New Orleans Travelogue, Day 1

I went to New Orleans for a few days to visit my family. My Mother's cousin, Winsome (Winnie) and her husband Neville (whom my Mom hadn't seen in almost 40 years), were visiting from Australia. Day One was a visit to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with my Dad and Uncle Neville (second cousin?). 

In my salad days, the Jazz Fest was all about the music. Now its more about the food. The crowds were already thick with people lining up for traditional and non-traditional fare by mid-day. Someone standing beside us said, he brought a hundred dollars specifically to sample food here all day.
My Dad, Uncle Neville and I ate shrimp and sausage gumbo on a "table" that was an an old wooden spool painted the color of pistachio ice cream. Unfortunately, my music photos came out better than the food ones so no food photos this year. Alas, the limitations of a point and shoot camera!

The Jazz Fest is the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. The music starts late morning and continues into the early evening on 10 stages, with another stage devoted mostly to interviews.

We headed over to the fais-do-do tent to hear some music and watch some dancing. We listened to the band Feufollet, who was nominated for Grammy award this year.

According to Wikipedia: A Fais do-do is a name for a Cajun dance party, originating before World War II. According to Mark Humphrey the parties were named for "the gentle command ('go to sleep') young mothers offered bawling infants."[1]
After listening to more music, our hunger called again. You can't have lunch without dessert so we had mango freezes. It's mango sorbet that tastes as if the mango were just plucked from the tree.
The Jazz Fest is held at the New Orleans Fairgrounds, which doubles as a venue for horse racing. It's a big open field with limited protection from the sun and humidity. The canopy of a tree is a rarity. The humidity has its own persona and is palpable. It undulates around you in waves of moisture. People take protection from the sun into their own hands and create whimsical umbrellas and parasols. 
We exited the fairgrounds from a different place than we entered and walked through a mid-City New Orleans neighborhood. There was designated bicycle parking for the festival, it was a picturesque tableau with trumpet vines dangling over the wrought iron fence.

While waiting for my brother to pick us up, we stumbled upon a neighborhood park on the corner of Ponce de Leon and Esplanade. The green spot was an oasis from the unrelenting sun, we left at the Jazz Fest. Our musical journey continued. Two fountains greeted us and played soothing songs. Grasses and day lilies bordered the fountain. An almost hidden sculpture was an unexpected scare crow.

Jazz Fest


  1. Looks like a very fun trip, but just thinking about the festival venue makes me feel hot and dusty. I am glad we visited the park.

  2. @Carolyn, Hot, dusty, and sticky. I melt in the sun. I can't last there all day like I used to when I was younger. Finding the park was serendipitous!

  3. I can't believe how much my eyes have adjusted to NM already--the green in that park is so lush! And the light really is a completely different quality. How great to be able to see family and re-experience such a fun memory at the same time. Oh--and Winsome is a wonderful name!

  4. AS one who lived here in South Louisiana , you are so right about the humidity!! I enjoyed New Orleans through your eyes.

  5. @Stacy, I'm always awestruck when I go to New Orleans because of how lush the vegetation is and the houses are painted the colors of ice cream, which seems so fanciful after seeing brown stucco everywhere.

  6. @Jeannie B. - Thanks for visiting my blog. I look forward to the vicarious pleasure of seeing Southern Louisiana and roses on your blog!

  7. Hey what a great coincidence--I was in NOLA for Jazz Fest (the first weekend) this year too! I used to live in NO and it was great to go back to visit. I didn't take too many pictures so I'm reliving my trip through you. Yay!!

  8. @Bumble Lush - It's a small world. I'm often faced with the dilemma of whether to be in the moment or take photos. Sometimes, I try to balance the two.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...