New Orleans, Louisiana

In May of 2014 my girlfriend and I visited the amazing city of New Orleans. This was our 1st visit and most definitely not our last. I love this place… not just for the food, music and booze either. The people, the history, the architecture, the art scene, its all there.

You can go on any website and read about New Orleans, so I’ll spare you the long winded jabber. Lets get right to the pics, shall we?

We stayed at the Cornstalk Hotel on Royal Street for the duration of our trip. Its an absolutely fabulous hotel in a great location with an amazing staff, great service, and lots of history. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to stay in the French Quarter.

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On our first day we walked around the Quarter and hit all of the usual tourist spots. Jackson Square was among one of those spots. A great place to see local artists, street performances and catch a horse and buggy ride.

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On the 2nd day we hit up the National WWII Museum in downtown New Orleans. The Boeing exhibition was pretty impressive. I’ve never seen so many WWII aircraft in such pristine condition all under one roof. If you go to New Orleans, go to this museum, its worth every penny. I was happy to see that they had a section of a B24 on display, and even happier that I was able to walk around the back of the fuselage to grab a picture of the radio desk situated right behind the cockpit. My grandfather started off as a radio operator in a B-24 during WWII, so imagine he spent a lot of time in this section of the aircraft.

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My grandfather, Staff Sgt. Alfred Longchamps of 392nd Bomb Group 576th Squadron later went on to be the belly gunner with 2 confirmed kills in the European theatre. They completed 24 missions before they crash landed in neutral Switzerland at Dubendorf field. He is shown top right standing in front of his plane (The Hell Wagon) with the rest of his crew.

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It wouldn’t be a trip to Nola without touring a cemetery, so we made sure to go at least once during our stay. We didn’t bother with the tour, you get to hear plenty of it while you walk around on your own. Just make sure you check the schedule before you go. They have weird hours.

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This grave was reduced to a pile of bricks and had an open bible at the foot of the statue. Some how, even with the weather, the ink didn’t run and the sun didn’t bleach out the pages.

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Along our travels we saw a lot of awesome street art, this is something that caught my eye down on Frenchmen Street

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As we walked up the Mississippi river I looked towards the city and thought this would make a nice picture. Yeah its just some railroad tracks and a wall.. but something about it makes me happy. Probably because this is polar opposite of something you would see in Naples, FL. one of the most uninteresting places ever.

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We did a lot of walking in New Orleans… A LOT! We made our way up the river from the quarter and into downtown and as we walked and walked and walked we got thirsty. We found this bar next to the Roosevelt Hotel and decided to hit it up. They had two 1940’s Buicks parked out front that apparently belong to the owner of the bar. Right across the street is the abandoned Half Shell and Piccadilly lounge as seen below. For a minute I thought I had been transported back in time until I saw a Toyota Prius drive by.. nope still in 2014.

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Another really cool museum to hit up is the Pharmacy Museum down in the French Quarter. Its only $5 per person and they have a very impressive collection of medical and pharmaceutical pieces. Hundreds and hundreds of apothecary bottles, medical instruments, period furniture and cabinets. A must see for anyone interested in vintage medical.

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Towards the end of our trip we decided to branch off and do our own thing for a few hours. I really wanted to go explore this abandoned hospital downtown, but getting in during the day was harder than I thought. I had scoped out the area for a while but security seemed to be all over me from the moment I arrived. After it was obvious that they were watching me and waiting for me to make my move, I aborted and started to look for new places to explore. On my way back to Canal St. I decided to take a different route and boy am I glad I did. I was walking up the street when all of a sudden this guy walks out of a door with some lighting equipment (for film) and some cords over his shoulder. I said “Hey whats going on in there”? and he told me that they just got done shooting a scene for Terminator 5. He then quickly walked away to a box truck parked in the street. I noticed that the door had not shut behind him, so I opened it and peeked in. Well whatta we got here? The State Palace Theatre. I snuck in and walked around for almost 2 hours. I wanted to take more pictures but I spent more time actually exploring and evading film crews more than anything else. I was able to see a lot of the theatre though and I was happy that my exploring ventures were not a complete failure for the day.

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After getting my fill of the theatre I was getting hungry and decided I better get going. I walked out that same door I had come in un-detected and was feeling pretty great. I was thinking how thankful I was for getting a chance to explore such an amazing spot, so rich in history and such beautiful architecture. I was also thinking about how great it was that I didn’t get hassled or busted for trespassing. Score! Just as I was completing that thought all I heard was… “Get on the ground, get on the FUCKING ground, now… DO IT NOW! GET ON THE FUCKING GROUND”! and now I am like.. shit you gotta be kidding me. Well turns out that I just walked into the middle of a bust. Guns were out and pointed in my direction.. I was in shock. After I realized they were not there for me.. I felt an instant feeling of relief. They took one guy down (who was walking right behind me) in front of the theatre. Moments later another cop car pulls up to grab this other kid. He runs out into the middle of Canal Street, gets clipped by a car, and falls down. The cop who was chasing him grabbed him up, and dragged him back to the sidewalk to cuff him. What a way to end the day though. Here I am thinking, oh man I’m going to jail, they saw me leave the theatre, they are going to see all these pics on my phone, I’m busted! Nope.. just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So with that being said, go to Nola. Eat the food, see the sights, listen to the music, have a blast. BUT… watch where you go and be aware of your surroundings. Its an amazing place to visit but at the end of the day it can be a rough town and crime is everywhere whether you are sober enough to recognize it or not.

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