Throughout July, the boy and I were travelling from Mexico to Canada via the USA and whilst I sort through thousands of photos (no exaggeration), I thought I’d start to share some of my favourites. One of my personal highlights from the trip was visiting the southern US city of New Orleans. I had heard a lot about it, not least from Rachael and Robin, so was excited to discover it for myself. I completely fell in love with it. There’s an amazing energy about the city, which sounds like an awful cliche but there isn’t really any better way of describing it. It is real energy anyway, not like in London where that energy is channeled in to stressful commutes and long working hours, but one that is put in to creative pursuits most famously music. There is live music everywhere and often in the streets. We saw an incredible brass band on Frenchmen Street which reminded me of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of interest in Hurricane Katrina and how the city recovered in New Orleans. Infact, there are plenty of tours to show you the devastation and to tell you about what happened back in 2006. We didn’t do that and instead fell for the beautiful charm of the architecture especially the shotgun houses. If you don’t know what that means (I didn’t), it refers to the layout of the house. It is on one floor and you have to walk through all the rooms to get through the house – there are no hallways or privacy! We actually stayed in a shotgun house near the French Quarter from AirBnB which just made us want to live in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana).
The city was originally founded on a bend of the Mississippi because the French settlers thought it would be immune to severe weather conditions. It turns out they were right, as the original French quarter was the only bit not to be destroyed by Katrina. Therefore this is the part where you can see the most historic architecture and where many of the houses have beautiful ornate balconies and long hanging plants. A lot of the original French city was destroyed in a fire in 1788 which took out 856 of the 1,100 stuctures at the time and it was then rebuilt by the Spanish. There is a very European feel to the neighbourhood on the whole.
You can get a lot of good food in New Orleans and it’s relatively cheap. Obviously expect to eat a lot of fried stuff though. We enjoyed eating bad diner food at Camellia Grill on S Carrollton Ave, including mac’n'cheese bites (deep fried cheesy pasta, so bad and so good). We also tried out the local classic of a Po Boy at Parkway Bakery and Tavern which is worth venturing out of town for. My favourite meal was at African restaurant Bennachin. We went at lunchtime and ate a lot for very little. It’s great for vegetarians but I’m pretty sure anybody would enjoy eating here, just don’t underestimate the portion size – they’re huge!
I became obsessed with the colourful houses that adorn the streets throughout NOLA and this is just a small amount of the photos I took on the Sony NEXC3. I have a whole stack of films just waiting to be developed too. Stay tuned!