This post took me longer to write than I thought it would…
I shot five more rolls of film during our stop in Louisiana. I’d really like to go back there, there is some ancient culture in New Orleans that I can’t describe but that I haven’t experienced any where else. Some mixture of french-voodoo-pirate-bayou that seeps up from the cracks and makes the food and the music better. It’s apparent that the dominant white/western culture has slowly been paving away the unique characteristics of this place, but the authenticity of the culture is tenacious (and has been for hundreds of years). Yada-yada-yada
Anyways, right when we crossed the TX/LA border we dipped down south to check out the Gulf Coast. We followed highway 82 into a sparsely populated chain of beach-rental communities that had been pretty ravaged by hurricanes. Some photos from Little Florida Beach, LA, below.
Once we left the Gulf, we headed straight to Lake Charles, LA to have our first taste of Creole since entering Louisiana. One of my dad’s friends recommended Steam Boat Bill’s so we stopped in and had a seriously delicious gumbo, poboy lunch. There was a cool bridge as you enter Lake Charles so I snapped a few photos down there too.
Lots more photos below
By the time we made to New Orleans and checked into our hotel we were pretty exhausted. Of course, that didn’t stop us from checking out Bourbon Street. After all, our hotel was 4 blocks away and we’d only be in NOLA for 2 nights right? I immediately got hustled for $5 by a friendly vagrant who pulled the ol’ “I bet you five bucks I can guess where you got your shoes” trick. After that, we both bought a $12 Budweiser which we were unaware was on special: buy one get three. So here we are, on a balcony in New Orleans with six unintentional beers. Everyone is on the take, you order 1, they sell you 2. After walking around, breathing in the omnipresent smell of vomit and horse shit accompanied by “…Jeeeeenny I got your numbah..” blaring out of one of the bars hosting some awful cover band, Dad buys us a shot (of course it ended up being 2 shots out of some god awful glass liquor vile). Before long it was 3AM, I had accomplished my pre-requisite “photo with strippers” and we were out of cash sitting on a cardboard box eating falafel. Time to sleep.
Side note, really stoked on how my flash worked out! Frankly kind of amazed that these photos even developed!
Day 2. Woke up late, Dad wanted to get cleaned up and figure out our plans for the day, hinting at a swamp tour – I think he was hurting more than I was. I decided to skip the shower and take a long walk around the French quarter during the less-sleazy-hours in the mid day sun. It was really rewarding, that 1 hour walk gave me a really good feel for the dynamic of the city.
The guy above was rad, he was trying to talk me into a restaurant and we just started talking about other things… any ways it worked and I bought a sandwich to-go to split with Dad. I was a little late for our 1PM departure for the swamp tour so I jogged back to the hotel where the valet had our van waiting out front. I hopped in and we split the sandwich on the drive out to the swamp.
We made it back to New Orleans just before sundown and decided to have a go at a slightly less rambunctious evening. I wanted to check out Frenchman Street pretty badly, maybe see some non-coverband play and catch a bit of the Charger game. We ended up at D.B.A and did exactly that.
The band was incredibly fun, I did some research and figured out the band was “Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle.” It was a weird combo of rock, jazz, funk, rap. All the players were unbelievably talented, pure musicianship. We ended up by the Mississippi River waterfront so we walked down to the banks and skipped some rocks for good measure. At some point, security guards in agolf cart told us we couldn’t be down there.
Of course since we had to walk through Bourbon St. to get back to our hotel we inevitably stopped for pizza and one more daiquiri. YIKES. The little slushie shop, ironically, was playing horrifically graphic natured television, I took some photos.
Memphis is up next! You can take a look at all the photos from our trip on Flickr. I’ll post photos from Memphis soon.