Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The great Louisiana purchase on Magazine Street

Magazine Street again. Treasure galore. How about a pair of medieval looking shields. One can never have too much protection these days. And they do bring a sense of stability and permanance to any room. A sense of history and chivalry. Perfect accent pieces if you ask me.

Magazine Street in New Orleans is about a 3.5 mile stretch of shopping opportunities. I am counting the section from about Nashville Avenue to abut in the Felicity Street area. It continues further on downtown, but that has a different character. And it continues on the other end through Audubon Park, but that, too is a different, though scenic part of the street.

Magazine Street takes you back a few years to the time of one-car families, pedestrians, family-owned shops, and family restaurants. It's fun to just park, walk, browse and shop the boutiques, antique shops, galleries and all.

--steve buser

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eye popping shopping on Magazine Street

Pop your room with color. What about this Chinese dragon I found in the window at The Private Collection on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans. No one will ever talk about your house being boring again. I didn't ask about the price, I was pretty sure I couldn't afford it.

The Private Collection is one of a number of boutiques along Magazine Street -- a shopping corridor that was spared the flooding from Katrina. Art galleries, antique shops and more line the New Orleans Street.

See. I told you we would get back to shopping on Magazine Street. Just wait, there's more tomorrow.

--steve buser

Monday, October 27, 2008

Anachrony reigns on Julia Street

Mondo Anachrony -- I missed the importance of the spelling the first time I saw it. Ana + Chrony like anarchy (which is about governments) this is ana chrony -- about time and specifically the art and meanings of images in history.

New Orleans Artist Robin Durand has this exhibit at the GSL Art Projects gallery on Julia Street in the Arts District of New Orleans. "I see myself if a great conversation with history," he told the Art Voices. This painting explores the importance of corn as a communal images through in our art and history. You need to get by and see the exhibit this week.

Hope you enjoyed our detour to Julia Street this weekend. Tomorrow we get back to shopping on Magazine Street.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Scintillating essence steal the show

Just one more look at the Keysook Geum exhibit on display at the Gallery Bienvenu, 518 Julia Street, in New Orleans. The paper covered iron wire figures make you feel a bit strange when no figure appears inside them. They seem to dance in space and the interplay of shadows feels the room.

This isn't a show that you just look at. This is a show that you "feel" and that redefines the space around you. You definitely would not be surprise to hear she has experience as a designer and a PhD in textile design.

I had a lot of fun photographing them. Wish I had enough space on the blog to show more.

I've got one more gallery to show you tomorrow and then we'll get back to Magazine Street. ...
come on back, we've got a pot of coffee brewing.

--steve buser

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The lightness of non-being

I know I promised we would get right back to the shopping trip down Magazine Street, but while you were gone, I went down Julia Street. It was amazing -- I haven't been in the Arts District for a while so I wandered into a couple of galleries. I caught this piece by Keysook Geum at the Gallery Bienvenu. "Geum sculpts robes, waistcoats, dresses, and other symboloic garments, creating them out of paper covered iron wire," the show brochure notes. "That web of iron wire relates to the World Wide Web that has increasingly brought Western and Eastern cultures together for Seoul Korea-based Geum."

The show brochure goes on"suspended in by nearly invisible wires, the scultpures seem to defy gravity, floating like thistledown, despite the process-driven arduousness of their execution. ...They imply a human presence but are ghostly and cipher like. "

I know that photographing these works was a real pleasure and challenge. Every angle told a new visual story. Move up and inch and that etheral nothing disappeared. Move a foot this way and the shadow became more real that the art piece. Or was the shadow the art?

--steve buser

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sundown symphony

Would you get mad at me, if we took a quick break almost as soon as we got started? I know I promised you some exciting shopping down Magazine Street, but I just have to show you this picture I took yesterday coming home in the Jeanerette area on Highway 190.

There was cool front pushing through and as I came north on Highway 90 toward Lafayette, dark clouds of the cool front were starting to clear. The sun took its cue and composee a full length sunset symphony that lasted from about 6 to 7. The sugar cane fields were broad and flat -- affording a panoramic view.

We will get back to shopping in tomorrow's post. I never did a Sky Watch Friday, post, and decided it was time I did. Click the link to see more exciting sky photos.

--steve buser

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Meandering Magazine Street -- shops, shops, shops

You restless like me? Maybe it's the cool weather blowing in.

Look. If you've got a couple hours, I got just the place to cure your Fall's a falling blues. Let's go run down Magazine Street in New Orleans. We can window shop and explore the stores to our hearts delight.

Magazine was holding on before Hurricane Katrina hit. After the storm, it was one of the few commercial corridors that was not flooded and that caused a boom in shops along the busy street. Lately, a few vacancies have been cropping up. Much of that seems, though, to be in newly renovated space.

Magazine is mostly little shops -- some store fronts from the 40's and 50' era and earlier, but also a lot of old homes converted into stores, and galleries. Did I say galleries? Plenty of them. Lots of antique shops and assorted boutiques, too. Some coffee shops, a hardware store or two. Good eating places. A menagerie, as it were, that is just waiting to be explored. One of those fund things to do if you just visiting for a few days and don't want to do the crowd magnets.

Let's start right here. Bella Nola Home Decor. Can it get much more N'Awlins than that.

Come on, this is going to be fun. Wait till tomorrow and you see what I found.

-- steve buser

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fishing buddies

Did you get in some fishing this weekend? Bet you had a buddy along. It's always a more pleasant experience with someone to chat with and to share your catches. Even someone to verify that you did catch the big one.

It would seem from the photo above that birds share that comfy feeling. The great egret on the left seems to relish the presence of his smaller friend as they search the waters of the Audubon Park, New Orleans, lagoon. Occasionally, they would wade to a another location for a little variety, but this day, the pickings seemed slim.

--steve buser

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The horseless hitch

Horsing around a little today. I caught this image down in the French Quarter. The ring in the this horse's nose was used to hitch horse up to the curb. It has been long gone and I suppose the only wear the hitching post has gotten for many years has been the people walking past and rubbing the sidewalk ornament.

I suppose it out lived it's time. In this day and age of rapid innovation, obsolesence is a frequent occurence. We were just emptying a some boxes today and found a case of cassette audio tapes. What do you do with them? We don't own a cassette player. We do even know if any of our friends owns one.

Interesting. How can we stay the same when the world keeps churning all around us?

-- steve buser

Friday, October 17, 2008

Courtyards open to French Quarter's secrets

Remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of busy and narrow French Quarter streets. Enter the world of the courtyard -- lush flowering garden surroundings which give a quiet and relaxed respite.

This isn't how the French Quarter looked originally. (See Sally Reeves' account in Home tours of the French Quarter (remember the Quarter is not just a tourist attraction but a residential area with private homes and shops) include unique views and history of the Quarter.

The creation of the Vieux Carre' Commission in the 1930's has led to the rebirth of the Quarter, whose history has had devastating fires and run down conditions. (The Commission's website notes that New Orleans was actually the first city in the U.S. to pass a ordinance creating a historic district -- creating the first Vieux Carre' commission in 1925. )

The history of the Vieux Carre' also has seen writers and artist such as William Faulkner draw inspiration from its ways.

If you are touring the city, the Quarter has so much more to offer when take time to learn about its history, by tours, books, websites, visits to the library or just asking a native.

--steve buser

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bird Pictures -- on the road to Serendip

Lafreniere Park in Metairie is one of my favorite place to shoot pictures of birds. The birds are somewhat tolerant of humans (the many children visiting with bread and other treats have taught them not to shy to far away). My other and perhaps most favorite spot is the rookery in Audubon Park in New Orleans. I'm still scouting for others.

One thing I learned about shooting birds -- don't be in a hurry. And, if you go to shoot an ibis and end up with a better picture of tri-colored heron, treat it as Serendipity (Wikipedia defines that as "the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.")

I think if we were more open to Serendipity this would be a better world. Read the Wikipedia article. You will find that Henry Walpole who coined the term in 1754 noted calls it "accidental sagacity (for you must observe that no discovery of a thing you are looking for, comes under this description)."

Serendipity for our lives has been stick'em notes, the slinky, small pox vaccine, xrays, penicillin, velcro, chocolate chip cookies, artificial sweetners, Viagra, teflon, gravity (remember the apple) and microwaves.

It is a total wonder to me that most accidental discoveries are never made because people are not in the right mind to receive them.

Wow, that's a long way from shooting pictures of birds isn't it.

The mind wonders.

--steve buser

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The massive love of Fleur de Lis

The envy of every New Orleanian is a collection of impressive Fleur de Lis. While this was true before Katrina. It seems to have multiplied after the storm as a symbol of pride in the city. You can have this massive Fleur De Lis -- the shot is in a window of an antique store down in the French Quarter.

By the way, browsing for antiques is a favorite pastime down in the Quarter.

--steve buser

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pelican searches bedtime snack

Sundown, the food is harder to spot from above. A pelican resort to solitary skimming of the tops of the wavelets in a sm0oth, long glide, looking for that last tasty fish. A full belly makes the dark night seem cozier. This shot is out on the Lake Ponchartrain lakefront of New Orleans.

--steve buser

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oyster stewing

This is real simple. However, that doesn't make it any less of a real predicament.

Let me just state it real simple and plain: I am STEWING over the fact that I haven't had raw oysters in a while. This is the already the second month with an "r" in it.

(The traditional time for oysters in New Orleans is the month with "r" in them. Those are the cooler months. The hot months May, June, July and August have no 'r.' Of course, September is a hot month too, but you can only go so long before cravings beat out the "rules.")

-- steve buser

Friday, October 10, 2008

Its looming, I'm zooming... home

I caught this image some time ago in the New Orleans suburb of Slidell. When you see something like this closing in on you, it's time to put off the grocery shopping and head home.

--steve buser

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Excercise time

Okay, class, this is today's exercise. Stand on one foot. Make a claw out of the other. Now reach down and scratch your belly with your nose.

Come on. I am hearing too much complaining. If this tri-colored heron can do it, you should be able to do it too. This is the easy part. Next we will flap out wings to balance ourselves while we switch feet.

Just another day in the life of a heron -- doing what seems impossible. This was at Lafreniere Park in Metairie, La.

-- steve buser

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Awesome wonder

You ever get the feeling that a sunset was waiting for you to get your camera ready?

Perhaps I should explain.

I was driving home the other day and I saw this cloud forming in the distance -- it did not look like it had enough energy to produce a thunderstorm and the sun was beginning to plan its exit strategy. That would zap it of any energy it had hoped to gather up into a storm.

So, I am driving along toward this cloud and the sun is going lower and lower. I am wondering if there is a place I can pull over and shoot it before it vanishes into the wrong angle, a lack of sunrays, darkness, or a million other things that can go wrong with a sundown shot.

As I am exiting the Earhart Expressway and looking for a quick pull off. The traffic has me hemmed in. I turned quickly onto a feeder street and pulled into a parking lot to grab my camera. As I am getting it set, suddenly the rays start spraying from behind this monolith. I am sure he was thinking "hurry up, I can only do this for a few seconds." I snapped about dozen rapid fire shots thn the sun blew out its candles with an appreciation that it had finished the day in grandeur.

How does the song go ? "O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy mighty hands have made...... then sings my soul."


--steve buser

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A new sunrise in our lives

They say that a photo reveals a lot about a photographer. Well, this one does, but only because of its rarity. This, I think, is the first sunrise picture I have posted on New Orleans Daily Photo.
That is because they have sunrise at the wrong time. If it were in the middle of the day, it would be a more convenient time for me to shoot pictures. But they always seem to have it right at the end of the night before I wake up.

That said, this is a very appropriate shot for our lives. Linda and I have moved back to Beaumont, TX. The opportunity came up suddenly and she had to be at her old job quickly. She used to work for Rita Recovery -- a Methodist program to help needy people recover from Hurricane Rita. Before the recovery was complete, there is now a need for recovery from Hurricane Ike. Including areas like Chambers County and the Bolivar Peninsula which took the surge head on. Also, Bridge City which had about 3,500 homes and only 15 of them were not flooded.

So it we are waking up to a new sunrise.

I will keep posting on this site, but probably less frequently. In a few days, I plan on getting a new site going on Southeast Texas...first, though, give me a few days to unpack... Please. Or as our grandson Sullivan says "Pleeeeeeezzze."

--steve buser

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hurricanes' leftovers being ground away

Some of the aftermath of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav showed up in large piles of fermenting mulching on the parking lot for the New Orleans Zephyrs baseball field.

SRS, the contractor for Jefferson Parish, was using this 80-tons-per-hour chipper to shoot the resulting mulch into about fifty 20-foot piles on the parking lot. It was one of three sites in the parish and one of dozens around the region, trying to eliminate the trash problems.

Fermenting? You didn't really notice it until you got close to the pile, but the smell was that sharp, sweet smell of fermenting biomass. The foreman at the site noted that the piles were being hauled away and would only be there a few days, eliminating the need to keep turning the piles.

And soon, evidence of the two storms, which only had a passing glance of a blow on the New Orleans area.

--steve buser

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pulling up -- egret makes final approach

I guess I am fixated on landings this week. Oh, go ahead, you can agree. It's true.

This is another shot of a cattle egret pulling up and ready to thrust his feet out to catch a branch. This was shot at Audubon Park in New Orleans near the end of the nesting season, so you can be sure, this egret is bringing back a tasty meal for his/her over anxious young ones.

--steve buser

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cattle egret shows grace in landing

It's amazing that birds are so graceful in flying. Consider the 'simple' act of landing. This cattle egret at Audubon Park in New Orleans does and amazing set of controls as he gets ready to snatch a limb in flight. He drops he legs from the straight back position and slowly moves them forward to check his last bits of motion.

He curves his wings around to pick up more lift as he slows by also using the wings as air breaks, including an forward flap or two if necessary because he is coming in to fast.

He fixes his eye on his target. At the last second, the goal is to glide up to the limb with little forward motion left and settle on to it.

--steve buser

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Add some zap to your day

Feel like you could use a zap this morning? Glad to oblige.

The photo is from the Louisiana Children's Museum in New Orleans. We took our grandkids there awhile back and found out it had things to entertain kids of all ages. (well, my age for sure -- although, its web site only has things like special toddlers days: I didn't see any special grandpa days. Tis a shame).

-- steve buser