Poscards from... New Orleans, New Year 1988

January 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

New Orleans was the last stop on my Greyhound bus American Christmas road trip, in 1988. (The previous stop was Florida, Miami beach in particular – see a few postcards)

The vibe was as light as the air...

[Version française de cet article ici]

New Orleans, 1988

... and the distinctive architecture of the “French” quarter felt both exotic (even to a Frenchman 😊) and inviting.

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988

Music, often a family business, was, quite literally, on every street corner.

1987 - Christmas break - Florida & Louisiana - 1271987 - Christmas break - Florida & Louisiana - 127

Still, I felt that New Orleans' soul really started shining at night - both outside, and inside, for instance in its streetcars, even if not explicitly called "desire"

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988 New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988   

Although a lot of the jazz cafés felt like tourist traps serving sanitized tunes to undiscerning ears...

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988

... other places, like this dueling piano joint, felt more authentic.

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988Dueling pianos

The best experience we had was to be found behind these aged grimy doors:

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988Preservation Hall

The "Preservation Hall"...

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988Preservation Hall

After one shot I decided to turn my flash off, promptly realizing that it was obliterating the atmosphere. I decided to roll with the very dim ambient light only - quite a daring choice given the low sensitivity of my film and the very moderate brightness of my student budget lens... 
I had to wait a few weeks to get the film processed and see the results. I was not disappointed, as, looking at my slides, I could feel again the spirit of the place, loud and clear...

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988Preservation Hall

... and swaying to the beat ...

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988Preservation Hall New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988Preservation Hall

... or just pondering days gone by.

New Orleans, 1988New Orleans, 1988Preservation Hall

What a wonderful time...

A few hours later, I had to get back on a bus for a 36 hour non-stop journey back to my campus in Philadelphia...

More to come, stay tuned!


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