April 27, 2011

New Orleans: People and Animals

Well, this brings me to my last post on our trip to New Orleans...sigh. Have you enjoyed seeing glimpses of it as much as I've enjoyed telling you about it? I hope so.

Here are the various posts on our trip:

1) Wonderful Food and Restaurants
2) The French Quarter and Street Bands
3) The Garden District
4) Shopping, Books, and Miscellaneous
5) People and Animals

I want to share with you a few photos of people and animals. I realized that while it is easier and I am more drawn to take photos of buildings and landscapes and beautiful trees that, as a writer, it would be good for me to spend more time looking at people. How they are dressed. How they hold themselves. How they interact with others. What does their body language say? This new travel camera Mark gave me has a "discreet" setting (no flash and no "click"). I found that in crowds no one is really paying attention to me; I can get some good photos.

In one case, where musicians were involved, I felt hesitant to draw close for the photo I wanted (and couldn't get at night using the zoom feature...I had to be close). But then I realized that musicians who play on sidewalks in tourist centers probably aren't worried about having their photo taken.

The photo at the top of this post was taken while we were sitting at Cafe Du Monde. A group of uniform-clad schoolkids was milling about and this young lady on the left and her posture were interesting to me. I wondered what sort of books she liked to read. Would she like Lucky Press's latest YA novel, My Beginning? (By Melissa Kline) She sat on the bench a while, then got up and these young men came in and sat down and I loved their posture.

Here is my guy at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse.

I loved the view from our table into the kitchen at Emeril's. Here is a waiter, waiting.

The photo below was another taken while we were sitting at Cafe Du Monde. It is the second photo I snapped of this scene. The first one was from my seat. Then I stood up so I could get their photographer in my picture. I call this "The Back of the Photo."

Here, below, is a couple I found interesting. I think of that saying about how people who are married a long time can start to look like each other. Something about these two says they have been together a while.


The following photo was taken in the Garden District. I was walking along a fence looking for the perfect shot of the "house" beyond. The house is in quotation marks because it wasn't a home but a private girls' school. Then I noticed this little guy and thought of my son, Jesse, who loved these when he was a boy in Florida.

Having left our three dogs (Farley, Tyler, and Jackie) back in Ohio, we were happy to see many dogs during our trip to New Orleans. It seems a very dog-friendly city. Here are a few canine friends.

When our plane pulled into the gate in New Orleans, I snapped this photo of an airport employee waiting on the tarmac.

When we took a mule-drawn carriage ride around the French Quarter, I snapped our reflection in a shop window.

Not a photo of a person, actually but close enough, methinks, for this last photo from New Orleans. Thank you for joining me!

New Orleans: Shopping, Books, and Miscellaneous

This post continues our visit to New Orleans. Here are the posts related to our trip:

1) Wonderful Food and Restaurants
2) The French Quarter and Street Bands
3) The Garden District

4) Shopping, Books, and Miscellaneous
5) People and Animals

While in New Orleans, Mark and I visited three bookstores. If you've followed my earlier posts, I'm sure you are getting the sense that I really loved New Orleans. It surprised me in so many ways; and of course for me a perfect vacation always includes books. When I visit a new-to-me place, I must find the perfect books to enrich the traveling experience.

Crescent City Books (where I practically tripped and fell into the glass-windowed door): We didn't buy anything in this shop, but it's a nice store located in the French Quarter, not far from the Marriott where we were staying (see sign at left).

Beckham's Bookshop: Located at 228 Decatur Street, don't be put off by the unassuming storefront (see photo above). With not only a wonderful collection of new and used books, the proprietors entered into a discussion with us on Trotsky (when they learned Mark had written The Prophet of Sorrow.) In this wonderful shop, I purchased Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City by Jed Horne. Here's Beckham's Facebook page so you can like them too.

Garden District Bookshop is a well-organized shop located in The Rink in the Garden District on Prytania Street. I purchased New Orleans: A City Named Desire, by Todd and April Fell (I wanted a book with text and cool photos, like the "Eyewitness Books" series, and this filled the bill. Also in my shopping bag: Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sara Roahen and The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story by Julia Reed.

I've nearly finished The House on First Street and was so happy to find that I'd taken a photo of what I believe may be Ms. Reed's home. I had noticed the beautiful flourishes at the top of the columns, Corinthian, Mark told me and I remembered the lesson on architecture from my Art History class. (I knew the house next to it had Doric columns, but couldn't remember the word "Corinthian," isn't that often the case in marriage, what one can't name, the other can?) Anyway, here's my photo:

New Orleans Marriott Gift Shop: I bought two books here: My New Orleans: Ballads to the Big Easy by Her Sons, Daughters, and Lovers edited by Rosemary James and a wonderful book in a "half-price basket," Mardis Gras Treasures: Invitations of the Golden Age by Henri Schindler.

New Orleans is a great place to shop for clothes, accessories, gifts, art and antiques. Here are places we loved:
Cajun Clothing Co. 600 Decatur St.—The day I met my husband he was wearing a purple and yellow long-sleeved shirt from Cajun Clothing Co. by Perils, so when we went into the store and saw a big table stacked with these same neatly folded shirts, I knew we were in the right place. Mark picked up a few more shirts and received a compliment on the shirt (I think by a guy in an elevator) the next day when he wore it. I bought a T-shirt that is that wonderful cotton that is just perfect, as well as a man's Hawaiian shirt that I couldn't pass up. Best of all, I bought a pair of Douglas Paquette flip-flops, which SAVED my aching feet the rest of the day.

There are many antique shops on Royal Street. We also bought pralines (my first and now I'm hooked...this is like the grown-up version of my fascination with maple-leaf candy sold at Shoney's).

At The Little Toy Shop, 900 Decatur St., I purchased 8 toy horses. Why? Because I am illustrating a children's book and the horses are stumping me... how do their legs go? Where are their muscles? These little equines inspire me.

We also found a lovely shop near the Louisiana State Museum that specialized in tabasco (I believe it was the Tabasco Country Store), and while Mark picked up some T-shirts, I chose a beautiful runner for our dining room table that would match my favorite botanical place mats that he'd given me a while ago.

This morning, back home in Ohio, I picked some lovely lilacs and their aroma is filling the house. Bryce has just been picked up by a transportation helper to return home after a fun time together and a trip to the audiologist. Good news: the hearing aid we thought was broken is not, and with a new ear mold his left ear (always "left" out of everything) should soon be hearing conversation again.

Mark's previous two visits to New Orleans and his great memory brought a smile to my face when he mentioned a yarn store he recalled passing on his visit in 2007 (see what I mean about a great memory; he didn't even go in the store). So, yes, The Quarter Stitch, was right where he remembered it off Jackson Square and I purchased 2 lovely skeins of lavender yarn to make, you guessed it, a scarf!

The yarn was lovingly wrapped in coordinating tissue paper, then placed in a plastic bag with handmade business cards, then the bag affixed with ribbon, then the ribbon curled with scissors. High wow factor!

Stay tuned for later in the year when I actually complete the project! And, let me just say the colors of this yarn are so beautiful... this store will definitely be a regular stop on my future New Orleans visits.

New Orleans was a wonderful place to shop with a variety of items in a variety of price ranges. Many of the stores are unique, others are, for lack of a better phrase, the best. In other words, the toy store was a wonderful, traditional toy store very much like the one Mark and I visited in Sarasota, Florida in December. The products stocked were very similar. The yarn store was stocked with the best yarn a knitter/crocheter can hope to find. The bookstores are great too. The quality of each store to have the best in its category was so high, and I can't imagine anyone who loves to shop being disappointed at the selection of stores and products in New Orleans.


There were several photos that don't fit into the categories I choose to blog about. So, I'm putting them here; though the one at left would fit under shopping, I suppose. It's of a storefront window and I was drawn in to so many of the beautiful shop windows on our trip.

Above, is a bathroom tile. Guess where it is from? Emeril's restaurant! Below is a photo of the dormer and chimney of Jean Lefitte's place.

Below, you can see three photos I took from the plane. The first is using the "fisheye" option in my new travel camera, a Cannon.

Here is a photo of the Mississippi River, from our hotel room.

The photo below shows the canopy of branches and leaves, the natural shade covering within the courtyard of The Court of Two Sisters. The restaurant has many umbrellas in the courtyard, but at the entry, these beautiful plants provide shade.

Below, you can see Ann Rice's house in the Garden District. I should have put it in the previous post, but wanted it in this, the book section.

These red chandeliers greeted me each morning in the lobby of the New Orleans Marriott on Canal St.

Lastly, here is a hopeful sign, I think. A new store for me to visit on our next trip, perhaps?

April 25, 2011

New Orleans: The Garden District

This post continues our visit to New Orleans. Here are the posts related to our trip:

1) Wonderful Food and Restaurants
2) The French Quarter and Street Bands
3) The Garden District
4) Shopping, Books, and Miscellaneous
5) People and Animals

On our third day in New Orleans, we took a taxi from our hotel to the Garden District and embarked on a walking tour.

The area was originally developed between 1832 to 1900. It may be one of the best preserved collection of historic southern mansions in the United States. The 19th century origins of the Garden District illustrate wealthy newcomers building opulent structures based upon the prosperity of New Orleans in that era. (National Trust, 2006) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_District,_New_Orleans

The homes and yards were beautiful, and as a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let them speak for themselves.

After our walking tour of the Garden District, we stopped in at the local bookstore located in "The Rink" and purchased some books, which I'll list in a future post.
Throughout the neighborhood are beautiful large oak trees and a wide variety of other plants and flowers. Many of the homes have ornate fences and metalwork on the balconies as well as beautiful columns and architectural details. I also loved looking at the paint colors; some houses had subtle variations of colors and others were very bold in their use of color. And everywhere, beautiful trees!