NoLa Diary #8 – Glimpses of St. Mary Street

Corner of St Mary and Camp

Now that I’ve been in New Orleans a little over a week now, I’m glad I made the decision to stay in a neighborhood (not a hotel) because I feel in touch with the rhythms of the locals, and local businesses than I would have if I stayed in a hotel in the French Quarter. This is important to me since I’m here for 3 weeks, not the typical 3 day tourist stay.

Near where I’m staying is St. Mary Street. It’s part of the Lower Garden District. St. Mary’s runs from the Mississippi River to St. Charles Avenue. Running along St. Mary are several neighborhoods, which if I had to decide where to say “one side or the other” was I’d choose Magazine Street because it is such a “busy” (all things being relative in New Orleans) street with a majority of the local restaurants, antique shops and art / photography galleries.

I’ve walked St. Mary many times now since I’ve arrived, and the more often I walk along the sidewalks I’m coming to know, the more I like it. Just like I did on Magazine Street a few blog posts back, I decided to take a few shots of St. Mary to give a flavor of the neighborhood.

Half Moon Bar - St Mary

Above: The afternoon light casts a stark shadow from the Half Moon Bar sign across the face of the building, on St. Mary Street. A few empty tables and chairs sit on the sidewalk because the bar is quiet in the afternoon during the week. On the weekends it perks up a bit more.

Lucky Ladle - corner of St Mary and Magazine

On the corner of St. Mary and Magazine, as you can see from the image above, the corner building is undergoing renovations. Two doors down is the Lucky Ladle, a great breakfast spot. I’ve eaten at the Lucky Ladle a few times already. In addition to the wonderful food and good service, the works of local artists hang on the walls, and I admit, I have a soft spot for such places.

The first time I went in I met Bob, a local who eats there all the time. We chatted for a while and he shared his stories about himself and the neighborhood, which was fun. Then Bob let it slip that he goes to the Lucky Ladle so often they named a special after him on the menu! (It’s called the Bob Special and I can report it is completely delicious.)

Strangely, I feel more like I’m in New York when I’m in this neighborhood than when I’m anywhere else in New Orleans, so far. I’ve mentioned this to a few people I’ve spoken to, and they say others say that about this neighborhood too.

Maybe it’s because many people are from out of town and it’s a big mix of locals and transplants, or maybe it’s because art galleries are mixed with restaurants and antique shops and funky looking people walking down the street now and again; I don’t know. But I like it.

Light and shadows on St Mary

 

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Photos: Memories of the Grand Canyon

After the storm clears – Grand Canyon

The trip I took to the Grand Canyon in December 2010 was beautiful but the weather didn’t cooperate as much as I would have liked. On the very last day I spent there, the clouds finally broke and showed a bit of sunshine.

 

Formations in light and shadow

Photos: Memories of Grand Tetons National Park

The majestic Grand Tetons

If you’re ever in Jackson Hole Wyoming, I highly recommend a visit to Grand Tetons National Park.

So what I’m actually saying is, if you are planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park, you should plan to take a full day out of your schedule and see the Grand Tetons. The Tetons abutt Yellowstone, and their jagged cliffs tower over the valley floor. Also, wildlife viewing in the Tetons is as good as Yellowstone too. There are plenty of elk, wolves, bear, moose, deer and other large game.

Miss Moose has a snack

For example, I caught a picture of this moose who wandered up to the edge of a field right next to Jackson Lake Lodge, where I was staying when I visited the area. She calmly walked around to find the tastiest green shoots to eat as a group of us gleefully snapped tons of pictures of her.

Herd of Elk

 
 

Photos: “16” and other Abstracts

 

16 - Montreal, Canada

Yellow Dot - Montreal

 

Rock - Grand Canyon, AZ

 
My Shadow – Woodstock, NY
 

Abstract Sunset - Shenandoah Natl Park, VA

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photos: Children at Play, Montreal

Child at play in Montreal's Place Des Arts

 We can learn a lot from watching children. Even the simplest activity, looking at the ground for example, takes on a level of fascination adults would have a hard time bringing to that same activity.

Running in the fountain - Montreal Place Des Arts

 
 

 

 

Photo: Zion Landscape – All the President’s Men

 

 

All the President's Men

 
Zion National Park, Utah is a gem of a National Park. It’s made up of the most amazing striated rock landscapes, including this one, which I caught with the light and shadows illuminating it just wonderfully.
 
Enjoy!

 

 

Photos: Memories of Maine

I took these photos on a trip to Mount Desert Island, Maine in 2008. Enjoy!

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Maine

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

 

View from Cadillac Mountain

 
 

Photo: Pine Tree in the Mist – Mount Rainier National Park

Pine Tree in late May snow storm on Mt Rainier
This is one of my favorite images from my trip to Mount Rainier National Park in late May 2011. I stayed at the Paradise Inn for an evening, and when I woke up the next morning, it was snowing. I threw my window open and leaned out into the snow to capture this image. Within an hour the snow stopped, but at the moment this picture was taken, it was a magical feeling.
 
The Paradise Ranger Station is the snowiest location in the United States for all 50 states. Yes that also includes Alaska.
 
The rest of my pictures from my PACIFIC NORTHWEST trip can be found on my Shutterfly site: http://cdeminskiphotos.shutterfly.com.
 

Photos from Puebla and Oaxaca Mexico!

Photos of my trip to Mexico are now up for viewing on my site: http://cdeminskiphotos.shutterfly.com

The first page is Faces of Mexico, which is an homage to the people of Puebla and San Pedro Cholula, the first two stops on my trip to Southern Mexico.  The people I saw in Mexico really inspired me, their faces were so expressive and wonderful.

Man taking a rest on a bench near the Puebla Zocalo

My hope was to capture images of people going about their daily lives, and I took a lot of photos of people buying and selling things, sitting at rest, making food, praying in church, and just doing what they normally do. I especially treasure some of the photos I got of parents and children, because I really observed a lot of tenderness and care of children while I was in Mexico.

Little girl held by her father at an open air market in Puebla

I will write other posts about Puebla, because I kept a travel journal while I was away and I want to share more of my observations from the trip.

The second page is dedicated to my visit to the state of Oaxaca. Oaxaca is a state filled with contradictions. One the one hand you will see crushing poverty, as it is one of the poorest states in Mexico, and yet you will also see a tremendous amount of culture and artistry everywhere you go in Oaxaca.

One face of poverty in Oaxaca

Oaxaca is home to several archeological sites and I am thrilled to say I was able to visit Monte Alban, which is a Unesco World Heritage site. It is no wonder why, once you have been there. On the bottom of the Oaxaca photo page I posted a film strip of 13 photos from either the Monte Alban site directly, or some of the artifacts from Monte Alban which are housed in a museum of culture, which is attached to the church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in the city of Oaxaca.

The wonder of Monte Alban in the Mexican state of Oaxaca

In addition to Monte Alban, I also toured the place where Dona Rosa’s family makes black pottery in the Oaxacan countryside, and I visited a family of wood carvers on that trip as well. The amazing craftspeople that I met are documented on my Oaxaca page too.

Dona Rosa's Black Pottery Shop - Oaxacan countryside

I hope you will take a look at the nearly 100 photos I have posted on those two pages – with more to come! I took nearly 600 photos on my trip, and I know there is so much more to share about these amazing places in Mexico.

Please enjoy!