country turn third world.

Pregnant women, ill men, women, and children, elderly people, and babies baked in the sun, walked barefoot through filth, relieved themselves in the street, scavenged for fresh water, or a chair to sit down and rest in. Bodies both dead and dying lined the streets. Healthy men and women slipped into survival mode, foraging for their families if they were lucky enough to know where they were.

Good hearted people across the country joined the call to help in any way they could while those safely watching from a distance called into talk shows and complained about desperate looters, and opportunistic criminals.

I forced myself to curb the calling to jump into my own SUV and drive down to help. What good would I have been in my condition? So I donated all I could. My money. My heart. My photos.

The following pictures are how I remember New Orleans and the French Quarter. I only wish I would have taken the time to see more of the city before Katrina. Even with all the determination to rebuild it physically and spiritually, I'm sure it will never be quite the same.

I will be posting a new set of pictures daily for the next week. I hope you enjoy the beauty, the spirituality, the energy of the people and places we were privileged enough to experience. I will never forget them.