New Orleans Street Photography Workshop 2014
This was my sixth or seventh visit to New Orleans, and I must say, I like it more every time. What's the best part of the city? The locals. Yep, I think New Orleans gets a bad rap. Sure there are bad areas, every city has them, but for the most part, New Orleans is the real deal. People are genuine, and helpful and kind--just like the old days. It's a very livable city. In fact, while riding the bus back to the hotel from Jazz Fest with Byron and Kurt, we ran into a guy who was kind enough to tell us that we missed our stop (he overheard us talking). He then explained the bus route, and we realized it would drop us off directly at our hotel. Talking to this man further, he explained how he relocated to New Orleans years ago and he said, "If you ever want a fresh start, New Orleans is the place to be. We have good schools, good neighborhoods and people here help each other here--even strangers." He explained how he ended up there, and how anyone who grew up there was blessed. When most people think of New Orleans, they might think of the Hurricane Katrina devastation, or the bad things that Hollywood portrays in movies, or even Bourbon Street, but if you never get out of the French Quarter and into the neighborhoods, you won't really experience the "real" New Orleans. Last year during our street photography workshop, one of the participants was invited up on a local family's front porch to eat some homemade rhubarb pie. He said it was delicious, and a great memory was made.
I didn't start to understand this until my fifth or sixth trip to the Big Easy. Not until I got out and explored the neighborhoods and interacted with the locals, did I discover that the amazing music, timeless architecture, incredible food and fever-pitched sports was only a manifestation of what was really behind the city: the wonderful people.