In New Orleans, nothing’s half as beguiling as the French Quarter.
In the early morning, the French Quarter is quiet and serene. At times, you don’t spot another soul except the workers cleaning up the aftermath of the nightly party that is Bourbon Street. As day turns to night, music envelopes the area and people begin to crowd the sidewalks. New Orleans often feels like a living organism, teeming with colors, sounds and smells unlike those in other places. The city is credited with being the birthplace of jazz, and music is a vital part of the New Orleans experience. Whether it’s echoing down a side street or fueling a second line behind the brass band, there is a nearly constant soundtrack as you go about your travels. I recently took some time to explore the area in and around the French Quarter. There was something to document around virtually every corner. From a performer dressed as Darth Vader dancing for tips to a winethemed parade, each street led to its own miniadventure.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: In mid-February Carnival celebrations in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Raymond “Dr. Wrackle” Williams, left, and Aurelien Barnes get ready to play during the wine-themed Krewe of Cork parade; Lori and Kevin Frischhertz, both dressed as Marilyn Monroe, mingle among visages of the real thing; as dual Lone Rangers, Francis and Yvette DeBlanc leave no room for a Tonto. ABOVE: Colored lights cast a smeary glow on the slick pavement of Bourbon Street.