Until three and a half months ago, I lived in New Orleans. It is a beautiful city in a beautiful state. I'm glad I had a chance to see it when I did, because I may never again get a chance to see it like it was.
I've been meaning to post some of the pictures my wife and I took while we were there, and I just never got around to it. Now it's more than just photoblogging, it's a tribute, an elegy, a lament for the Crescent City.
My wife and I used to go jogging on this street in Old Metairie. I love the massive live oaks in the medians, huge branches twisting like gnarled fingers. You can find the trees everywhere -- along the streets, in City Park, and in Audubon Park.
The massive roots rip up the sidewalks and streets. You have to have a bit of a death wish to ride your bike around here.
I'm trying not to post all of my pictures, but some of them are just too good to pass up.
If I had grown up in that house, the temptation to climb that tree would have haunted my dreams.
I post this one because I'm so proud of my library. My heart goes out to those who love books as much as I do, who couldn't pack them before the storm burst. There's only so much room in the car for the things you hold dear.
Just south of the French Quarter. The blue sign is for Bella Luna, a restaurant that overlooks the Mississippi, the churning steamboats, and various walkers, runners and tourists. My wife and I ate their just before I graduated, even though we couldn't really afford it. I guess the student loan people can afford it.
A balcony on the southeast corner of Jackson Square in the Quarter. Just below this balcony you could see painters, charicaturists, palm readers, mimes and musicians entertaining the tourists and making a little money.
The corner of Madison and Chartres. Louisianans can't pronounce anything properly. The name "Chartres" is pronounced "Charter." And if you think you know how to say Burgundy, Esplanade, Calliope or Pontchartrain, unless you're from Louisiana, you're wrong.
Lunch in the Quarter. There's a place called Cafe Giovanni's -- which was waaaay too expensive for a student, although I ate there twice anyway -- that has live opera singers and a concert pianist while you dine.
The back of St. Louis cathedral. The haunted history tour guide told us that at dawn, you can hear the clash of ghostly swords near the gates. I heard the huge oaks fell down, ripping out huge sections of the gate, but the statue of Christ is still standing (minus a thumb and a forefinger).
In the Quarter, you can get away with a pink house with green shutters. Everything there is so lively that "garish" is virtually impossible.
The view from inside Jackson Square. A clown gave my son a balloon airplane that he loved until it popped, about three and a half minutes later. I'm just glad he was happy while he had it, because balloon airplanes and days in the park with your parents never last forever.
Continued at Elegy, Part Two.
Update: Thanks so much to everyone who linked this post. Also, more pictures here.