Summer 2009

New Orleans, LA

30 May 2009

General Information

Local Map


Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

A nice, albeit quite warm day in New Orleans. After completing some trailer housekeeping chores, we set out for the Arts Market of New Orleans, a monthly event in one of the city parks. As usual, my luck ran out... even faster than usual. We entered the Palmer Park at one of the corners and, three booths into the path, Susie found a prize. An artist by the name of Benjamin Bullins who creates sculptures out of materials discarded by others, was displaying his works in that booth and one of the pieces (see below) caught her eye and my wallet. The sculpture is destined to reside in our kitchen, but in the absence of wall space, something else is destined to hide somewhere. Fortunately for me, Susie was not impressed by other things at the market. This does not bode well for me as we still have to get past the New Mexico Pueblos and the Santa Fe galleries.

Following the Arts Market, we headed for Walmart for some groceries and some other items we needed to replenish out stock. Ordinarily going to Walmart would not make my commentary. However, our experience here was, to say the least, poor. We had about 10 items in our cart and headed for the express lane. You know how you sometimes feel when you get into a toll booth and it seems to stop cold while the other booths which were previously flowing slowly are just zipping along, that was us in the "not so express lane." The lane was moving well until the person in front of us was being checked out. She has some issues on an item she purchased and that required the cashier to void the transaction... usually a simple process. The cashier needed a supervisor to void the process and flipped on the switch that should have brought a supervisor over immediately. After more than 10 minutes of waiting the supervisor causally ambled over and took her time voiding the purchase. We frequently use Walmart stores when we are on the road because they are basically one stop shopping locations. We have never had such a poor experience. Interestingly, I found some reviews of this store online and one of them started of with, "I hate this place... when you get in line to pay, it takes forever." I guess we should have read the reviews before we went there.

In the afternoon we walked through the French Quarter, Woldenburg Park on the Mississippi and the Riverwalk Marketplace. What a contrast from three years ago when New Orleans was in the early stages of recovery from Katrina. In 2006, the streets of the Quarter were relatively empty and many of the stores in Riverwalk were vacant. During our walk, the Quarter looked busy for this early the season as did Riverwalk. There were some vacancies in Riverwalk, but it didn't look any worse than any other shopping mall that we have been in this economy.

In the evening we went to dinner at Nola, one of Emeril's restaurants. It was a great evening hosted by my brother. What made the evening even more interesting was the length of time it took us to get to the restaurant. Nola is on St. Louis Street, the same street that is right behind the rear of our trailer. We have walked the distance to the hotel in about 10 minutes twice in the past two days. This evening we took a cab because walking at night in some areas we have to get through is not recommended. We called for a cab a half an hour before we were due at the restaurant. It took it over twenty minutes just to get to us. St. Louis Street is a one way street heading towards the RV Park so the cab turned down a parallel street and it should have taken us less than ten minutes to get there. When we were only a few blocks away (6 by car/2 walking) we encountered a police roadblock. It seems that a wedding parade complete with brass band was coming down the street heading for the restaurant where the reception was being held. The bride and groom were walking down the street followed by about 150 guests waving white handkerchiefs. Walking is probably the wrong word... dancing or parading would be more appropriate. After waiting in the cab for over ten minutes, with the meter running, the driver suggested that we walk. So we got to the restaurant about twenty minutes late.

Benjamin Bullins Sculpture

Susie and artist Benjamin Bullins


The sculpture that will reside in our kitchen

When we were here in 2006 New Orleans was still in the first year of Katrina recovery. It was a sad place with few visitors on the streets. The contrast is obvious in these pictures. Our cab drive last night said business has been good and our casual observations seem to confirm that.

Borboun Street

Bourbon Street today

Bourbon Street 2006

Bourbon Street in 2006

World trade Center

World Trade Center

World Trade Center 2006

World Trade Center 2006

Paddlewheeler Natches

The paddle wheeler Natchez had a crowd waiting to board

St Louis Street

St. Louis Street, a few blocks west of Bourbon Street is a quiet residential area. This is quite a contrast from the lively street scene that most people think of the French Quarter.


A cemetery on St. Louis Street, just outside the French Quarter. All burials are in vaults above ground. New Orleans' water table is just below the ground and coffins would float up during storms.

In past trips I have taken pictures of Susie with animals,
mostly bears. Here we have Susie in the claws of a crayfish

Seen On The Road


Smile. So are you...

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