I had a fun little weekend trip to New Orleans this time last year and I found myself reflecting on it today, longing to return in the near future.
Below is a blog I originally posted on my other website, www.nicolekovacs.com, but I thought I should share the photos on my photography site. Makes sense.
May 1, 2012
I recently embarked on my first trip to New Orleans and, true to form, had my camera attached to me almost the whole time. I awoke before the sun 2 days in a row (Really, who does that in New Orleans? Aren't we supposed to be sleeping off our hangovers at that hour?) to go out and photograph the city before it opened its sleepy eyes. What's amazing is how different of an experience I had from morning to night in the Big Easy.
The mornings were so quiet, with the sun's warm light rising to illuminate the streets, the old men having their morning coffee on their front porch step, the residents walking their dogs, and of course, the people whose faces were painted with regret, stumbling back to their hotels in their clothes from the night before.
I loved talking to the senior residents and hearing their stories of old New Orleans and the history behind the doors of their character-filled homes.
One of my most exciting finds in the wee hours of the morning was the warehouse where all the Mardi Gras statues and floats are stored. I later learned that they offer tours of it, but I was lucky enough to be driving by while the doors were wide open and the only inhabitants were the stoic faces of Uncle Sam, Elvis Presley, the Statue of Liberty and Humpty Dumpty, among others. I quietly walked across the creeky wood planks and stood alone with all the characters of Mardi Gras past, photographing their eerie existence as the morning light crept in. As soon as I found my way out of the warehouse, the doors closed behind me and the day begun.
My days in the city were filled with more wonderful seafood that I had space to fit (DO try the shrimp and grits with fried green tomatoes at Le Bayou... I'll be dreaming of it for weeks to come), and be sure to find time to check out the artists' work hanging on the wrought iron fences surrounding a park in the French Quarter. I even bought a piece of artwork that I'm totally in love with.
The nights brought a completely different world. The streets were overflowing with tourists, all out to soak in the lively atmosphere that New Orleans is famous for, with beads flying off balconies, street performers dazzling the crowd and drinks such as hurricanes and voodoo juice in hand.
There's a certain feeling of freedom that New Orleans has to offer; I can't quite describe it, but you know when you're there. Now, I can't wait to go back and get another taste of The Big Easy. I can only imagine what beautiful things and interesting people I'll come across next time.
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