Do you ever have moments when you’re first impression is just wrong. Maybe you jumped to judgement too quickly, or maybe you didn’t, but there is another side to someone, something that you just didn’t see. New Orleans was this way for me.
My first cross country road trip our first stop was New Orleans. Really we were just stopping there for the night and that was it. We got into New Orleans around 10:30pm and naturally needed to get food. We walked to one of the only places that was open that late on a Sunday night and had a pretty good dinner. We then wanted to see what Bourbon street was all about so we just walked down. My first impression of New Orleans, to be honest, was not good. I almost instantly wrote New Orleans off as a city I didn’t care to revisit, as if I had seen all there was to see. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The error was that I judged the city on a few short hours, it was late and dark and we didn’t really give New Orleans a chance.
This past trip when we went back we stayed with our friend Rebecca from camp which was perfect! Mostly because she took us around to see new Orleans the way those who live in there see it. My perspective was completely different! New Orleans is diverse, bright and mostly, active. We went to dinner at this great little restaurant in which we could pick out our own bottles of wine, get plates of food to share and listen to live music while sitting outside! The next day we woke up, got beignets coffee at the new Orleans City Park and just chatted. It was beautiful! There are all these small rivers that run through the city where people paddle board and kayak. Beautiful huge trees with Spanish Moss hanging off, and brightly painted buildings, it’s idilic.
After we went to breakfast Rebecca took us down to the French Quarter, parked the car and we explored. We walked around the neighborhoods, up Bourbon street, through the art district and she even took us to the really touristy part so I could get my ornament (my friends are great!). It was definitely hot. I’m talking hot. The kind of hot where you don’t realize how hot it is until you step inside into the air conditioning and realize that your calves are sweating… which I really didn’t know my calves could sweat…. But! It was beautiful! I couldn’t stop exploring because everywhere I turned there was another interesting building or bright color that I didn’t want to miss. The most colorful homes, intricate details on everything and a great pride for their culture. It honestly felt like we were in the Caribbean with all the bright colors.
My biggest regret while walking around New Orleans was that I had left my 35mm lens at home. There were all these buildings that were three stories of balconies and hanging plants that I just couldn’t capture with my 50mm (especially since the streets were narrow…). There were scenes that I desperately wanted to capture of these bright colorful doors and matching windows with balconies that I couldn’t get a good angle for. It was a bummer but now, I’m determined to go back (when it is a little cooler, maybe the fall) with my 35mm and maybe even a wider angle lens. (I shoot Nikon so if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!)
You can bet I’ll be back in New Orleans, with a better lens and an even better outlook because New Orleans proved me wrong, I loved it!