What makes New Orleans one of the best cities in the United States? And why do I consider it one of my favorite cities in the world? Unlike most people who mutter Bourbon Street and partying as reasons and reminisce about the epic hangover they had, I discovered the magic of New Orleans in a different way.
I was excited before . And a lot of that excitement I couldn’t explain.
“It’s New Orleans, thats why!”
It isn’t in the obvious that we experience the soul and spirit of New Orleans, it’s in the little things that makes this city special.
So I’ve compiled 42 photographic (close up) reasons of why you’ll love New Orleans, and if you’ve ever been, make sure to share your experience below!
The Big Easy Baby //
It begins in the streets when you arrive…
You suddenly notice the crooked Pirates Alley sign pointing down a narrow corridor, and a peculiar sense of curiosity, wonderment, and amusement takes hold.
It’s in the signs around New Orleans while trying to find your way around you notice the differences of this city from everywhere else. Everything sign is honoring a piece of that street’s history.
It’s in the normal street signs, that aren’t so normal, with stickers and clever inspiration abound. The French and the English spellings too.
It’s on the ground, where the streets are labeled there too with beautiful ceramic tiles.
It’s in the plaques on historical buildings you stop to read about, and even though it seems like every building is historical there, well that is fine, because it’s another thing you notice that makes it special.
It’s also in the signs of the restaurants and businesses around. All so unique. All so passionate about their legacy.
It’s even in the little details of the addresses of houses and apartments.
It’s in the small neighborhood shop sign that was hand-made.
It’s in the pride that everyone has in the city, down to the street performer who isn’t there because he is poor, but there because he loves the city.
It’s in the pride of openness and expression in the city that is fully embraced.
It’s especially embraced by this guy…
It’s in the century old brick with their original signs faded on them giving you a glimpse into the past.
It’s in that brick you notice even more small details, like ornate iron decorations.
Or the little fern that could, which makes you stop and smile at something so small, yet so resilient.
It’s in the horse posts that give you a sense of nostalgia as you imagine riding up to the local market on your horse hundreds of years ago.
It’s in the neighborhoods as you are drawn to more exploration around the city that you notice the tall wrought iron gates.
It’s in the secret gardens behind the those wrought iron gates that make you wish you could sit in them with a hot tea and a book everyday.
It’s in the melancholy angel watching the fountain inside of one of those secret gardens.
It’s in the bird feeder that is even eye-catching.
It’s even in the doors as you wander that you notice more. Each door is different and unique. Some tall, some small, some brightly colored, some ornately decorated.
It’s in the things you don’t usually take a moment to appreciate, like a door knocker, that catches your eye. Because even these are beautiful.
It’s in the doorknobs after the door knockers that stop you, and even though you never have had the urge to photograph a door knob, you do now.
It’s in the blue weeping iron guardian above one such door.
It’s in another door, faded and chipped, that opens to a used book store. One you can’t help but enter.
It’s on the houses, where every house seems to be having fun with every aspect of their home, in the sunlight dancing off the disco balls that add stars to another home nearby.
It’s when you look up and notice the gargoyles keeping an eye on you.
It’s also just randomly abound, like these iron corn posts in front of a house that makes you wonder, “What do those mean?”
It’s in the beautiful parks with beautiful trees that reach out to you, hoping you with sit beneath their shade.
It’s in the Windigo by the water, or many such stickers that make a dull lamp-post fun.
It’s in the fun shops, who have fun with making sure a shoplifter is known around town.
It’s in the hanging chairs of consignment shops and antique stores that make you suddenly want to hang chairs on your walls.
It’s in the beautiful paintings all over the city, and their equally beautiful and handmade frames.
It’s in the chairs of such places that are even detailed, and so intricately marvelous you wouldn’t want to sit in them. But you kinda’ do.
It’s in the darker history of the bordello and brothels and prohibition era that intrigues you, and it still celebrated or displayed.
It’s in the voodoo shop you wander into, hesitantly, to feed your curiosity. And you then start thinking about who you you buy a voodoo doll for…
It’s in the small café you stop in to grab a coffee and a chocolate pastry that you notice the cat sleeping on the chair.
It’s outside the café that you hear the banjos, tambourines, violins, guitars, and even washboards making music that causes your foot to automatically tap. (see the chucks?!)
It’s in the cigar shop where an old man hand rolls every cigar, and sometimes tests for quality.
It’s in the open market where you find handmade jewelry, and you start thinking of all the people who would love it too. Especially you.
And after an exhausting yet exhilarating day of wandering miles and hours taking photos or admiring all of these little things, it is in the food that the most magic is in. And no, that magic is not a pile of cocaine…it’s beignets.
Though it is like a drug…