Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Orleans Confidential: The Twilight Edition

Sunset at Jackson Square: The Basilica of New Orleans
on the banks of the mighty Mississippi

A few hours after lunch in Meridian, we arrived in the Crescent City--New Orleans. (Or N'awlins, to the locals.) I've been to a lot of big cities in the U.S. in my short life, but none quite like this one. Let's just say that Rue Bourbon was "interesting." If your nasal passages weren't being assaulted by the none-too-subtle odor of last night's vomit and libations, your ears were being assaulted by overly loud jazz and blues at one bar in competition with the overly loud jazz and blues next door. You're accosted by hawkers for peep shows, licensed charity solicitors, and Mardi Gras-festooned fellows who ask to have their picture taken and then demand a buck for the privilege. You can walk past a prostitute leaning in a doorway putting on polka-dotted panties over fish net stockings or be propositioned by a guy with a tuba. Fun.

Okay, truthfully, not all of New Orleans is that tawdry, tacky, and cheap, and Bourbon Street is only one part of Sin City, but this place makes Las Vegas look like kiddie camp by comparison. That said, I'll be exploring the French Quarter a bit more tomorrow and hope to bring you the sunny side of New Orleans. In the meantime, here's the sunset from Jackson Square and a few photos of some of the architecture and characters that lend N'awlins its charm.

Photo copyright: Janet Kincaid, 04/09


marley said...

Sounds like a blast!!

Maya said...

You got some great shots! I like that you made some of them B&W. They give it that old timey feel. Bourbon Street is now a "been there, done that, don't need to do it again."

Cele said...

Ducky has always wanted to go to New Orleans, well he's always wanted to go to Mardi Gras... I'm sure he doesn't really care about the rest of New Orleans. I would love to take a tour of the haunted places of N'wleans.

Dusty Lens said...

Now I know where Bourbon Street got it's name. Might not be a pleasant part of town, but what a place to capture photos of things you won't normally see. Fabulous urban shots!

Virginia said...

WEll that is one fine slideshow. You've got some wonderful photos despite the tawdry side of NOLA. You came, you saw, you made it look better than it really is and now you can boogie west.
Happy Trails!

My WV is WHING, as in WHingding in Nawlins??

Janet Kincaid said...

Marley: I'm not sure I'd call being propositioned by a tuba player "a blast"! ;-) At the very least, though, it was interesting in a creepy, lecherous sort of way.

Maya: Amen on Bourbon Street! Didn't you feel like you needed a shower after that? Blech. Glad you like the B&Ws. They just seemed to work best for those shots.

Cele: There is a haunted tour of N'awlins. If I'd been there one more night, I might have done it. They're fun tours. As for Ducky wanting to visit the Crescent City at Mardi Gras, I recommend avoiding that like the plague. Seriously. The streets in the French Quarter are very narrow and end up packed, cheek to jowl, with people. Then again, if he likes that kind of thing, it could be fun!

Rob: Bourbon Street was probably the least appealing street in the entire quarter. But Royal Street and Decatur Street were both very nice!

VJ: I can definitely say I've been to the French Quarter and don't need to do that again. I wouldn't mind seeing other parts of NOLA, though. I imagine there's more to this city than meets the eye. That said, though, I can't imagine I'll be going back any time soon.