New Orleans, the Crescent City

This is going to be my first post from the New Orleans trip and it will a lengthy post with a lot of photos.

My accommodation during my stay was at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in downtown, so aside from attending to various talks during the Botany Conference, I had a lot of opportunities to explore the downtown area, especially the infamous Bourbon Street and French Quarter.  Therefore, this first post is a photographic collection of downtown New Orleans during my 5-day stay there.

Canal Street
Canal Street with palm trees and streetcar tracks.  Can't imagine being here when Hurricane Katrina hit.
On my second day (July 27) there, my labmate and I walked to Louis Armstrong Park.

Louis Armstrong Park
I did a bit of drafting and designing in high school, and so interesting buildings and designs always interest me, and I must say that I love the unique architectural styles of New Orleans!

The park itself is peaceful in contrast with the busy French Quarter.

An elaborate sculpture of the Mardi Gras Indian Allison "Big Chief Tootie" Montana by Sheleen Jones-Adenle.

And of course, the man that this park is named after - famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong.

Downtown New Orleans is also a great place for people-watching as it draws in many young party people, families on vacations, tour groups, and people of all ethnicity and culture.  And of course, there are locals trying to make a living from these visitors.

Buskers are very common, and a lot of them are very talented.

Hard-working buskers
Great jazz band, if I recall correctly.

Some people watching the band playing, others are not.

Horse carriage
There are two main transportation services offered to tourists in the French Quarter - horse carriage and bike rickshaw.  I tried neither but I imagine the visitors learned a lot more about the city than just me walking back and forth on the street.

At the heart of the French Quarter is Jackson Square, and it is a very popular place.

On the side are many interesting (and very touristy) shops.

For example, the Tabasco store.

There are many varieties of Tabasco inside the store.

One of the first meals we had in New Orleans was at Cafe Pontalba at the corner of Jackson Square.

I had oyster po-boys for the first time and it was good.

Jackson Square
On a busy day, the walkway are filled with artists trying to sell their work.  All of them have "no photographs" signs, so I try not to do so.

Love the designs on the light posts.

Light post and tree
Man-made and nature.

Strange to see bananas grown in the heart of the city, but then you know you are somewhere almost tropical.

There are more people on this day.

People taking photos inside Jackson Square with the famous St. Louis Cathedral in the background.

St. Louis Cathedral
St. Louis Cathedral, what a grand building.

St. Louis Cathedral

Another very "proper" building is the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Another popular (and touristy) place is the French Market which sells food and a lot of touristy souvenirs.


What the French Market looked like when it first opened a long time ago.

Outside the French Market is the Latrobe Park.  It is very small but has a nice fountain in it.



Now, the infamous Bourbon Street.  We came here almost every night to find dinner and/or grab a few drinks, but I didn't try to bring my camera during the evenings.

I was trying to photograph the street signs - Orleans and Bourbon Streets.

Infamous Bourbon Street
What it looks like in the daylight.  In the evening is quite a different story - a lot of music, people (both sober and non-sober), and quite a few police on horses.  I can't imagine this place during Mardi Gras.

Near the hotel where the conference took place was a nice walk path along the Mississippi River.


The path.

Steamboat Natchez.  I must admit that I didn't really had time to study New Orleans greatly before arriving (or extra money to buy souvenirs or go on expensive conference field trips), but I guess it makes me want to visit New Orleans again.  The reason I said this is because I just read this blogger's (different) experiences about New Orleans yesterday and all the things/places I wish I know before coming here.


There was not a whole lot of urban wildlife in downtown New Orleans.  There was a boom of katydids during our trip where you could find katydids on windows of expensive brand-name stores.  And my labmate and I saw some kind of swallowtail butterfly flying in a street, and a woman screamed when a car almost hit it.  I think those were pretty much how I felt about New Orleans in general - strange but in a fun way.

Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)

Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)
I saw many Laughing Gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla) while walking along the river.  Lifer!

My supervisor saw one reptile while we walking through the French Quarter.  It seems like a Carolina Anole, but it jumped onto the other side of the fence and so this was the only photo I got.

I like these poles all over the French Quarter with horse heads on them.

Another horse carriage through the French Quarter.

Lime tree growing in somebody's yard in the French Quarter.  So cool!

I think this is a Crepe Myrtle tree which there are a lot of in the city.

I am just going to end this post with an assortment of interesting buildings that I took photos of in downtown New Orleans.


Architectural style of New Orleans
Love the shadows.

Architectural style of New Orleans

Architectural style of New Orleans

Architectural style of New Orleans
Love the plants growing from the balconies.



Architectural style of New Orleans


Again, love the shadows of the intricate designs.

I think there will be at least three more posts about New Orleans to come, and they will be a bit more specific than this one.

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