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2 Days in the Big Easy

I’ve had such a great time here in New Orleans. It’s a big city, no doubt. How big was a surprise to this Charlestonian. It’s like Paris without the Metro (or the Louvre). I finally got the knack of driving it’s streets—pedal to the metal and balls to the wall. Like Charleston, it has a very laid-back vibe in general. Everyone’s been friendly and I’ve never, ever felt threatened, as I was afraid I would be.

Yesterday morning I ate at a little cafe around the corner.

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There was a nice looking lady next to me at the next table. She had a huge manuscript on the table so I asked if she was a teacher (don’t ask how I got that). She laughed and said she was often asked that. We struck up a great conversation. Sara Ann Harris was in the National Park Service for 28 years, had retired and written a book. The book was just okayed for publication so she was really excited. It’s a book about the Spanish that settled a bit east of New Orleans, and their culture. If I got any of that wrong, forgive me Sara Ann. I’m pretty sure I got it right. We traded laughs about tons of stuff then traded emails.

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After breakfast I made my first trip to the French Quarter with the intention of eating lunch at Acme Oyster Bar after walking off breakfast. It was quite an eye-opener, that part of the city. It felt like miles of vieux maisons  just packed sided-by-side over blocks and blocks, and tons of wrought iron. Charleston is so dainty in comparison. This was hard core. And the oysters were perfection!!

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This morning I met Kris Davidson for breakfast. Kris taught me a Documentary Photography class at AAU and she does frequent assignments for National Geographic (among other publications). I knew she lived down here so she was kind enough to meet me and treat me to breakfast! I had a great time picking her brain about the inner workings of a documentary photographer—the stuff behind the scenes that we never learn about in school. Kris is so upbeat and has so much knowledge that it was a joy to talk over breakfast. And no, strangely enough, I did not take her photo! But here’s one from her website (all copyright Kris Davidson):

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It’s always been a dream of mine (and my friend, Linda’s) to work for Nat Geo. I know Kris would say it’s possible. So I’m going with that.

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