It’s been noted that I’m in New Orleans so much that I might as well live there, but I like the country, too. I love visiting cities, I don’t necessarily want to be in them 24-7.
Anyway. Saturday was the Piety Street Holiday Market, and a friend of mine in the New Orleans Photo Alliance had a booth, so I decided to go. They have the market every 3rd weekend in the Old Ironworks in Bywater; there are 2 in December and I think they have extra vendors as well. It’s a combination craft fair/flea market, and I think there’s sometimes live music. And of course food, because this is New Orleans we’re talking about.
I love Bywater. It’s the Berkeley (or Red Hook) of New Orleans. If I WAS going to live in the city, I’d want to live either there or in Marigny.
I just went for something to do–I’m done with my shopping anyway–but actually I was really surprised with the quality of the stuff being sold.
My friend was selling, among other things, “paper ephemera”: old checks and bills. These are from 1895, 1899, and 1907. People had such cool handwriting back then, all spidery and curlicued.
I also bought a mixed-paper journal made from an old French-language children’s book (I’m always meaning to do something like that myself, I have enough paper craft supplies), and a couple of 4×6 matted prints from a local artist. (One for me, one for a friend.)
The one I’m keeping is a photo of a doorway on Rue Dauphine. Clearly, I like photos of doorways in New Orleans. I take dozens of them.
I also had a key lime snowball. Snowballs are a southern Louisiana thing, and they are miles better than a grainy, gritty snowcone. They’re more like Hawaiian shaved ice, with a very fine, snow-like texture. Lots of places are seasonal, opening around either Mardi Gras or Easter and closing around the time the clocks are set back. But some places are open year-round.
There was a really cool mural on the outside of the Old Ironworks.
Afterward, since I was in the neighborhood already, I drove to St. Roch to take some photos of that delightfully morbid body part chapel with my Z2300. I also realized that last time I neglected to take any photos of the statue of St. Lucy. Yes, those are eyeballs on a tray.
Then I drove over to Magazine Street. There’s a stationery store called Scriptura that a friend told me about, I bought some stationery and a pocket notebook and replenished my NOLA postcard stash for Postcrossing.com. Afterwards I went to 2 galleries on the same street to see a couple of different photo exhibits that opened as part of PhotoNOLA.
I really enjoyed the Contemporary Antiques exhibit at the Octavia Art Gallery. It was curated by Frank Relle, but a lot of the photographers are amateurs, and most of their photos were taken with cell phones. It’s fun to see the kinds of things that catches other people’s eyes, and the sheer amount of photos–blown up to 6×6 (I think, I didn’t measure them), with identical white mattes and mounted floor-to-ceiling–was dizzying. I’m an old school film photographer, but I like that literally everyone carries around a camera with them on their phone now. I think it encourages people to pay attention to their surroundings, to look for beauty and fascination in the mundane, and I think it probably teaches them things like composition and framing without their even knowing.
I also went to the Leslie Addison and George Yerger exhibit at the Cole Pratt Gallery. I’ve been interested in these artists since shortly after I moved to Louisiana and they were featured in an issue of Louisiana Life. They use plastic cameras (Holgas, mostly) like myself. In a way they encouraged me to start taking my own work more seriously, because I looked at their photos and thought “Hell, I could do that. I DO do that.”