Newbie in New Orleans

room with a viewJust got back home after a rather grueling three weeks of living out of my suitcase. Mind you, I’m not complaining. It’s just nice to be in my apartment and be back to the routine of everyday life (as crazy as this feels sometimes). One of the reasons I was back in the States (other than to throw my sister a baby shower) was to attend my field’s annual conference, which was in New Orleans this year (see the view from the hotel room above).

A lot of times the conference venues are on the pricier side (and where your institution does not provide funding for research and conference travel, that is something I am learning to factor into submitting things for conferences these days. Unfortunate, but true.). But this year, the conference hotel was reasonable + I reconnected with a college friend who also got her PhD in the same field = cost sharing = awesome.

Some early morning pics of the Mississippi River.
riverside2riverside1Early morning in front of Jackson Park/Square. jackson parkI thought this was particularly neat, “A Monument to the Immigrant”. It was a moving piece – capturing the aspirational aspect of being a part of the US’ immigrant history. monument to the immigrantWhen not doing my due diligence attending meetings, presentations, and conversing with colleagues, I did squeeze in some time to wander around the French Quarter with my ol’ point and shoot. mapI had no idea that so many used bookstores were located in New Orleans and that it was the stomping grounds of people like William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, and co. I asked one of the guys working how they all stayed in business. His response was that there were so many people who were collectors and looking for specific types of books (genres, periods, etc.) that they could all stay in business. For a bibliophole like me, it was amazing. Just for that, I need to go back to New Orleans. literary landmarkused bookstoreused bookstore 2While wandering around, I came across this sign (see below). And along with the crowds, I watched as the crew, director(s), and actors were marking out this scene. When I asked around, apparently, the Vampire Diaries production team has a standing appointment in the French Quarter on Wednesday afternoons. So if you’re a fan and you’re in the Big Easy, maybe pop in to see if you could catch a glimpse of the taping.
vampire diaries 1vampire diaries 2vampire diaries 3I don’t know if New Orleans always had so many installations and statues up or if they were put after Hurricane Katrina during the reconstruction, but there is a lot of great art just on the streets, on the buildings, in the windows, all over.I don’t know if New Orleans always had so many installations and statues up or if they were put after Hurricane Katrina during the reconstruction, but there is a lot of great texture on the streets, on the buildings, in the windows, all over. windowswall_adjustedwindow2Signage mash up. I loved that so much of the signage at cafes and stores were unique and not uniform. And the typeography. Loved it.  sign-montageReally liked this poster – almost thought about going in and buying it. 🙂 But strangely, I liked how the picture turned out with the building’s reflection in the background… posterDidn’t get to ride the trolley – will have to do that next time. trolley

And of course, you can’t go down to New Orleans without hitting up NoMo (Emeril’s restaurant) – ribs and crab mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, a shrimp po boy with fried green tomatoes and Cafe du Monde’s (in)famous beignets and coffee (x2). Yum.  foodI know people that treat conferences like vacations and see/do tons of things. While I haven’t figured out the right conference participation to sightseeing ratio, I enjoyed my one afternoon of walking without a schedule. Still on my list – venture out of the French Quarter, go to a jazz club, eat chargrilled clams. Hope to be back someday. 🙂 just hanging out(Incidentally, when I took this picture of this dog, a police officer was issuing a parking ticket. He started laughing at me taking a picture of this guy so I felt compelled to tell him that my sister has a dog and it has a similar face. He shrugged (still laughing) – he didn’t care why I was taking the picture. So I sheepishly smiled… and took another picture. :))

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