New Oldleans

New Orleans is an amazingly beautiful city. The beauty comes from its people, its architecture, its colors, its smells, its green space, its cultures and it’s problems. I was stumbling around on the interwebs when I came upon these beautiful gems. Most of the photos are courtesy of Shorpy.com, where you can buy prints of the pictures. The other pictures were found on google images. All of these pictures are of New Orleans pre-1950. The differences between then and now are really incredible, but what I find more incredible are the similarities. People still love Mardi Gras, Canal and St. Charles still have street cars, buildings still have beautiful wrought iron balconies, the streets still flood, and the city is still a wonderland.

“New Orleans Negro street,” December 1935.

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Photograph by Walker Evans. X’s at bottom are crop marks.

New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1903. “Mule teams on the levee.”

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New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1907. “Canal Street.” Life on the grid a century ago.

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Canal St. circa 1903.

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The Crescent City circa 1906. “The French Market, New Orleans.”

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New Orleans circa 1910. “St. Charles Avenue from Canal Street.”

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Canal Street in New Orleans circa 1910. Large building is the Maison Blanche department store.

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New Orleans, 1937. “Le Pretre Mansion, 716 Dauphine Street, built 1835-6. Joseph Saba house.”

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Flooding

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Flooding

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New Orleans circa 1937. “Courtyard at 1133-1135 Chartres Street.” Young and old, hangin’ with the laundry.

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 New Orleans circa 1907. “The Rex pageant, Mardi Gras.” Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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Mardi Gras

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 Feb. 27, 1900. “Mardi Gras procession on Canal Street, New Orleans.”

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The point?

Nothing changes
And nothing stays the same
And life is still
A simple game.

-Moody Blues

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BEAD-azzled Truck

One of the things that I love the most about New Orleans is its innate acceptance of characters. One morning I was driving to work at 8am and I saw a cross dresser on stilts doing the walk of shame. People always embrace an impromptu dance or jam session, regardless of location. Awkwardly tall bicycles, like you need a ladder to get on and off that thing, are common. I could go on and on about the characters that I have seen in New Orleans. Even our cars have a little extra personality. I was at the corner of Press St. and Dauphine when I came across this little gem…

“Mardi Gras Truck”

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This man is second lining, those who follow the brass band just to enjoy the music are called the “second line“, they follow the “main” or “first line” who are the actual paying krewe members. Participants of the second line have a traditional style of dancing, they also carry umbrellas and wave handkerchiefs.

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The side view shows the brass band, including the saxophonist, trumpeter, bass drummer, some krewe members (right over the wheel, they are dressed in traditional [and slightly creepy] masks)

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With this close up you can see that everything on the truck is made out of Mardi Gras throws (things thrown at Mardi Gras…duh). The coins are Doubloons, each parade has its own style Doubloons. The music notes, fleur-de-lis, people and instruments are made out of different beads. At the bottom of the picture you can also see the specialized beads with different krewe and parade medallions (you can also see the creepy krewe members).

The point? We can do anything with Mardi Gras beads.

French Quarter Fest

So far I feel like I have done a lot of yammering on about the injustices of New Orleans. You might be wondering at this point “Well then why do you still live there?” Because I love it. So much. I was talking to a friend today about hurricanes, which are a terrifying and very real threat (we are entering hurricane season soon). He asked why we put up with them, and I said because we, New Orleanians, take the bad with the good. And because when it’s good is ohhh sooo good!

I am referring to New Orleans’ insatiable desire and need for festivals. Everyone knows about Mardi Gras, well, they think they know about Mardi Gras. Anyway, New Orleans has many, many other festivals. One of the best is French Quarter Fest. French Quarter Fest is the largest FREE music festival in the South. This year FQF was April 11-14, four wonderful days of free local music, delicious food, and happy, happy people. I was only able to go for part of the day the 13th, but it was glorious.

Street people getting some jams in.

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“Sign for community spirit”

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You couldn’t walk half a block without seeing and hearing some local musicians.

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Everybody felt the music and couldn’t help but dance it out!

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We finally got to the other end of Decatur!

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The Crescent City Connection, Steamboat Natchez and the Mississippi River.

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The Glen David Andrews Band rocked it!

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The Absolute Vodka stage on the river in Woldenberg Park.

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“I will, I will melt your heart like butter.”

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The stage at night from the River Walk.

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The point? New Orleans might be a hot mess, but we know how to relax and have a good time. As they say “Laissez les bons temps rouler

The WWOZ

Ask almost anybody who knows me and they will tell you that I hate the radio. I hate the commercials, I hate the mainstream pop-crap music they play and I also, usually, hate the radio personalities. Living in New Orleans (and since my iPod jack broke) I have reverted to making mix cds…which I personally believe is a lost art that should be revived. I have my mixes of rap, rock, electro, hip-hop, dubstep and folk. I was happy.

But, I was only happy because I didn’t know what my life was missing! I was hanging out with some friends and one friend kept mentioning the “the wooz” I was so confused. He told wonderful tales about reggae, blues, Cajun, Spanish, and many, many more awesome types of music. He then told me to tune into 90.7. I thought psshht the radio, no thank you. BUT to my surprise and delight it was a locally run and funded radio station. No annoying commercials (only the occasional solicitation, which is understandable), no ass hole, over the top radio personalities, only normal people who love music, no pop crap bullshit, just good old-fashioned (and new) New Orleans (and other) music. ALSO great interviews with local artists, writers, school bands, etc. It is great. I seriously suggest that everyone check out and stream OZ.

Also, if you can’t travel to NOLA for any number of our amazing festivals, they do the occasional live stream!

The point? Local radio, the WWOZ, is amazing and makes commuting to work totally bearable.