Sunday, March 31, 2013

Maurepas Foods And Bywater

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Unfortunately, we only had one free evening in New Orleans. We met Shannon, my paralegal's sister, who is a long-time NOLA resident. At her suggestion, we had dinner at Maurepas Foods in the Bywater neighborhood. It's across the street from Christopher Porché-West's studio.

Wow. Exquisite dishes based on Cajun and Creole cuisine with inventive twists. Unusually for an American restaurant these days, the portion sizes were exactly right for human beings, rather than swine. The prices were very reasonable. Highly recommended. The top picture shows Mrs. C and Shannon across the table. Carolyn is in a dreamy bayou reverie while Shannon discusses the wine list with our server. By the way, look at the second picture closely.

The Bywater neighborhood was fascinating and I hope to explore it more. The rest of the shots are images in the area that caught my eye.

This ends the New Orleans series. There are more pix in the set on Flickr here. A new series about St. Louis starts tomorrow. The subject is fabulous. It says so.           

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

A New Orleans Photographer

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I met Christopher Porché-West on the evening after I shot my TV commercials in New Orleans last week. His studio and workshop is at the corner of Burgundy and Desire in the Bywater neighborhood. Could there be a better address? It was across the street from the place where we had dinner so we went in for a look.

The place is a gorgeous, tiny museum. You gotta watch the video on his website to get a sense of his view of America's most exotic, mysterious city. If you find yourself in New Orleans, you must visit. Once you've been, you'll understand why.       

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Oh When The Saints . . .

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. . .come marching in. New Orleans jazz, Dixieland. These young men were playing it for tips on Bourbon Street and they were hot. The tourist in the middle picture decided to put himself in the act. (I wouldn't dream of doing this!) The band had drawn a small crowd when I passed. The white (and one Asian) spectators seemed to prefer the sidewalk across the street from the black musicians.

I don't think that Rick's Sporting Saloon means sporting in the sense of baseball or tennis. You might remember the character Sportin' Life in Porgy and Bess.        

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Thursday, March 28, 2013


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Drinking in the street is permitted in the commercial parts of the French Quarter. Not like in St. Louis on St. Patrick's Day, where it is an occasional tolerance of naughtiness. On Bourbon Street, it's a 24/7/365 activity.

At a meetings some years ago, a New Orleans lawyer and I were  talking about Louisiana liquor laws. I asked if the state had an open container law (it is generally illegal in the US to have an unsealed container of an alcoholic beverage inside a car). "Sure," he shot back, "you gotta have one." All this is titillating for visitors but it's still pretty sad.      

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meanwhile, On Bourbon Street

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Bourbon Street is the heart of the entertainment and restaurant district in New Orleans. Damn near anything goes, as long as you don't bust up the merchants' property or harass others. Tolerance is the policy, so the individual in the top photo, taken at about 4 in the afternoon, does not raise eyebrows among the locals. The tourists get a buzz off it but, hey, it's part of the floor show.

Perhaps the man should have checked out the sign across the street. I think it refers to a cocktail, not a religious concept, but why not take a chance? As they say down there, laissez les bons temps rouler.         

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


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So here's why I was in New Orleans last week:

Crass commercialism. Our little boutique law firm advertises on TV. We have to. We represent individual people one at a time, not businesses or government agencies. People need us once and almost never again. When I started doing this it was a genteel little backwater of American legal practice. Now there is cut-throat competition. So we're on TV, something quite common in the US these days.

The agency I use is in New Orleans. They couldn't be more specialized - just law firms in our type of practice, one client per TV market. We only make new ads about every four years. It's quite expensive. The guy I use usually does backgrounds of plain white, plain black or fake office. We pushed him this time into doing green screen. One of my simple pix of the Arch will be in the background. I'll be on the left.

One of the production team took these pictures with my camera during the shoot. I guarantee you this is not my natural skin tone (wee bit of make-up) but studio lights do a great job with color. And yes, we are on YouTube. Here's me with my partner of 28 years, Julie Shanahan, in a video from our web site.

Out on the streets of New Orleans tomorrow.         

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Snow

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The calendar says that spring began a few days ago. We haven't gotten much snow in St. Louis in recent years but yesterday brought the biggest dump of the season. This may be trivial to those to the north but it's earth-shaking here. We're snow weenies.

The weather gave me a reason to get out and shoot snow, an unusual opportunity. The top two pictures are my street, taken with a fish-eye lens. The bottom two are in a nearby park.  

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Street Porrtraits 2

More street portraits from the two St. Patrick's Day parades. Lots of smiles (some lubricated), some glowers and at least two colored contact lenses.

There are more and more pictures in the St. Pat's set on Flickr. Time to be moving on, though. A few pix about the reason I was in New Orleans. Lots of good pix of the Big Easy itself. Yesterday there was, of all things, a Baconfest in downtown STL. And we may get a lot of snow today (morning trip to the Botanical Garden?). Might break my shutter.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Street Portraits 1

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Anyone who has read this blog knows that I love to make street portraits. Approaching people like this is scary for some of us but I've been trained how to do it. My day job has given me extra experience in chatting up strangers.

These were taken up and down Market Street during the big parade last weekend. A few more tomorrow, I think.        

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Six Years

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Today is St. Louis Daily Photo's sixth anniversary. There have been 2,185 posts. Heaven knows how I've kept it up. It's been difficult at times but here it is still. It has had its rewards.

The top picture was not taken in my city. It was shot during my too-brief photo walk in New Orleans Tuesday afternoon. In the French Quarter, the street names are set in tiles on the corner and there is a St. Louis Street (see also here). Good, strong graphics. The picture below is from the same series. Not about STL or the anniversary but it sure is bright.

There are still some St. Pat's pictures I want to post. Got some good street portraits.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Arch Series, With Political Extra

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Long lens shot down Market Street over the parade in the gloom last Saturday. Note the Santa Claus with a green hat in the lower left. There are many more shots of the weekend's parades on Flickr here, with more still to come as I have time to edit.

Mayors everywhere show up at big events like this, of course. That's Mayor Francis Slay, about to start an unprecedented fourth term, pictured below. The man on the left facing away from the camera is St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.

It just occurred to me that tomorrow is this blog's sixth anniversary. Wonder what I can come up with.       

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Easy Riders, Dogtown Style

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Ug. Our plane from St. Louis to New Orleans arrived four hours late and we got to bed around 2 AM. Up and out this morning for some commercial activity, more about which in a bit.

These photos illustrate varieties of transportation at the Hibernians parade in Dogtown. Just love the stylish engine in the first one. The Edsel, once called the worst car ever made in America, ain't bad either.

Great Nawlins dinner last night.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blessing O'The Beer

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It's the reason for the season, at least for some people.  Here, Good St. Paddy himself blesses the beer. (I put him up to it.) Even the bottle is green. The second picture sums up the attitude of some of the merry-makers pretty well. I do not condone alcohol abuse and I did not see anyone behaving offensively at either of last weekend's parades. However, I'd rather have some public silliness than a stone cold sober town.

In this country, New Orleans leads the way in public silliness. And speaking of which, top o'the morning from The Big Easy itself. I have some actual work to do here until mid-afternoon. Then there is time for some shooting and dinner with a local friend. This trip, plus the general panic level at work, is the reason I've been light on comments on my friends' blogs. Home tomorrow.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

There Are Some Wacky People In This Town

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I made it  to the Ancient Order of Hibernians parade in Dogtown yesterday. It didn't snow. Although the day was colder, there was little wind and I bundled up. Ready for action.

This parade is smaller. It lacked entries from TV stations and high school marching bands. More families. Most of the marching groups were based on Irish clans although, alas, the Crowes of County Clare were unrepresented.

The participants and crowd were no less wacky than at the big event downtown. That's one of the things I love about St. Louis. It ain't stuffy, or at least the parts that are stay out of my way.      

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