Friday, August 31, 2007

Reflecting on the water

Want a place for reflection? This pavillion on the lakefront in Mandeville seems to beckon. Sunset Point had been closed for upgrades and repairs, but the favorite watery outlook is back open. Mandeville is the city just across Lake Pontchartrain (to the North) from New Olreans. Take the 23-mile long Causeway for a pleasant drive or, if you've got the time, just get your sailboat out and sail across.

--steve buser

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Double you

The W Hotel is one of New Orleans finer hotels.

The former Crowne Plaza Hotel on Poydras Street just blocks from the river was bought in 2000 by W Hotels and revitalized into a plush experience -- touches like a lobby with hard wood maple floors joined by a winding marble stairway. This shot is from down the street in the cavernous over hang of a nearby building. Notice the art piece to the left. It seems to be trying to mimic the W.

--steve buser

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pump it up!

The US Army Corps of Engineers and its contractor were testing the newly installed closure structure at the 17th Street Canal while I was in the area. I decided to run by an watch for a second. On the top, the test is just started -- the pumps (there are nine pumps on this side of the canal -- more on the other side.) slowly start to push water into Lake Pontchartrain.

Slowly, they turn on more and pump up the water flow. When a new pump and outflow pipe go into action, you see the sight below -- water and a lot of trapped air explode out of the pipe. Then it settles into a steady, massive flow. In the case of hurricanes, the gate can be closed so that no lake water can flow into the canal. The canal would then be emptied into the lake with these massive pumps.

It was the hurricane protection walls about 1/2 mile back up in this canal that failed in Katrina leading to massive flooding. This new equipment protects the walls of the canal from getting overloaded.

This is a vast improvement to the pre-Katrina abilities to get water out of the city and keep it out.

-- steve buser

Oh, sorry I've been down for a couple days -- we changed internet providers. But I'm back now.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Duck, goose.

It was hard to tell who was more animated in this scene, the Canadian geese, or the girl.

These geese are residents of the ponds in front of the Northshore Regional Medical Center in Mandeville and are a favorite with kids and moms. By the way, "mom" is just out of the camera to the right, with a watchful, but playful eye on the menagerie.

--steve buser

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bright, bold and beady

They're everywhere. Little reminders of intense fun. This is the statue of Jean D'Arc in the Vieux Carré. Notice the beads hanging from the horses ears and on Jean herself.

Just part of the scenery.

--steve buser

Friday, August 24, 2007

Purple, Green and Gold fever is sprouting

This is one of a series of hanging baskets in the French Quarter. It's meant to be a livin "Purple, Green and Gold" -- the colors of Mardi Gras. The colors sprout up everywhere in New Orleans because the gentry here live the festival year round. There are two season in New Orleans, Mardi Gras season and waiting-for-Mardi-gras season.

Did I tell you that this is one of the earlies Mardi Gras ever. Don't let me repeat myself. Just check out this post for the story on how the date for Mardi Gras is picked. Mardi Gras is February 5th this year -- hasn't been that early since 1983. Make sure you mark your calendar and get your reservations now, because as you can see from the photo, Mardi Gras fever is sprouting everywhere.

--steve buserCheck out these other city daily photo sites for today (or yesterday, depending where in the world you are.)
Joplin Daily Photo A statue that could fit well in New Orleans.
Stayton, Oregon -- a nifty moon shot.
Norwich Daily Photo -- an awesome Gothic hallway
Boston Daily Photo -- sails in the sunset

And for that Wow! shot
Joensuu Daily Photo -- that last, still, summer day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wave waiting

You've got little ritual's you do down at the beach, don't you. Spread out the towel, dip the toes in the water.

These guys have a pretty regular routine at the Mandeville lakefront on Lake Pontchartrain. They line up on the pier and wait for the waves to wash over their feet. Of course, the occasional wave will scare a few of them up into the air as it lurches at them. But there is always the brave feathery beast who wins that game of chicken.

Maybe this is the avian form of surfing. A way to pass a hot summer day.

--steve buser

Some Other Daily Photo Sites you will want to check out today
Nottingham -- urban art
River Falls -- wet sunflower
Greenville -- New Orleans style jazz at the Piazza
Quincy -- Belfast Maine harbor area building

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Surf's up -- way up!

A digression from New Orleans for today --

Ever had a place you couldn't get out of your mind? We took a cruise from New Orleans down to the Yucatan Peninsula about a year ago. It is weighing heavy on me this morning because this little village in Costa Maya took a direct hit from Hurricane Dean yesterday. Sure, it has weathered storms before, but, a Category 5 storm coming at you at 20 miles an hour is sure going to change the landscape.You can see the structures are not very substantial. (I like to call the photo above "Beachfront condo" but I think this is a motel)-- easy to rebuild. Nonetheless, this kind of storm gives you little to rebuild from.

I tell everyone that there is a chair down there a few feet out in the water with my name on it. Not so sure about that any more.

I guess that's why you have photos... the dream lives on

--steve buser

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This is one of New Orleans public libraries. It sits on St. Charles Avenue and commands an impressive view from the street. The library is still suffering some of the ill effects of the hurricane -- you can't necessarily see it here (maybe by clicking on it for the large view) bu several of the terra cotta tiles (for instance) on the roof are missing and have temporary patches in their place. I love the big expansive porch. You can see that the lights on the left stay on to keep it from looking too dark.

-- steve buser

Monday, August 20, 2007

Splashing good time

Cool, splashing water. Cool, splashing water. Cool, splashing water.

What a theme for days such as these. The hot, dog days of summer. A high pressure system is building in. It will keep Hurricane Dean down in the Caribbean away from us, but will probably also suppress clouds and keep temperatures way up. Anything cool will be appreciated.

These dancers are from the fountain in front of the Energy Center.

Cool, splashing water. (Keep repeating)

--steve buser

By the way, I'm going to start making a point to add new City Daily Photo blogs to the list on the right.

Today I added:

Södertörn (Sweden)

Miaimi (USA)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Scraping the sky

A couple more views of the Energy Building in New Orleans CBD. Clad with solid polished granite panels and reflective bronze glass, it is the 4th tallest building in New Orleans and the state The shot below is with the six-story water fall monolith in the plaza in the front.

-steve buser

Saturday, August 18, 2007

House of Blue Shutters

More blue shutters. Thought I would do one more house of blue shutters before I moved on. This is another French Quarter house with the bright blues. Actually, I am surprised, but the colors work. But then again, I've got the New Orleans slant on color schemes -- I think green, gold and purple go together.

--steve buser

Friday, August 17, 2007

Face only a mother could love.

How about a cutie like this for a pet? I'm driving down Esplanade in Kenner the other day with my window rolled down and pulled up to a stop light. Off to my left, this guy and several of his compadres were waddling up from the canal to the cars. They were staring right at me and the other drivers. Apparently they must have a following that throws them crumbs. He was very surprised I didn't toss something out.

--steve buser

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blues in the French Quarter

Ever thought about painting your shutters bright blue? Never crossed my mind. I have seen a few bright blue shutter photos on other City Daily Photo blogs recently and it got me to looking around. We were down in the Vieux Carre' (French Quarter) recently when I noticed this blue and yellow design.

On another note. I promised not to complain about the weather. But I thought I would bring you a few more updates, because weather blogs seemed to have exploded on the City Daily Photo sites. And why not, with three active tropical system, the hotest weather ever sprouting up everywhere, flooding and more. Some posts of note:

Department Store -- Little Rock (AK) Daily Photo

The Return of Rain -- Baton Rouge (LA) Daily Photo

Have You Heard of Hurricane Flossie? --Wailea, Hawaii Daily Photo

the temperature on the parking lot was 107! -- Van Buren (AK) Daily Photo

Hay making near South Shields -- South Shields Daily Photo (UK)

The hottest season in Japan -- Tokyo, Japan Daily Photo

Tropical Storm Erin -- Brownsville (TX) Daily Photo

--steve buser

Freshening the French Market

The New Orleans French Market is getting a new face lift. Above, a section of the market is all polished up and ready to be occupied. Then Presto! below the vendors move in and life is restored. The hum and bustle of shoppers trying to find that perfect bargain is restored.

The historic market has its roots in 1791, making it the oldest farmers market in the country -- though you'll find little to eat there. It's mostly just tourist souvenirs, art work and the like.

Now that work is finished on this section, the work moves to the other half of the maket.

--steve buser

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tale of Two Towers

The two buildings in the picture are in stark contrast. In the foreground is the Energy Center. Though it suffered damages in the hurricane, it is back in full swing. The 39-story building is the 4th tallest in New Orleans. The building built in 1984 has stunning views of the Mississippi River from its bay windows.

The tower on the right however has a different tale. The Crescent City Towers (formerly the Plaza Towers) was for four years the highest building in New Orleans (1969-1972). It has fallen on hard times. It has been unused since 2002. A couple years ago, it was proposed to turn the building into residences (Crescent City Residences) but the $134 million plan fell apart when the development group could not reach a deal it wanted with the city to capture part of the tax dollars the project would generate. The 45-story building was recently auctioned for $583,000 to Plainfield Direct Inc., the Cayman Island bank which held the note on the building. The amount was enough to cover taxes due on the property.

--steve buser

Monday, August 13, 2007

Heat advisory -- stay cool

Time for all the hot jokes, because it's hotter than ever. Record temperatures in New Orleans and all around. Heat Advisories. Officially the temperature hit 99 degrees. My car thermometer disagrees with that. This is after I had been driving for 20 minutes, so it's not one of those temps you get when just start up your car after parking on concrete. Of course, I am driving on concrete and the Weather Bureau guys probably take the temperature in the shade.

I checked the weather bureau's climate statistics for yesterday and found this
WEATHER CONDITIONS                                           
No significant weather? It was hot enough to buckle the sidewalk!

By the way, it rarely hits 100 in New Orleans. The average high temp for August 12 is 91 degrees. That's because of the humidity -- it keeps the temperature lower. Although it does not make it "feel" any lower.

Lot of people on the Daily City Photo blogs are talking about the weather these days. Some even talking about how cool it is (remember these are all over the world). Thought I would give you a sampling -- (click the links to jump to their blogs)

yup, still raining... Zurich
More rain -- Port Villa,Vanautu
under the shady tree -- Chandler, AZ
Light -- Wichita, KS
thunderstorm rolling in -- Colorado Springs
Just A Sprinkle--Stayton
Coffee on a stormy evening-- Jacksonville, FL
Water wall at Vietcombank -- Saigon, Vietnam
storms brought welcome rain -- St. Paul, MN

Enjoy --

-- steve buser

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hot time in the Quarter.

Three days without rain and we're begging for it to come back. We're begging for anything that will relieve this oppressive heat. Last night at 8 p.m. coming across the Causeway (way out over the water) it was 100 degrees on the car thermometer!.

My son Shawn (other son, if you were reading last week) and his wife Sarah were in town. So see if you can guess where we went. You're right! Down to the Quarter for for beignets. Below, Shawn jokes that he will teach Sarah how to eat them.
The last pic today is of Shawn, Sarah and my wife, Linda, walking past St. Louis Cathedral, perhaps the most well-known landmark in New Orleans -- the oldest Cathedral in the United States. The first church on the site was built in 1727. Through fires and toils of the centuries it has re-risen and been reinvigorated time after time.

Check this web site for interior pictures. Check this site for more on the history.

--steve buser

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Brassy legends

Al Hirt and Pete Fountain, two New Orleans legends of jazzy make a brassy appearance down in the French Quarter at Legends Park, 311 Bourbon Street. Alios Maxwell Hirt was born in New Orleans and went to Cincinatti to study at the Cincinatti Conservatory of Music. He played with a lot of local bands before opening his own club in the Quarter. Who can forget his golden horn in the hit "Java?"

Pete Fountain is legendary with his licorice stick -- the clarinet that can sing. He played with Lawrence Welk and the Dukes of Dixieland before opening his own club in the Quarter. Pete was a founder and is the most prominent member of The Half Fast Walking Club, maybe the best known marching Krewes that parades down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day. The self-proclaimed "Prince of Mardi Gras" has done command performances for four president. If you have heard his rendition of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" then you have been blessed.

They're part of a three-statue display. Just off screen to the right is Fats Domino -- more on him another time.

--steve buser

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fleet, firmly focused,

The muscle strain. The day grows long, the focus harder. The way narrows.

What do bicycle riders want? A long narrow, scenic strip away from traffic. The Mississippi River levees seem made to order. This bike and walking path runs from uptown New Orleans several miles up river. It's a favorite exercise place any day of the week. There's a proposal to extend it all the way to Baton Rouge. Talk about exercise!

--steve buser

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Slow sundown sashay

What is your favorite time for that daily walk along the lakefront? Is it that long-shadow time as the sun is fluffing up it's pillow for the night.

Here, two couples enjoy the stroll along Mandeville's lakefront. You can still get a glimpse of the sun under the canopy of the 100-year-old Live Oak trees, but the shadows stretch for dozens of yards across the grass carpet. It's a bit cooler than the afternoon, but still the humidity keeps your walk to slow stroll.. as they say in New Orleans, a slow sashay.

--steve buser

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hoist the main sail, the race is on

You're back on the lakefront in Mandeville again, and they have a regata going out past the break water. You'll need a good lens to capture the action. But, with plenty of sails and a little bravery you can get a good pic. Bravery? Well, the closest shot to that action is to walk out on the jetty. It's about a foot and a half wide and 300 feet long.

Out there with the water all around you, the taste and smell of the lake envelopes you and you immerse yourself in the feeling of sailing. The gentle breeze swells your sail. The race is on.

--steve buser

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Dog-gone Truth

Want the doggone truth about your future? Then step up.

This little guy was apparently card-sitting for his medium, who must have been away in a trance. The scene is down in the French Quarter by Jackson Square.

--steve buser

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Feathers in the fountain

This may be just a outdoor fountain to you, but believe me, the sight of all that splashing water really excites our feather friends.

We were down in Jackson Square in the French Quarter, waiting outside St. Louis Cathedral for the ladies. I noticed there was a steady line formed for a chance to splash in this fountain. Several birds in the nearby trees were taking turns zooming in for a shower, a bath and a sip, before passing the torch to the next one in line.

The little fellow below, took a little longer than most, and I was able to capture him doing his morning freshening up.

--steve buser

Beignets for breakfast

Our son, Charlie is in town this week so we were down in the French Quarter at the Cafe Du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait. Above is the powdery treats for the group. Below, make mine with no sugar. Surprising, they are very tasty that way.

Below is our group. On the right is my wife and me then her sister, Maryanne. Charlie is the one in the white shirt. On the left is our nephew Von.

--steve buser

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Up and over

I have this fascination with bridges. They are not just engineering projects, but also works of art.

But stop. We have some unfinished businesses. I couldn't get the gif thing to work yesterday.
You really need to see it. But beware, the picture is about 800k. Could take a while if you have a slow connection. Anyway, I was just playing around to see what it might look like. Give it time to load, a picture will appear, but the other frames take a little while longer. Tell me what you think. Click here.

Back to the bridge above. This is the Crescent City Connection connecting the East Bank and West Bank of New Orleans. I showed you the top view a few weeks ago. This is the underneath view from the Port of New Orleans office.

--steve buser

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sunday slowdown

A shots I took from a cruise ship last year as we coasted into New Orleans early on a Sunday morning. One week of fun. One tired Sunday. This was supposed to be a series of images in a gif. Worked fine on my computer but apparently blogspot doesn't support animated gifs.

--steve buser

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Good, morning breakfast

Oops. Yesterday (August 1) slipped up o me faster than I thought. It was theme day on the City Daily Photo sites. Theme this month was "Typical Breakfast."

I'm doing penance this morning. Posting this picture a day late. Here's my typical breakfast. Cheerios and a banana. Maybe sometime other fruit -- cherries. grapes. And when we have it a cup of yogurt.

--steve buser

To see more theme day participants, go here (you may have to page down at each site to see their breakfast post from yesterday):
Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Shanghai, China - Zurich, Switzerland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Lyon, France - Naples (FL), USA - Olympia (WA), USA

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Don't look up!

Don't look up. You just might get a sense of vertigo with all the construction going on around here. I've been watching this particular building construction for several weeks now. They are renovating an old building downtown and adding several floors.

This "spanner" is maybe 7 stories up, and he steps across the gap as if he was on the sidewalk. I get that crunchy feeling in my stomach just watching. But if you look down just below him, you can see his safety harness.

--steve buser