Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cypress Rythm

Where the alligators float in Louisiana...
A big papa cypress spared from logging long ago, one of the bigggest in the Jean Lafitte National Park
We’re leaving New Orleans Louisiana and going through central Texas now, through San Antonio. Yes we went to LA and then we went. Went and went as I say. Straight from Memphis and through the night through a dark and rainy Mississippi we drove. To land ourselves in what will remain an unnamed RV park that we passed by at twelve AM in our quest for sleep.

Cypress in the Jean Lafitte National Park
Louisiana was everything and more than we thought it might be, a landscape dotted with cypress trees and homes nestled in among the swamps and bayous. The only way out by small boats, hidden in among the moss covered trees that drip down onto the edges of the bayou banks. I regret not writing while we were there, but as usual our running was faster than typing hands could keep up with. So many new colors and sounds and birds and plants it was overwhelmingly beautiful.

We visited the magnificent French Quarter in downtown New Orleans creatively built homes inspired by Spanish, French, West Indian, and African influence. Stucco painted in every color, but muted with age. Iron railings, shutters a story tall, and old stone streets meshed with new sidewalks slowly being upturned by tree roots and old age.

The French Quarter in New Orleans

We got to pay a visit to the New Orleans favorite music hall, Preservation Hall. A small room packed with history and legendary players, literally preserved for the players that are still performing the music that was born in New Orleans. Where the confluence of so many cultures from around the world blended to create a new sound that still lives on today thanks to the musicians keeping it alive.  We got to sit on pillows on the floor to hear the Joint Chief’s of Jazz play to us, and I felt like I was a little kid sitting underneath a Christmas tree. Paintings of the people that made music famous in the city line the walls and the light moves very softly throughout the room. A block over on the infamous Bourbon Street there are long lines of bars playing modern music, and the fact that Preservation Hall is still packed on a Wednesday night shows the enduring legacy to the music played there. I wish there had been more of it!

Jean Lafitte National Park, hey everybody!

Old street history

We got a great tip from our park ranger where we were staying on a great restaurant called Coops Place. Best Ever. Two words, that’s it. We also visited the Jean Lafitte National park and walked through the Cypress swamp and marshland areas. There in the downtown our feet stood on the promenade dotted with paint from the sidewalk portrait painters. Voodoo shops with charms and beads and masks, fortune tellers with candlelit tables lined the park in the center of the city at night, and music emanates from alleyways and shop fronts and sidewalk players. Our visit lasted for three days and we really enjoyed the friendliness of the people we met, and relaxed attitude and is our favorite place we’ve visited so far. If you get to pay a visit we’d highly recommend it, and the friendly folks at Bayou Segnette state park in Westwego Louisiana. A fitting name for the journey we’re on, and today we’re doing just that, heading west again across the great big state of Texas.

Till later on,


1 comment:

  1. I love the confluence of music that has happened. I like that you were able to sit like a kid at the feet of musicans....I know that is your favorite thing! I also know, that for you to say it was like Christmas as a kid at the tree...well, I know that means...awe-filled...big wide brown eyes twinkling in the glint of light...and butterfly feeling in your stomach while you can't believe that the world can be this good. I can't wait to see the beauty you two pick up in your photos!