Tourist trap it might be, but New Orleans French Quarter is a worthy addition to any travelers itinerary. You can truly indulge every sense in ‘The Big Easy.’ By day it’s a walking town ideal for unhurried strolls and meandering conversations. By night it morphs into a party machine oiled by drinks like the Hurricane Cocktail, Hand Grenade and Rainstorm.

I have no idea why New Orleans is called ‘The Big Easy,’ but it’s a fitting description as far as I’m concerned. It’s hot, loud, noisy, and bursting with vivid color and vibrant life. For those reasons, and a few others, New Orleans has fast become one of my favorite places to visit in the United States.

After cutting short my scheduled time in Houston Texas due to large swaths of the city being damaged and left without power in the wake of Hurricane Ike, I arrived earlier than planned in ‘The Big Easy.’

Thanks to Californian beach sand my camera expired just as the plane began the final approach to New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport. I wasn’t overly worried about being without a camera, after all I’ve been here before and shared pictures from New Orleans in two other posts [1] [2]. However, as anyone who enjoys photography would tell you, the process of taking pictures is in many ways as enjoyable as sharing them. So naturally I was delighted when Susan lent me her little digital Olympus with which all these pictures were taken.

As Susan and I wandered around the colorful streets of the French Quarter I would look up at the various windows and balconies wondering who lived behind those shutters and doors and who might have lived there in the past. Much like the weathered buildings I saw in Croatia, I felt like almost every one of the buildings we walked past would surely have stories to tell and secrets it could reveal. If I were to live in such a place I think I would try to learn as much as I could about those who had lived there before me.

I should perhaps explain that in the picture above, the ghost figure drawn in the small white frame isn’t art in the traditional sense of the word. It’s graffiti scrawled on a disused notice-board on the side of a building. Something about it appealed to me though. It didn’t seem overly out of place in a place called ‘The Big Easy’ and I wondered if its similarity to Edvard Munch’s classic painting ‘The Scream‘ was intentional.

While I wasn’t really thinking about this when I took these photographs, I’ve noticed that I assign a significant value to the pictures I share on my blog. Perhaps that’s because these snapshots become the landmarks of my life in a way that a random print in a soon-to-be dusty photo album could never be. Sometimes it’s the words that bring the pictures to life for me, but I’d like to think that even when they’re speechless these pictures still say something.

No scarf required
The perfect day