Color, Laskowitzpictures.com, Photographs, Photography, Pictures, Ray Laskowitz
Comments 21

New Orleans


Trumpet player walking in Treme.

Trumpet player walking in Treme.

In New Orleans.

I read a lot of blogs. A lot of them are traveller’s musings. Since New Orleans has a lot of panache, there are a lot of first timers to the city. They mostly stay in the French Quarter and rarely get out to explore the rest of the city. That’s too bad. There is a lot to see in all of New Orleans.

After exploring Bourbon Street, maybe seeing one of the commercial second line parades in the Quarter, eating some Oysters at Acme, and having an order of beignets and chicory laced coffee at Cafe Du Monde, they usually close their post with something like, “Only in New Orleans.”

That’s all well and good. And, hopefully, next time they’ll get out into some of the other neighborhoods that make up the city. Despite the rough patch we are going through with a severe uptick in violent crimes in the city, each neighborhood is about as safe as another. So, you might as well explore a little. Go to Magazine Street, one of the longest shopping streets in the country — one that is largely composed of small, local shops and businesses. You can bring home something really unique to the city, not just a plastic go cup. Ride the streetcar (not trolley — that’s in some other city) around and enjoy St. Charles Avenue, pretty much from start to finish. Go to our two main art museums. Go to our two huge parks; City Park and Audubon Park. Explore the Mid-City area. Take the ferry across the river to Algiers Point. For better local music, go to Frenchman Street, although that’s starting to become French Qaurterized. I could go on and on and on.

But.

Go see stuff that is really, “Only in New Orleans.”

Like this picture. How often to you see a trumpet player walking down the street carrying his instrument just as it is starting to rain.? Yes, there are other great music cities in the country. New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco come to mind. But, musicians in those places are a little more buttoned up. They put their instruments in a gear bag. To keep them safe and out of the elements. Not like this guy, whose trombone is out and ready to play at the slightest moment. In case an unplanned second line breaks out.

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21 Comments

  1. I think it’s a great city in most ways and like others it has its problems. It seems a matter of perception, a plus/minus discussion.

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  2. That’s why you being a resident it’s so important that you advocate for your city. It’s difficult for a traveler to look past the “tourist” side of a location. Most are timid or crunched for time filling their schedules with what’s already been seen and documented so many times by others. I live in a coastal area and completely get it. I cringe every time I hear people say “oh we were just there and never knew you had (fill in the blank) in the area.”.

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    • Interesting phrase, “crunched for time.” The way I see it, is that unless you are traveling for some kind of work, all you have is time. That said, I’ve heard way too many people say they saw the whole city when all they ever saw was an 8 x 13 block neighborhood called The French Quarter.

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      • I agree completely and feel the same way that vacation is about free time but I’ve met so many people that plan their entire visits down to the minute based on tourist sites they find. It’s a shame what they miss out on by doing so.

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      • That comes from two things, I think. So called bucket lists, which was really a snarky comment by Jack Nicholson in the movie. And, people doing way too much internet research based on group popularity lists. As musician Neil Young once famously said, “Whenever I find myself in the middle of the road, I head straight to the gutter where things are much more interesting.”

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      • I love that Neil Young quote! I’m more of an “off to the side” type of person myself. I’d rather slip into an alley away from the crowd to explore the back streets. I try to encourage others to do the same as well. Life just feels better when instead looking ahead following like drones we take in what’s around us from all angles.

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      • I try to show our visitors something different here. When they want to go to the Quarter I usually show them how to reach the streetcar from our house — 2 blocks — and let them have so time on their own. BTW, when NY said that was after his two early huge selling albums. He then released 3 albums now called “The Ditch Trilogy.” Some of his best, but least selling work.

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  3. I couldn’t agree more with you. The easiest way is to tick off the “must see” sights, but by doing so you miss the real thing, in every city, not only New Orleans. That’s why I started to get my travel info from local bloggers and folks on twitter as part of my travel planning. Your blog is a great source of info for anyone travelling to New Orleans.

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  4. What? I only have one friend? Although I did have to laugh. One young blogger I read called The French Quarter “one big giant tourist trap.” I disagreed. That would only be Bourbon Street, Decatur Street and parts of Royal Street. Since we only have one industry — tourism — we have to be nice to our visitors. 🙂

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  5. I would love to see New Orlean, both the touristic and no touristic quarters. I believe this town has a soul. You blog is a great source for tips where to go and what to see.

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