Friday, November 30, 2007

Holy ground

St. Louis Cathedral, maybe the most recognized image of New Orleans faces the Mississippi River from behind Jackson Square. In the foreground, in the middle of Jackson Square General Andrew Jackson forever rides his stallion, recalling the Battle of New Orleans where a rag tag assembly of troops defeated about 12,000 British soldiers on the battle field of Chalmette.

St. Louis Cathedral which is actually a Basilica, was established as a parish in 1720 and since that time three churches have stood on this spot giving it the distinction of the oldest Cathedral in the United States.

The Cathedral was designated as a Cathedral Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997, shortly before his history-making visit to the United States in October of 1999. Be sure to read it's rich history here

--steve buser


It looms large in the night spreading its glow around the city. On the frequent misty nights it's a romantic glow that permeates the air. Whence comes this "night piercing armour?"

Today on Pixel Eyed

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The French Quarter of New Orleans is a trip back into the past. One of first built parts of New Orleans, it retains it character and charm through the centuries. The horse and buggy rides not only give a good guided tour of for the riders bring that historical feel to the surroundings.

Here, the buggy on Decatur Street comes up on Jackson Square and is just across the street from the Cafe Du Monde. In the background, the Pontalba Buildings line two sides of the square. The matching red-brick block long 4‑story buildings were built in the 184o. The top stories are the oldest continuously rented apartments in the U.S.

--steve buser


The Kemah Boardwalk -- its full of buzz and activity. In fact they have adopted the slogan "The Fun Never Stops." Today on Pixel Eyed

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Peril pounder

The canonical view
Jackson Square, across from St. Louis Cathedral gets all the attention in the French Quarter -- it's a favorite subject of photographs. Artillery Square however, takes the high ground -- you walk up to this high vantage point to walk out to the river and along the Moonwalk.... or to catch a street car back toward Canal Street.

I found myself wonder about a time when a cannon like this was state of the art protection from perils from the river.

--steve buser

Today on Pixel Eyed : Anybody home. A lonely church on a remote country road. Is it abandoned? The grass was well groomed....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Snow way

It's a strange snow storm that blows these days on Fulton Street near Harah's Casino in downtown New Orleans. It snows every hour on the hour. Part of the festive, holiday goings-on downtown -- my wife, Linda, and our son, Charlie, wince as the wet stuff floats down on them. The snow is shot from several machines. When we were there, the wind was carrying the white flakes quite a ways before they melted away. Of course there was the holiday music, Santa and his reindeer and a band belting out jazzy tunes to make it all the more merry.

-- steve buser


As we march through time, technology by technology, we leave behind things that were once active and useful. We leave our past to the elements.
Today on Pixel Eyed

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Winter "wander" land

"Walking along, singing a song, walking in a winter wonderland." Fulton Street, next to Harrah's Hotel, and across from the Casino, has become a winter wander land for the holidays. We had to check out the magic last night.

--steve buser

Sun worshipers were laying around on the side of the road when I passed by on the way to Houston. I had to stop and take the shot.

Today on Pixel Eyed

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Skipping and skimming

Skimming the waves -- and the last rays of the sun on Bayou Lacombe. This unspoiled bayou is just north of New Orleans in St. Tammany Parish. We were out on a slow cruise up the bayou, when we caught site of this fisherman.

--steve buser

Don't tell. Nobody will know. The darkness will provide cover. After all, isn't it every boy's nature to know how things work.

But in the darkness, Paw Paw is running his own covert, sting operation.

Today on Pixel Eyed

Friday, November 23, 2007

Forest magic

Sky-combed, water-combed wonderland
Tucked back the woods of St. Tammany Parish and the flood plain of Lake Pontchartrain along Bayou Lacombe is a magical place of small bayous that comb through the piney forests and transform the land into a mysterious arborial palace. Sundown is a quiet, mystical, soft-toned time. The sun saves his richest reds and sharpest blues for his dusk hours up in this cathedralled canopy.

We were there for Thanksgiving at my brother-in-laws home. It's about 12 miles across the lake from New Orleans at that point, but unless your swimming, that won't do you much good.... you'll be enjoying a pleasant tree-scented drive to get there.

--steve buser

Bring on the gods, because this is big stuff. Mercury, ercules, Minerva. Abundance and commercial success for sure. The arts, crafts and wisdom, assuredly ... we must feel good about this endeavor. But the destruction of dangerous monsters -- make us feel safe around all this smoking and belching...

Today on Pixel Eyed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tested by time

The beauty of age
Weathered, whorled, writhing, worn, tortile. But, still surviving.
One of the oaks by the lagoon in City Park of New Orleans. In the upper right hand of the picture, if you look close, you'll see a flock of birds taking advantage of a barren branch to roost.

The oak was weathered long before the hurricane came through a couple years ago. But, the storm seems to have put its own imprint on weathered things. Kind of like bumping up the contrast on a picture to bring out the grain in a tree.

On another note... I want to wish you a very warm Thanksgiving, full of blesssings.

--steve buser

It's stuck on five o'clock and it's stuck on blue -- every shade you ever imagined and few you didn't -- azure blue, sky blue, clear blue, turquoise blue ...

Today on Pixel Eyed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Whacha doing?

Got me thinking
Me and this fellow got to be pretty good friends. I was standing by him on the Riverwalk shooting a shot down the river. He kept a pretty good eye on me the whole time. In fact, he would look at me with this eye, then he would turn his head and look at me with his other eye -- maybe he could see better out of that eye. More likely he wanted to make sure his right eye wasn't deceiving him -- there really was this silly looking fellow staring through a glass eye.

I made me think "what the heck am I really doing?" I've put up 214 posts since I started this adventure. I didn't have any really plan back then of what I wanted to accomplish. I was just swept up with the excitement of having an outlet for my glass eye.

A couple months into this, I would panic if I didn't have an idea of what I would shoot for tomorrow or the day after that. How would I keep interesting photos coming?

But now a little more than six months into this, I find the familiar feelings of my long ago newspaper days coming back. A certain confidence in making the deadline. I remember back then going halfway through the day with no idea of what our lead story would be -- this was a small town daily, so the lead had to be local. But I knew it would come, and I always had a bag of tricks if it didn't.

Not so easy was finding a front page picture that would jump out at you -- it wasn't so easy, because you couldn't do it by phone --- you couldn't call your friend in the courthouse and get a story idea over the phone. Worse, once you had the picture, you had to rush back and develop it and that took time. Better days we live in when digital makes things instantaneous.

I remember rushing back from a afternoon meeting a time or two, knowing we had no Page 1 photo -- without panicking, I would take a turn I didn't usually take and turn on my scouring eyes for that interesting shot. It would always come.

So it is, here. The panic of my early days in this has waned. Still I wonder if in losing that panic, I am also losing my edge. Accepting lesser quality shots.

So Mr. Seagull. You want to know what I'm doing here? I can't tell you, it's something you have to experience.

--steve buser


The elephant got a little nosy. And that was okay with our grandson. Okay, it did take him a few seconds to decided if this was something he wanted to be part of.
Today on Pixel Eyed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pushing past the waves x 2

Waves upon wave
Plying the waves on the Mississippi River as it pushes upstream, this tug boat makes good head way. The early morning sunny waves that strike glancing blows on the river waves, highlighting the journey.

--steve buser


The last rays of sunshine are still warming the tops of the buildings, but in the tree-shaded jaunts of Central Park, NY, its time for the last few pumps on your skates.
On Pixel Eyed, today

Monday, November 19, 2007

The fattest day of the year

The parades rouler and rouler and rouler
One last word on Mardi Gras before we move on. It is all about the big day. Mardi Gras is a full day. "Parades" come by about 11 where we stand, but for hours before than the costumed revelers parade down St. Charles. Then come the Marching clubs. Pete Fountain's is the most famous -- his "Half Fast Marching Club." Then Rex parades down the street in full regalia. Followed by parade after parade and extravagant float after extravagant float. More than 200 as I recall. (Get real, who's counting?)

Of course, that is not the only parade in town. Zulu is wandering its way through town. And the Mardi Gras Indians are out in much fuller regalia than Rex. The neighboring parish each have their celebrations, with the Fat City celebration in Metairie being the biggest of these bashes.

Of course if you followed yesterday's links you know that the weekend before and the nights and weekends before that are filled with parades.

Then at midnight on Fat Tuesday, it all comes to a stop. The bars and venues in the French Quarter shut down that one night at midnight. Why? Lent has begun.

The next morning all the streets will have been swept clean and the only traces of the revelry will be Mardi Gras beads hanging from trees and lamposts and what-have-you. Les bons temps are over for another year.

-- steve buser


It was a conflict, no doubt. Do you want to shoot the lights on courthouse or the pretty pink sunset. Choose. Why can't I do both?

-- today on Pixel Eyed

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Unmasking Mardi Gras

Farewell to meat
Continuing on our discussion about Mardi Gras -- everyone knows about the Big Day, "Fat Tuesday" (the literal translation) -- the last day before Lent begins, and fasting and abstinence from meat lasts for 40 days. The Carnival (Carne vale-- farewell to meat) . "Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we fast."

Maybe lesser known is that the Mardi Gras celebration has a lot of other parts to it -- the marching clubs, the balls, the parades in advance, the King Cake parties.... (see MSNBC --"Best Mardi Gras Traditions" ) This is a photo of one of the marching clubs that trek down St. Charles Avenue before Rex and his Krewe of paraders signify the official start of the Mardi Gras day parades.

But the official beginning of the Carnival Season is Twelfth Night -- twelve days after Christmas -- also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. This is the official day that the King Cake parties begin. Don't fear that you are halfway around the world. You can order your King Cake on the internet.

The parades actually roll on nights and weekends for several weeks before the big party.

Here's a site that will get you some good background on the whole thing. Mardi Gras Unmasked

And here's the parade schedule for this year which starts with the Krewe de Vieux on January 19. Mardi Gras is February 5 -- one of the earliest Mardi Gras possible.

Come back, we'll talk more.

-- steve buser

So a dragon suddenly appears in the middle of the fair clanging around on its metal rails, spreading terror and fear. What are we to do? Fearlessly steps forward the Dragon Rider Extraordinaire. He of slight height and boundless bravery.... stand aside. Today on Pixel Eyed.

More Holiday Traditions on City Daily photo blogs today:

Christmas Tree @ Raffles City Shopping Centre -- The Keropok - Singapore Daily Photo
Red Week : The Red "Army" -- Montego Bay Day by Day
I Was Observing An Animal 'Shoot'-- Newcastle (AU) City Photo

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Flame dancing

Flaming passions
From all the comments, I haven't done a good job of filling in all the details of Mardi Gras. Partly because that is a big task. I did talk about why Mardi Gras falls when it does back in this post:

Purple, Green and Gold fever is sprouting

But, maybe I will take a couple of post to flesh this out. First though, today's post -- the flambeaux carriers. (flambeaux is French so the accent is on the beaux). Back before there were lights on the Mardi Gras floats, flambeaux's were it, except for an occasional street light. Back then they were fueled by a can of kerosene on top that would flow down to the burners to make light. Very dangerous.

Now they use propane cylinders - a lot safer. And the flambeaux's don't march next to the floats. Still, the wildness and fever of the flambeaux's -- the dancing, the spontaneity, the flaming colors -- all add to the excitement of the parade. Of course, the dancing, the gyrating flames and the dark, all make the scene hard to shoot -- you have to shoot the feeling, not the facts.

--steve buser


I am convinced.
Totally, irrevocably.
You can't change my mind.
I believe that the sky likes to find things to build a sunset around. Hop over the Pixel Eyed today and see what I mean.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Smoke down

It went down in smoke
There was a fire down south of New Orleans that was smoldering as the sun went down last night. Add to that a pretty stiff wind blowing in a cold front and you've got an interesting sunset. The sunset enjoyed having a new paintbrush to mix its red and ochre pallet upon.

The commuting traffic was treated to quite and aerial display.

--steve buser

The mud is still flying near Houston. It's the same old guys slinging it. And it kept us rolling in our seats. Today on Pixel Eyed.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I just can wait to be king

I just can't wait for a parade
I think it is quite possible that I am suffering from early symptoms of "parade depravation." It is a serious medical condition in New Orleans this time of the year. It's been a long time since the last big parade and Mardi Gras is creepy up, but is not here yet. So, to push back the effects and reclaim my sanity, I dug up this picture of a lion from the St. Patrick's Day parade on St. Charles Avenue earlier this year. Perhaps you, too, are suffering from "parade depravation" and it will have a healing effect on you, too.

--steve buser

I tried to resist, but it took hold of me. I mean, a photographer is a just a conduit -- the picture flows through him/her. And after all the sign was there, waiting for my camera -- on Pixel Eyed, today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bonding time

The lakefront stroll
A casual stroll. A casual sunset stroll. A casual sunset lakefront stroll. Just mom and sun. Bonding time. Scene is the lakefront in Mandeville. You can see the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in the background. People coming home on the 23-mile bridge from a workday in New Orleans for more family time.

--steve buser

Did you ever notice that different shapes of people's space? Adults keep their hands in, their feet under them. Kids run with their hands flailing, hair blowing, and legs shooting forward -- today on Pixel Eyed

Other Daily City Photo blogs with and riverfront shots today --

Rotterdam: Where?Wednesday -- Wassenaar (Netherlands) Daily Photo
Dawn on the Mekong -- Saigon today
Calmer waters -- Richmond Upon the Thames Daily Photo

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Riding the rays

Feather weather
A gaggle of geese scoop up the sparse beams at cloud level, just as the slips below the horizon. It's fall time and the geese gander from high as they make their way southward for the season.

--steve buser

It's Times Square, maybe the busiest piece of real estate in the world. It's the lights, the bustle and the pizazz. But behind the scenes? Well, it's here today on Pixel Eyed.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Spin artist

Diving for dollars
It's the French Quarter in New Orleans, and one of the main attractions is the street performers. It adds life and excitement to the history-laden streets. This performer uses his head to attract spectators, and, hopefully, their dollars.

--steve buser

It's Times Square, maybe the busiest piece of real estate in the world. It's the lights, the bustle and the pizazz. But behind the scenes? Well, it's here today on Pixel Eyed.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Raising the roof

Northshore Up-scale
Up is the new shape along the lakefront in Mandeville.

After the hurricane, houses new and old are rising to new levels along the Mandeville lakefront. While is a insurance and legal requirement for the house-lift, the homeowner gets a couple of new benefits --
A spectacular view of the lake.
And, a new exercise regime guaranteed to keep their stair-climbing legs in shape.

Today on Pixel Eyed -- The Courthouse in Marshall, Tx, gives evidence to drawing power of light(s).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pebble play

Shore survey
Let's assume they're sisters ( you may of course do otherwise) -- mom is letting them do a little shore exploring. They have to learn sometime, and today's a good day.

Wander among the rocks and pebbles, but keep an eye out for things hiding in the rip rap. Watch the currents flowing over and between the rocks -- it can get overpowering when a large wave washes up.

Stay close together. Enjoy the tasty things you find. Build your strength. Learn about your world. Mom's watching.

The scene is off the lakefront in Kenner, Louisiana -- just outside of New Orleans.

-- steve buser

Today on Pixel Eyed -- It was curiosity, plain simple curiosity. He wanted to see these high jumps up close -- feel them.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Shady glory

Shade Shine
Seems like we alway want out flowers in full sun, showing their glory.

But, seems to me that flowers might like us to see them in their shady haunts, where they spend their daily lives.

-- steve buser

Today on Pixel Eyed -- heading into the heart of the sunset.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sign of the times

Sign language
Feeling playful this morning -- just doing digital magic to one of the street signs along the Moon Walk, along the Mississippi River in the French Quarter.

--steve buser


On Pixel Eyed today -- it's quitting time -- take down the sails and get your boat in line...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Rising from the waters
I thought this sign was very appropos for a time when the city is rebuilding and come back. Katrina left high water marks on 80% of the houses and buildings in the city. That mean that virtually ever builiding is getting a make over. There are a lot of people not happy with the pace but the fact is that a recent study found that nearly 2/3 of the city's population is back.

A lot remains to be done. But as you drive around, every day you see signs of normalcy return.
And it feels good.

Happy 200th to me
New Orleans Daily Photo is 200 -- this is my 200th post. This adventure began back in April. Hope you have enjoyed the ride

-steve buser


On Pixel Eyed today, the fruit of the work day is wrapped up in this cloth.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Doubting the dragon

Dragon delay
Just because a boy is brave enough to slide down a dragon, doesn't mean he's brave enough to slide down one this size. Our grandson, Sullivan, has a second thought about sliding down a dragon's fiery breath at Story Land at City Park in New Orleans. It took mom coming to the rescue to spur this dragon slayer into action.

--steve buser


Today on Pixel-Eyed. It's a Texas point of pride -- horn-heavy.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sunshine soak

Lazy Crazy Days of Fall
These loungers take advantage of a cool afternoon to soak up the sunshine on the lawn of the Moon Walk, along the Mississippi River in the French Quarter. The Moon Walk is a favorite for New Orleans residents and visitors alike for the view and the leisurely surroundings.

--steve buser


On Pixel Eyed today -- it's the Big Apple. Everybody wants to be part of the drama. Even if its only a walk-on (or fly-on) part.