I can’t begin to put New Orleans in a nutshell. I thought I could, but it’s just not possible, there’s too much to love. Could one stuff their visit in a carry-on? Sure. I’ve packed an epic long weekend into my bag, 7 pieces of art included. But to really divulge in the magic that is NOLA, you need at least 5 days. There’s simply too much to see. And too much to eat. And too much jazz to flood your music-loving soul. And apparently too much for me to ever take enough photos of.
NOLA re-awakened my love of all things art, especially photography. I’ve always had an affinity for it. I can appreciate it, and many say I have an eye for it. But it took me visiting that magical southern city for the first time to realize how MUCH I longed for the perfect shot , in the perfect light, at the perfect angle. Like a vampire’s longing for blood, the angles of New Orleans are my hunger.
I loved St. Louis Cathedral from the first time I laid eyes on her. The second time around I tried to drown myself in her architecture. I took so many photos, went inside, did weird things in the middle of the aisle (poses for photo angles, calm down), stared at her longingly during my solo day in the city, and that wasn’t enough. I’m dying to get back in her sights. She’s majestic. She’s my unicorn.
Granted, I’ve never been to Europe (gasp, I know, working on that). I’m sure the architecture there would floor me beyond belief and flood my soul with so much joy. I would like to think I’d still come home to the U.S. and have an ever-longing need to go to New Orleans. It mixes the Old World with the New World so fantastically, I can’t even imagine living without it in this country.
I’m a Jersey girl with a love/hate relationship with her home state, a woman whose inner workings belong to Los Angeles, and whose soul will always have that Crescent City calling her for that four hour flight away.
It’s been said that Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau placed a curse upon the city. One that I didn’t understand until I stepped out of the Uber and into Jackson Square. No other explanation can begin to describe my emotions other than magic. She put a spell on me, and I haven’t recovered. The minute I touched the pavement of the French Quarter, walking through the streets bewildered, I thought to myself, “Yup. I could live here”. It made me think about how I used to read Anne Rice’s novels (if you’re somehow not familiar, they’re the Vampire Diaries of the 90’s, but deeper and less teen drama). I thought it was the vampirism that drew me in so strongly (I’m a sucker for the supernatural, especially those vamps), and perhaps it was partially, but I think it was Anne’s magnetic ability to describe New Orleans and, like Marie Laveau, draw you in so deeply that you literally fall in love. Damn, that’s the kind of writer I worship. She made me adore New Orleans before I ever realized how much one could adore New Orleans.
I’ll never stop talking about this city. I don’t think I can. But for anyone who follows this blog, or the Facebook page associated with this blog, you’ll see my photos and maybe understand the bewitchment that tried to consume me and you’ll do yourself a favor— get to the Big Easy.
Fun Fact Time: In 1982, New Jersey-based punk rock group The Misfits were arrested and accused of attempting to exhume Laveau from her grave after a local concert. The arrest took place in nearby Cemetery No. 2 and there are conflicting accounts of the incident.