New Orleans French Quarter: The Incomplete Edition

This promises to be one of the most incomplete New Orleans French Quarter–also known as the Vieux Carré–photo essays ever constructed.French Quarter Guitar 1j

There’s nothing here about Bourbon Street at night. Because Mary and I didn’t walk around with eyes glued to a map or with ears focused on a live tourist guide, I have no idea if the photos below are officially from the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Royal Street, the French Market, or Downtown New Orleans.

Despite all of the deficiencies mentioned above, I adore visiting New Orleans and I loved working on this post. New Orleans is, after all, more than just one of the most unique North American Cities. It’s one of the world’s most intriguing, diverse destinations. From spicy and spiritual to Cajun and Creole, New Orleans is both historic and contemporary.St. Peter 1j

Masquerade mask b&w j

Lithuanian-American writer Ruta Sepetys offers one of the best short explanations of what makes the Big Easy so interesting. “Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture – even the local superstitions, Sepetys has been quoted as saying. “It’s a sensory experience on all levels and there’s a story lurking around every corner.”

Mary and I stopped long enough to capture images of each other while near the French Market. It is important to note that the photo of Mary did not need much “touch up.” The picture of me, however, took a long time to develop. We snapped the photos just after having the famous chicory coffee and powdered sugar covered beignets at Café du Monde. To no surprise to those who know me, it took a very long time to electronically remove the “more than significant’ amount of powdered sugar that covered my black jacket. Yes, the beignets were wonderful; we were in such a hurry to devour them that I forgot to take any Café du Monde photos.

I guess that means we will have to go back!

:-)

The Glorious Garden District

If the eclectic French Quarter is New Orleans bass trombone, the Garden District–it seems to me–is the sensual master’s breath that sweetly fuels the one of a kind tone that effortlessly flows from the “T-bone.”

During our January Louisiana trip, we made our Big Easy hub a “period perfect” boutique hotel at the edge of the Garden District. We took numerous casual strolls where we enjoyed a sui generis neighborhood coffee shop, fine cajun and creole dining, interesting architecture, and remarkable historic homes. It was an awesome leisurely adventure that provided just the right amount of photoremedy. The Garden District was, arguably, a perfect base for our trip; intermittent showers even added to the extraordinary atmosphere we enjoyed there.

As an added bonus, most of the Garden District lodging is near the iconic New Orleans streetcars that offer easy access to destinations in the Garden and University Districts, as well as to Downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter.


Downtown and the Quarter are must see–and experience–areas in New Orleans. I’ll be pursuing photoremedy and offering  additional details about these areas in my next post. Cheers!

New Orleans

New Orleans

 

Louisiana 101

I must admit I’ve struggled in putting together Photoremedy post number 101. Why? Because Louisiana is one of the most colorful and genuinely unique places Mary and I have visited. We delighted in the enchanting aroma of history and spice found as we pursued photoremedy in eclectic places from low-key Jeanerette to the authentic New Orleans Garden District to the celebrated French Quarter.

Volumes can be–and have been–written about the cultural gems of Louisiana. I found, however, that the place that most etched an enduring mark was the one that left me grasping to find the right words: the renowned Oak Alley plantation.

Oak Alley Plantation -

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, LA

Ironically it wasn’t the beautiful people, lush vegetation or much-photographed Oak Alley Big House that took my breath away. It was the direct manner in which the attraction addressed the overwhelmingly somber aspect of its history – slavery.

This blog is intentionally more about photography than words. Nevertheless, I struggled in identifying the photos I took that best describe how this exhibit seemed to painfully sandblast my heart, while leaving me strangely satisfied. In the final analysis, this unusual mix of emotions was based on the relief of sensing that plantation attractions like Oak Alley have joined those of us wanting to guarantee that such an appalling part of history is never repeated (at home or abroad).

Get In The Game

The last month has featured a generous supply of photoremedy opportunities for me, and they came in  a couple of my favorite categories – kids and travel.Sacred Oils 1j (1 of 1)

I almost opted out of the first photo opp–the baptism of our lovable grandson, Daniel–due to unrelenting back pain. I am, however, quite thankful that Andrew (Daniel’s Dad) wouldn’t let me sit on the sidelines. He basically told me, “Bring your camera and get in the game.” Taking and developing the photos briefly took my mind off the pain, which is what photoremedy is all about. It just took Andrew to remind me. Plus, what’s not to love about being front and center for such a blessed sacrament for such a special little dude?

Partially aided by $29 one way January flights on Frontier Airlines, my back problems quieted down enough for Mary and I to take a leisurely tour of places we wanted to experience in Louisiana. It will take awhile for me to develop all of the photos as I’m struggling to spend much time at the computer at one time and I have another back “procedure” schedule for February. But, here’s a sample of what’s coming up here on photoremedy.

Note: photoremedy.me is published as a labor of love. Please feel free to share the site, or any of our posts, with others. Our Home Page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. We hope you will become a part of our photoremedy network. 

2014 Image of the Year Winner

Photos, digital art, and article by Greg W. Gilstrap. Our 2014 poll is closed, and we have a winner. The “Life is a Splash” image–featuring our oldest grandson’s amusing expression when he stepped onto a colorful splash pad at the Anthem, Arizona Community Park this past summer–ended up walking away with an impressive 41 percent of the vote. Two other photographs also distanced themselves by being the only other images that captured more than 15 percent of the vote. See our December 26, 2014 post to see how all the images fared.

Finalists 1j

Our annual contests have been, to date, essentially passion polls because we let visitors to photoremedy.me register as many votes as they like. The approach proved to be overwhelmingly effective, as our six-day voting period drew 3,024 submissions–virtually tripling the previous record (recorded last year) of 1,099. To all of you who participated in the poll, thank you for making this an unmitigated success and a lot of fun.

Seattle, WA - November 2014

Seattle, Washington – Digital/Fine Art Photography

While the contest is designed primarily for entertainment, it is also aimed at encouraging others–particularly those suffering from chronic pain and other illnesses–to considering turning to photography to help them move their minds away from the pain they are experiencing. Art therapy works, and it is becoming increasingly accepted by respected academic and medical experts. I always encourage our readers to Google “art therapy” to discover all of the related information that is available. The thoughts and photos we post here are designed to demonstrate, “If art therapy can help this knucklehead, perhaps it could work for me as well.”

Seattle, Washington

Pike’s Market Area: Seattle, Washington – Digital/Fine Art Photography

 Important News

1) This is our 99th photoremedy post, so our next one will be a major milestone for photoremedy.me and those that help keep me blogging. Special credit for this help goes to my beautiful wife Mary, our two talented sons Andrew and William, always supportive daughter Amanda Bradner, friends who have traveled with me (or Mary and me), and my excellent team of doctors. Thank you all! Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the baptism of our youngest grandson will be featured in the 100th post. By the way, little Daniel is a keeper!

St. Rose Parish - Anthem, Arizona

St. Rose Parish – Anthem, Arizona

2) Our photoremedy.me blogs are gaining what we used to call “legs” in the marketing and branding business. Of our top five viewed posts in 2015, only two were actually posted in 2014.

Source: WordPress

Source: WordPress

3) Finally, WordPress.com reports indicate our message is “going global.” There is reason to believe that photoremedy.me will be read by individuals in more than 100 countries in 2015.

Source: WordPress

Source: WordPress

Our readers can help us spread the message by becoming email subscribers. Our home page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. Readers can then forward the photoremedy.me messages to those whom they think can benefit from the information or to those who might enjoy what we are producing.

All the best to all of you in 2015. Please join me in enjoying what promises to be the best year of our lives!