New Orleans

Mardi Gras Indian.
Mardi Gras Indian.

New Orleans. We aren’t what you think.

Art. They say all art is about the maker. That most meaning is brought to that same art by the viewer.

Mistakes. I’m great at making them. I may have pretty much made a year old mistake. Most of my 2015 work that you’ve seen ‘s either Mardi Gras culture, Dystopian views of the city, or my kind of nature photography — which is really cheating because well, let’s just say that it is.

A friend of mine recently passed through. I took him out shooting. With a camera. Not a gun. Sheesh. I gotta be careful with every word. The first time was mostly for a smallish second line in Central City. We explored the Bywater a little. The second time was out to the Lower 9th Ward. Those places interest me. They make me happy because in the last five years I’ve watched them progress. But, to the first time visitor they look broke down, ruined, forgotten. Like one of our nicknames, “The City that Care Forgot.”

What I did’t do, stupidly, was direct him to Uptown, to Lakeview, to the places where recovery really has taken hold. We live Uptown. In the Garden District. Yes. Sure, our streets look like Berlin 1946. Our water pipes need serious work. And, our power lines? We’ll let’s just say if two squirrels meet on a power line, we might not have electricity for a couple of hours.

But, it’s a seriously pretty place. The people who rate such things, say that we are the best neighborhood in the country. Not, the most pricey. That’s in the Bay Area or up the Hudson River near New York City. Just the best. I don’t care about that. I just know that one neighborhood in New Orleans probably doesn’t look like another. Even in the general area called Uptown, the neighborhoods differ dramatically in just a few hundred yards.

In an exchange of comments and on his blog, my buddy  — he is among a lot of others — said that New Orleans is a tourist place. For people who want to party hard. Well, yeah sure. The French Quarter is certainly that. But, as I always say to visitors, “Get the hell out of Quarter and see the rest of the city.” Or, at least view the Quarter from a different point of view like the Steamboat Natchez pictures. I don’t see a bar or club in that picture. He also said we are run down and dirty. Hmmm. Everywhere? We’d better move. Right now.

By the way, he’s not the first or only person to say that.


I said earlier this year, at around its turn from 2015, that you sort of guided me to what this blog should be. I took your comments very seriously. But, as they say,”Never tell God your plans.” So we got sick. With some weird upper respiratory cold-like thing. It took forever to get healthy. I’m much better now.

It’s time to do what I said I’d do. Prettier pictures of places that you can come see when you visit. Places away from the most common of tourist locations. How’s that?


  1. Seeing as how I have never gotten to venture too far outside of Marigny, the French Quarter or parts of Magazine Street, I cannot speak for what Uptown or the Lower 9th looks like, other than what I have seen in pictures or videos.. But it does blow my mind that most people who visit think that it is a run down, dirty city that isn’t worth a second look. For me, that is what makes New Orleans so incredible, it has character like no other city I have ever been during my extensive travels and a certain je ne sais quoi you can’t find anywhere else. On my very first trip it changed my life forever and made me view the world from a different perspective, which has spurred an interest in learning as much as I possibly can about its rich history.. The rich beauty may not last forever, but it’s character will never fade.


    1. Actually, you have. If you’ve been to Magazine Street, you’ve been Uptown, some. Next time, just get on the streetcar at Canal and St. Charles, buy a day pass and just ride around, and get off wherever something interests you. Let us know, and we’ll be happy to show you around. Thanks for the kind words about the city we call home.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tim. Funny thing about panning. Back in photo school — near 100 years ago, 🙂 — that was about class and assignment number four. Often time I just go back to my earliest roots.


  2. Ray, next show needs to be those New Orleans shots. I especially like the Natchez and Summer Levee shots. Put those with that Lafayette Cemetery I haven’t gotten around to printing yet, and we might have something.

    I’m constantly getting comments about the exhibit, so I haven’t taken it down yet.


    1. Thank you, Robert. Next show? What did Jim Mora say about championships once? Hahaha… Let them hang. Around here they’ll end up in closet. Even as much as I like them, there is so much art on the walls that we rotate it.


  3. I’m not sure how to say. I can see the appeal, I could feel the (positive)vibe of the city. However, as anywhere you spend a little time, it was the people I met that made the experience meaningful. Good people. If I were asked if I might go back to visit at some future time, New Orleans would get a yes, some other places would not.


    1. It’s always the people. We have a weird Southern-Caribbean vibe, which is a very good thing. Even though I like our neighborhood, it’s even weirder. Very blue blood. Families who have lived in New Orleans since before the Civil War, which can also still be an issue. I think I mentioned that when we were hanging and taking pictures. But, even so, they’ll help if you reach out.

      Liked by 1 person

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