Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Orleans: The Joys of Wandering Aimlessly

Mardi Gras Beaded Bike

Black Pride Statement

House of Blues

Jackson Square

Joanie on a Pony (Joan of Arc)

French Market

Alley Mural

Pedicab at the Corner

Sidestreet Cafe

Soul Dance Lessons

Streetside Serenaders

Voodoo is Practiced Here
Wandering aimlessly through an urban area gives you a chance the taste the "uncanned" flavors of its people and sense of place.  Museums have role in giving visitors aspects of those, but they are what the local people feel that you need to see. Sometimes that presents a censored version of people and place. If you take the time to wander, the impressions that you form are created through spontaneity. What you see (and hear) is what you get.  The only problem with this approach may be that the sights and sounds are subject to personal interpretation without a local explanation. The instance most vivid in my mind happened as I wandered through the streets of a coastal city on Crete in 1972 and saw effigies of black people hanging from lamp posts.  I later discovered that it was how people in that city celebrated Crete's independence from Turkey. The experience was very disturbing to me. It was even more disturbing to the two Black Americans who I was traveling with.  My wandering through the French Quarter of New Orleans was vibrant in sights and sounds, a different experience altogether.

Thank you for visiting the Tavern, feel free to stop by again. In the meantime, may your own travels be interesting and enjoyable.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Orleans: Performance Art Comes to the Street

One of the many aspects of wandering around an urban area is the chance to encounter local street performers. New Orleans has its share of these, and it is not any surprise that many are talented musicians. Music is everywhere in New Orleans and much of it is very, very good.  The range is interesting as well-brass bands, classical, a sitar and drum duo for example.  In addition to the musicians, there were variations on the theme of "living statue".  I'm sure that there were other artistic forms that I missed, even though I went out of my way to find them.  Besides the quality of performance that was found, the attitudes of the various artists made the experience enjoyable.  Talent and humor were used to attract a small audience without the "in your face" approach.  It was a pleasure to share a few brief moments with the performing artist, leave a donation of appreciation, then wander on to the next experience. It must be obvious that this is one more facet that made a visit to New Orleans one to be remembered.

Thank you for visiting the Tavern. Feel free to stop by again sometime.  Until then, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.