January 1 is Theme Day on City Daily Photo -- more than one hundred sites participate. The theme for this start of the month is Paths and Passageways. I chose this shot of St. Ann Street in the French Quarter. It passes alongside Jackson Square. It is a kind of passage way between the parking lots and Mississippi river venues and the heart of the French Quarter along Royal and Bourbon Streets.
One more shot from the Bacchus Parade last year. This shot is on Napolean Avenue. A great spot that is not too crowded. That is not to say that the "Throw me something" yells don't fill the air. It's a real fun atmosphere. The lights of the float, the flambeaux carriers, the tractor lights, and an occasional street light add to the ambiance. Parades this year start in just a week -- just the weekends at first, until closer to Mardi Gras when they are every night and eventually every night and day.
The sun was practicing its brush stokes a in a kind of haphazard fashion a few weeks ago. Apparently, it was practicing its large motor skills with a unbalanced palette -- seeking to strike new ground ... er... make that "new sky." It didn't have a lot of time. Bedtime comes so fast.
I know you won't believe again, so I won't even try to convince you. Let me just put out my case the way it happened. I report, you decide.
I had set up this shot to shoot this group of houses on the Mandeville lakeshore (across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans.) It was a foggy day and I thought the birds in the foreground (maybe midground) would make a great contrast with the foggy, fuzzy houses.
I shot one photo and was adjusting my camera up a little bit to better center it, when this brown pelican in the middle flies in and sits right near the middle. I guess he was jealous of the seagulls getting all the notoriety.
Anyway, the fog wasn't thick enough for much fuziness, but I think the picture turned out okay in spite of that.
If I were a bird, and I give my assurance that I am not. I think it would be my favorite daily pastime to climb to a height where I could catch the thermals. Then I would stretch out my wings and force the wind to hold me aloft. I wouldn't get tired doing it. I guess, though, that the wind would probably tire of it.
There is still some chance, albeit slight, that you have not yet got your Mardi Gras on and are therefore not ready for the big one.
So, I have stepped forward and taken on the task of reminding you of what it feels like to be in the biggest party in the world. This is a seen from the Krewe of Toth Parade last year. The site is on Magazine Street and the crowd as you can see if mostly family oriented. Still, yelling and screaming for the perfect pair of beads or the most desired trinket is de rigeur
If you want a feel for the music "et tout" check out this youtube.com of Professor Longhair
In case you thought that paddlewheel out there in the middle of the Mississippi River was just a decoration -- take a look at the massive cranks that pushes that thing around. After all, when you take a boat that big and put on a couple hundred people or more, you have to move a lot of water to push them around.
I got a real treat out of looking in the engine room.
I can't think of anything that more epitomizes the genteel New Orleans life that a light luncheon the porch of the Audubon Park golf course club house. Sitting under ceiling fans and gawking at an occasional golfer wandering by, it is easy to pass more lunch time that you had set aside.
The golf course features contoured fairways, four lagoons and exquisite landscaping on a par 62, 4,220-yard layout set among hundred year-old oak trees.
The park opened in 1898 --thus the hundred-hundred-year-old oaks including this glen sitting in between the club house and the lagoon.
This penquin was standing very still. He even appears to have his eyes shut. Maybe he was sleeping on the job. Nonetheless, the kids had a lot of fun seeing him at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. We thought wewould be in there for a couple hours -- it was almost five hours later before we emerged to head down into the French Quarter.
Oh, by the way. When I said the kids enjoyed it, several of those were packing on the years, if you know what I mean.
The French Quarter of New Orleans looks quite a bit different from above. This photo from the garage of One Canal place shows the rising sun burnishing the facade of St. Louis Cathedral. The Cathedral's huge face looks down on Jackson Square which you can't make out here. But the Cabildo sits on this side of the Cathdral. Seeming to jut out from there you can see the back side of the apartments that line St. Ann Street along Jackson Square. In the distant is the more residential area of the Quarter.
A imature white Ibis (Eudocimus albus)>at Lafreniere Park in Kenner. THe old race-track-converted-to-park as one of the best natural setting I have ever seen -- and apparently the birds appreciate it, too.
I love the architectural details on the buildings in the city. This faux column piece is on the old Werleinsbuilding on Canal Street in New Orleans. Werlein was a noted record publisher (not all of that 'noted' was good -- read the history.) The store is now occupied by the storied and swank Palace Cafe.
I remember as a youth making Werlein's one of my stops on my frequent trips to Canal Street. It was just a big fabulous music store. . I loved to wonder among all the grand pianos they had on display. The store closed in the beginning of 2003.
ps: Our son Charlie competed in the Houston Marathon this weekend. He started running marathons with his one, a year ago. He has a lot under his belt since then. See the account in my new blog : Southeast Texas Daily Photo.
Feel like a little stretching this morning. This Brown Pelican got his gumption up. He is not stretching, though, because he is sleepy or just waking up. The ferry boat from Canal Street in heart of New Orleans over to Algiers (actually the other way around) is coming up to dock. That means a good chance that it will stir up a few fish. It is going to be a good meal. Stretch that throat and get readdy.
Another Lake Pontchartrain Sunset. The sun is taking one last peak from under its cover of clouds. Just like a little boy who is fighting going to sleep. This is a SkyWatch Friday Post. Go and check out more Skywatch images at theSkywatch Site!
St. Louis Cathedral by twilight. The grand ole Cathedral is the de-facto visual icon of New Orleans. It is fun to take pictures of the church from different angles -- plenty easy to do, because it sets across from Jackson Square and you can easily see it from the Moon Walk, along the Mississippi River.
I thought that I had posted more about it. I suppose I forgot to add a label here and there. But here are a couple of old posts with more photos and/or information on the cathedral.
It's fun to examine the smaller details on the older buildings of the French Quarter. I guess we would call this something similar to a sofit vent or a gable end vent. They just don't make them like this any more with cast iron work. Notice the symbolism. You can also notice the wire mesh behind the iron grate to keep the pigeons out -- I'll bet that wasn't part of the original.
Gaze down a street in the New Orleans French Quarter and it seems as though you are looking back in time. Then let your gaze wander up and you see the office and hotel towers from the center of the city and you leap back to the 21rst Century.
I cannot explain to you why I never posted this picture that I took last April. I was just standing out in the parking lot when a late afternoon thunderstorm was beating its breast and trying to swallow the sun. At the right on the bottom is a tree that stood with me against the storm.
The storm is, of course, gone now. Despite all its fury and roaring, I have reduced it to a few black, red and yellow tones.
There were sweet, deep-throated melodies from a street musician who was plying his trade outside of Cafe Du Monde one morning.
We were there with the family for the famous beignets-- deep fried bisquits avalanched in powdered sugar. Cafe Du Monde is a nice place to take a rest right in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, across from Jackson Square. With its outdoors covered patio, it's also a great place to gawk at all the passers-by.
Today is theme day -- "Best photo of the year 2008". I chose this one because, when it is all said and done, it is Mardi Gras which best defines New Orleans -- it is a participation sport in which the whole city takes part. Some families have their decades old traditions. Other spend weeks planning a new Mardi Gras celebration -- a new parade, a new costume, a new set of friends.
When it is all said and done, everyone heads home with bags of beads and trinkets that they really have no use for. Six weeks later it is all in the trash or given to out of town relatives, or sold to a recycling shop.
Mardi Gras isn't so much about what you catch as how you catch it.