photo of the week

Highly Prized

This scene is so “typical,” it has the appearance of a setup. Nothing could be further from the truth. I saw the shot and clicked fast on April 21, 2006. The location, familiar to many, is the corner of Decatur and St. Anne in New Orleans, right at the epicenter of New Orleans’ French Quarter and home to the legendary Café Du Monde. Notice the highly prized corner table is unoccupied. As quick as I finished the shot, I scrambled for the table and grabbed it right before a couple of other interlopers, who had spotted it a few seconds too late. The table is the best front-row seat in the French Quarter. Take note of the two musicians at the front of the café.


Sunday, July 28, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas

Eight months earlier than this idyllic scene, New Orleans was hammered by the foul winds and water of Hurricane Katrina. At the moment of this photo, the city had rebounded nicely, and other than a few locations still not open, it was business very close to usual. On my last visit in 2010, the “Quarter” was operating full speed on turbo.

When Katrina blasted the city, the French Quarter was the least harmed area because New Orleans’ founding fathers recognized the value of high ground. Later developers were not as far sighted and suffered a knee-deep or worse fate.

Mississippi River bridge

Tuggin' through Crescent City.

Later that day, I repaired to a favorite bench on the river walk. Here a visitor can observe the comings and goings of one of the nation's busiest ports for ocean-going vessels. My target of the moment, however, was not one of the leviathan monsters lumbering up the mighty Mississippi River, but a small river tug, dwarfed by the pilings of the Crescent City Connector Bridge.


An Instant Replay at St. Anne Street.

Two years later and ten days earlier, the same two guys we see performing in the top picture were doing their trick at the same place near the Decatur Street entrance to the Café Du Monde.

It is said in some circles, with a ring of truth, that expectations sow the seeds of resentment. Fortunately, when it comes to New Orleans, some treasured and deliciously anticipated expectations always seem to be met. I suppose that’s why folks continue to make the trip. Right now, I’m past due.

Photo Notes

Notes, Street scene, Nikon D100, ISO 200, Nikkor 18-70mm f3.5-4.5, 1/250@f8. Musicians, Nikon D200, ISO 200, same lens, 1/250@f7.1. Bridge and tug, Nikon D100, ISO 200 Nikkor 70-300, 1/1000@f8. All post processed in Photoshop® CC.


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