Virtual Travel – Louisiana

Bonjour de la Louisiana. Our trip today takes us to the bayou.

 

1977 – Bogue Chitto River. This river is 65 miles north of New Orleans in a park with more than 1,000 acres.

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1979 – Bayou. Much of southern Louisiana is made up of bayous and swamps.

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2005

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The residents of these parts are very proud of their alligators.

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The bayous have a unique beauty.

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1981 – Acadia. This area of Louisiana has the strongest French culture. In Louisiana the counties are known as parishes. Some of the parishes in this area are over 25% French speaking (although not a French someone from Paris or Montreal would likely easily understand).

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We passed through this area in 2019, making a stop at the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island.

 

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Acadia is rice growing country.

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In New Ibiera is the Conrad Rice Mill, America’s oldest.

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1984 – Mississippi River. The river is the economic driver for Louisiana.

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Bridges in New Orleans.

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Many overseas freighters come up the river to New Orleans to dock and offload.

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The tourist sternwheeler leaves for a tour.

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Upriver at the crossing from Vicksburg, Mississippi to the town of Delta, Louisiana.

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1986 – 1992 – 2001 – Music

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New Orleans is music, food and partying.

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1990 – Flowers

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With the warm weather and abundant rain, Louisiana has amazing flora and fauna.

 

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1998 – State Capitol. While New Orleans is the center of the world for all things Louisiana, Baton Rouge is the capital.

 

 

 

2002 & 2007 – Food

 

Louisiana is known for food, primarily (photos from Wikipedia)

Crawfish

Louisiana Crawfish Boil - This Ole Mom

 

Po-boys

Best Po-Boys in Louisiana - Thrillist

 

And Beignets

Beignets Recipe: New Orleans-Style Fried Dough - PureWow

 

 

 

2003 – Louisiana Purchase (historic New Orleans)

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New Orleans was the center of the French owned territory in the new world.  The Cabildo is beside St Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter.

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The French Quarter is representative of the city at that time (except for all the dive bars).

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2018 – Birds

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2019 05 20 206 Avery Island LA Tabasco Factory and Gardens.jpgAvery Island, Louisiana has a very impressive bird sanctuary.

 

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Favorites of 2019

A great year of sights – these are my favorite 30 photos of 2019, with brief explanations why they are my favorites.

Chicago – Willis (Sears) Tower. The perspective of people out of their elements.





Washington – The former Capital Columns in the Arboretum. The morning lighting with the wildflowers and contrast of the columns.





Washington – Embassy Open House Day – and a young lady’s perfect timing next to their logo.





Near Frankfurt, Kentucky – I have a thing about old, seemingly abandoned buildings. This however had been reclaimed and re-used for it’s original purpose – bourbon storage and aging.





New Orleans – Mardis Gras World. It was like stepping into some psychedelic movie.





Avery Island, Louisiana – The symmetry of the rice fields with another old building.





Houston – The home of quirky art. This is from Lucky Land, a very cool place.





Houston quirky art part 2 – Giant President Heads.





San Antonio mission. Symmetry and historic architecture.





Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch, but after a storm where they appeared to be in a pond.





Columbus Zoo and a zoom lens. The statement in the face and amazing beauty of the animals.









Montreal – Ferris Wheel in Old Montreal – Perfect timing and lighting (just lucky on the timing).





Marietta, Ohio – Sternwheeler festival.





Chicago – Open House and another fantastic ceiling/light.





Buenos Aires – obviously the extended period spent in Argentina has opened a new world of photo possibilities. Recoleta Cemetery is the most popular tourist spot in the city, and I had the good fortune of some young lady there for (I suspect) a photo shoot when she ran by the row I was in, turned and posed for me! Who doesn’t want a photo of a young lady running through a cemetery with a knife.




Recoleta Cemetery provides so many great shots – the cob webs are natural, not staged.




The tomb of San Martin.





The La Boca neighborhood is known as a working class neighborhood in love with their team – La Boca juniors. The old car symbolizes the working class neighborhood and it was parked in front of the soccer practice fields with their bright colors on the walls.






Chacarita Cemetery is not as famous as Recoleta, but still a very stunning place.





The sunrises and sunsets can be amazing.









An hour drive out of town to San Antonio de Areco, and their gaucho festival was the event of the year. 4000 people and horses dressed for the occasion.





The Jacaranda trees are fantastic in bloom.






On a walking tour of street art the passer by’s sometimes fit the theme.






The Casa Rosada. A great courtyard and a bemused guard.










Hockey in Argentina – bring that soccer passion inside and combine it with hockey.





Finally – Bariloche, a beautiful mountain and lakes region.





New Orleans – May 2019 – One Final Look

We had a great few days in the Big Easy, coming away with fantastic memories, and lots of photographs.

Nola = New Orleans, LA (abbreviation for Louisiana) NOLA



Nola is a city with their own language and culture.



The home of jazz music.



One of the best places for local food like Po’ Boys is Mothers.



There are plenty of horse drawn carriages for the tourists, resulting in carriage jams.




The number of wide boulevards are surprising for such an old city.




Louis Armstrong Park – more Nola celebrating jazz.




The locals are friendly, and at times had free beer!



The French Quarter, while touristy, is a unique place.



Plenty of street entertainment.




St Louis Cathedral is impressive.



More views of the Quarter.




Plenty of Voodoo stores to choose from, should you need them.




Did I mention music!




But this New Orleans parade is over….




Time to roll on out of town. À la prochaine.





New Orleans – May 2019 – Then and Now

With a few days in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to search out some ‘time travel’ photo ops.

Carondelet Street at Canal Street. The buildings on the corners seem similar in size, but very different. Looking down the street reveals one that is still the same.




Chartres Street in the French Quarter.





The Cotton Exchange. As noted in a previous posting the Cotton Exchange Building was torn down in the early 1920s and replaced with a more stable, but less opulent, building.




The End of Canal Street. There used to be a statue at the streetcar turnaround. The statue still exists, just a few blocks away in a park (which is shown in the Public Art posting). The streetcars are still there, just not horse drawn.

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The French Market. The market has a checkered past, but now is a coffee shop.




The Opera House. This building was located in the French Quarter. It has been torn down and replaced with a new, but period correct, hotel.





St Charles Street headed into the CBD. The first block is very similar, beyond that are dramatically different with the skyscrapers replacing the smaller buildings.

New Orleans – May 2019 – The Central Business District

When most people think of New Orleans they think of the French Quarter, or other major tourist spots. But New Orleans is more than that – it is a major city with large corporate and government buildings.

New Orleans refers to their downtown area as the CBD (Central Business District).

Below is the Supreme Court of Louisiana Building. While it is technically in the French Quarter it is unlike all the other structures in the area with it’s classical look.



Also nearby is the St Louis Cathedral.



Canal Street is the divider between the Quarter and the CBP. It is lined with commercial business, many of which are in 100 year old + buildings.



The Royal Crescent Hotel has an impressive amount of detail on the exterior.



This level of detail is found on many of the early 1900 buildings.



A mix of old and new New Orleans.



Completed in 1972 the Hancock Whitney Center has been the tallest building in the city (and state) since it’s completion. For most of it’s history it was known as One Shell Plaza.

The exterior is Italian travertine, which caused many to be concerned of it’s durability during a strong storm, however it stood up to Hurricane Katrina.



Now a Hilton Hotel, this ornate building was completed in 1927 as the Grand Lodge of the Freemasons of Louisiana.

When opened it had a 1000 person theater and three ballrooms.



The Whitney Bank clock is a New Orleans heirloom.



The Cotton Exchange Building was completed in 1920, replacing a previous, more ornate building of the same name.



The Energy Centre is the 4th tallest building in the city, at 530′ high. It is located across the street from the Superdome.



A view of the plaza in front of the Superdome.



The DXC Technologies building also is in the Superdome neighborhood. While not especially tall it has a clean lines look to it



But no matter the height of the skyscrapers nothing dominates the New Orleans skyline like the Superdome.

New Orleans – May 2019 – Getting Around The Big Easy

Getting to and around New Orleans has always been an adventure. Situated near the mouth of the Mississippi, the city is essentially surrounded by water and swamps.

While most people likely fly into the airport, or take I-10 from Mobile or Baton Route, the best route into the city by car is from the north across Lake Pontchartrain.



The Lake Pntchartrain Causeway is a 24 mile long bridge. Completed in the 1950s it is to this day the longest bridge in the world over water.



Which results in a funny looking navigation system – we are in the middle of the lake, still 14 miles from shore.



Eventually you get close enough to see the skyline of the city off in the distance.



Once you make it to town you see plenty of the ride share bicycles.



Although this person chose his own unique ride.



The Port of New Orleans is one of the busiest ports in the country, with constant ships coming in off the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi River.



The tugboats stay busy all day.



At the base of Canal Street is the tourist ship The Natchez, a faux stern-wheeler.



The best transportation however are the streetcars.





New Orleans turned out to be a fairly easy city to navigate.






New Orleans – May 2019 – St Charles Streetcar Line

The St Charles Street Streetcar line is the oldest continuously used street railway route in the world. Streetcars first started rolling down this way almost 200 years ago, in 1833.

The current cars were built by a company called Perley Thomas in the 1920s.



As the route leaves downtown it passes through the Garden District neighborhood, with a number of small shops and cafes.



Some of the homes have been converted into B & Bs.



Further out you pass educational facilities such as Tulane and Loyola.





The Audubon Zoo is along this route as well.



The homes of the Garden District are a highlight. Many are quite large, and all are beautifully maintained.











As you make your way past Riverbend and onto Carrollton Avenue the homes become somewhat smaller, but still nicely maintained.



It takes about an hour and a half to ride the entire distance out and back on the St Charles Streetcar, but it is well worth the time, and the very low fares.






New Orleans – May 2019 – Botanical & Sculpture Gardens

City Park in New Orleans is a perfect place to escape the hustle of the city and relax. It is larger than Central Park in New York, with a number of attractions throughout, including the New Orleans Botanical Garden.



There is an impressive piazza just across the street.



The street itself is lined with Live Oaks, complete with Spanish Moss.



The Arrival Garden is colorful, with the flowers growing up the wall.



There is a nearby sculpture garden, as well as sculptures scattered throughout the gardens themselves.






The walkway was in full bloom.



Most of the gardens were destroyed by the flood waters from Hurricane Katrina, but with donations and volunteers from all over the country it has recovered nicely.



The Train Garden is designed to represent New Orleans in the early 1900s. It has over 1300′ of track, and on weekends they run the trains.




The Yakumo Nihon Teien Japanese Garden was completed by the Japanese Garden Society of New Orleans.



Throughout the gardens are well placed sculptures to accent the flowers and plants.



City Park is home to more Live Oaks than any other urban space in the country.



A view inside the Conservatory of the Two Sisters.



A final look back towards the gardens.



And the Arrival Garden becomes our Departure Garden.



As a spectacular bonus just across the street is the Casino Building, which is being restored. Just outside on this beautiful day was the Cafe du Monde beignet truck!

No need to fight the crowd in the French Quarter, we had wonderful, warm, powdery beignets in the relative calm (along with 30 4th graders on a field trip!) of the park.






New Orleans – May 2019 – Mardi Gras World

New Orleans does parades better than any other city in America, possibly the world. For Mardi Gras season alone there are more than 75 parades.

Making the props and floats for the parades is a big business. The largest company in this industry is Kern Studios.



In 1947 Blaine Kern was hired to make a float after someone had seen his work on a mural. From there the business took off, not only for New Orleans parades, but other cities, as well as Universal Studios and others.



Housed in a 300,000 square foot warehouse along the Mississippi River, the company produces amazing props.



It is here they come up with the idea, and with some creative construction methods, build their visions.



Today most are made out of Styrofoam, covered in paper mache.



From this base, and with talented artists they complete the huge pieces.




The final floats are massive. Because the Mardi Gras parades can last hours they even have porta potties hidden in the middle as the float participants can be on them for 5 hours +.



Below are some examples of their finest work.



































Mardi Gras World is a fantastic photo op.