travel

NOLA: A Photo Affair to Remember

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I landed in New Orleans, Louisiana. My first time back in the south since I lived in Mississippi. I haven’t talked about that part of my life on here yet have I? Welp, another post coming soon I guess! But back to this moment. I landed with so many expectations yet so little at the same time. I had three days. I didn’t know what would come of my short stint in this tremendously culture-rich and famous city. What I did throughout my trip, however, was snap moments endlessly. For this post, I decided instead of being word heavy, I wanted the images to express the spirit of what I witnessed with this central thought in mind; “New Orleans is a city that builds upon itself.” I received that gem from one of the Uber drivers I had. I’ll sprinkle in a few stories but here’s my visual perspective on New Orleans:

It’s always an adventure when it comes to being around this radiant beauty who happens to be my cousin (our moms are sisters). For those of you who know her, y’all can attest to the electric energy that surrounds this positively beaming soul.

Water surrounded our journey. I am both comforted and eerily reminded of the power that water holds. In particular, the catastrophic devastation that happened to Louisiana almost 14 years ago during Hurricane Katrina.

I love Spanish Moss. There was such a mystical sensation I felt when we biked through City Park.

My photography opened up a lot more during this trip. I was extremely nervous to take this man’s photo. I thought, at any moment he could turn around and start yelling at me for taking his photo. What I did instead of stress about the “what ifs” was first look at how focused and concentrated he was as he waited for whatever it was he was waiting for. That calmed my nerves and then I began to snap his grace.

The streets and buildings represented various samplings of every metropolis I’ve visited. I could envision New York and San Francisco through these beautiful structures.

An underlying theme during my trip was meeting these two men. The elderly gentleman, Naija (pictured above with the film camera) expressed how significant it was to meet my cousin and I as he had a friend recently return from a trip to Ethiopia, specifically from Shashamene (the land given by H.E. Emperor Haile Selassie to Jamaicans and Rastafarians). He felt the divine serendipity in our encounter and literally said, “Ethiopia must be calling me home.” The young man pictured below, Ras, is a business owner who runs a vegetarian oasis called “VeggieNola.” Serving delicious and healthy food, drinks, and positive vibes to his community.

Oh NOLA music. Now I don’t feel as though I saw nearly enough of what NOLA had to offer in terms of music but from what I was able to see, I was absolutely swooning. From the bars to the streets, the consistent background of jazz was truly amazing and made my soul weep with joy.

Unexpectedly, our trip coincided with St. Joseph’s day which welcomed the beautiful black Indian heritage that I knew nothing about prior to this day. I learned more about the black Indian heritage visually through their uniforms, not costumes, and that each ensemble takes one year to complete as it is hand-stitched with intricate beadwork.

New Orleans quickly captivated my heart. It brought out so much of what I fell in love with while I lived in the south some years ago. I have no doubt that I will return to this incredibly vivacious city and take a deeper look at the people, and the stories, that have built this magical place.

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