New Orleans: A City That Inspires
The first time I traveled to New Orleans was a year after Katrina. The city was still in Recovery from the destruction the hurricane had brought. My first trip there I could really take in the archectecture and history, it was an inspiring trip, creatively speaking. Louisiana has always been unique in the history of the US. It was a state apart from other Southern States, in that not only were blacks enslaved but Native Americans & other Europeans. Slavery in Louisiana was more about class and not so much about color, this allowed certain Creoles to prosper & have their own plantations. What is a Creole? A person who is mixed of French, Spanish & African descent. That's right Blacks could own other blacks, in Louisiana.
New Orleans , is mainly a mixture of French, and Spanish influences. When visiting You will see many a building that resembles a Paris street. In the residential areas you'll find a few spanish colonials, creole cottages, double gallery houses along with those Antebellum mansions. One Particular popularly built house was the "Shotgun", when you walk in the front door, you can see clear through to the back door.
(Shotgun and Double gallery house)
The food in New Orleans is a mix of African, French,and Spanish. Red Beans & Rice, gumbo and Seafood like crayfish is a staple, there is a seafood shack on just about on every corner especially when you get down to the bayou towns outside of N.O., you are on the gulf coast, after all. For a special treat while in New Orleans head down to Decatur and stop By the outdoor/indoor cafe Cafe Du Monde for some world famous Beignets (pronounced "benyays" for the who don't speak french) I think the pastry is a cross between a Donut and Funnel Cake, and I love both. With this recent trip, Not only did I buy the beignets but I bought some of their box mix to make at home. Ty, are you coming over so u can get some, lol. My advice, If u can't get to NO that often, be sure to buy a $3.00 dollar box of mix, & cook some up for your friends who'll be impressed that u learned french cooking, shh, I'll keep your secret.
New Orleans which is a mixture of different cultural influences is mixed with its people too. I have ALWAYS been impressed by the lack of racial distinctions, people are just people, and no one gives another person a second look for looking different than them. The cultural differences is a celebration in this city. Mardi Gras is a sample of that celebration, as people of all walks and races come together to celebrate.
Music is also special here in New Orleans, jazz and the blues are the soundtrack of the infamous Bourbon street, walk down Bourbon even in the afternoon and you'll here it coming from those houses of ill-repute, as they were called in the old days. Often in the French Quarter there will be a saxophonist or other street musician playing on the streets, especially near Cafe Du Monde. This year I came across a totally unexpected surprise, while strolling along the famous Riverwalk, which is conveniently behind Cafe Du Monde, after sharing my Beignets with the birds who stayed at my feet, I came across A banjo player. Well Here have a listen!
I met Adam, he says he comes to N.O. during the season to share his music. Hope u enjoyed the breathtaking views of The Mighty Mississippi. The Mississippi is the 2nd longest river in the US, second only to the Missouri, which has it beat by only 1 mile.Going on a Cruise make New Orleans your port city, you won't be dissappointed.
Art is another thing in abundance, There are many art galleries in N.O. Alexander and Victor Fine Art, On Royal for Instances has some amazing paintings and Bronzes and Art Glass. Looking for some affordable offbeat pieces try the Artist Market on Decatur, into Photography try A Gallery for Fine Photograghy on Chartres street.
There is plenty of street art, in the form of beautiful Murals, to enjoy in city as well.
New Orleans is definitely coming back after the devastation of Katrina. My first trip here a year after Katrina,Cafe DuMonde had no lines to enter, now all I can say is be patient, it will be worth the wait, the take out line is shorter, and u can eat on the River walk like I did. Traffic is more of an issue too now, which tells you the city is coming back to life. And that makes me happy that all the history will be there for a little longer, which I am sure has inspired many. I am certainly inspired alone by the city's resilience. There was talk of just abandoning it,before the next big storm, It's below sea level,you see.It's inspiring that people have fought to keep the history alive. And so the city lives.
Yvonne Donate - is a wanderer, writer, dreamer,volunteer philanthropist- founder of Heart of Hope Information Registry, single mom of 3, and daughter of an Interior Designer, who learned a little bit of design and staging from mom. Yvonne is an experienced gardener who has actually done landscaping and somewhat handy with her use of Power tools and her trash to treasure projects.