Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Orleans in Metal and Stone

Last week we spent more time as tourists in our new home than we have since we moved here. We had a guest, and Robyn wanted to see the town. So see it we did.

A lot of the pix will show up here in the next week, but there were far too many to show all at once. Today I'm going to post some shots of the statuary.

Albany, where we lived for so many years, had two bits of public art that I can recall – and one of them sucked. Three, if you count the man made out of muffler parts that stood in front of a mechanic's shop. There were a few good pieces of public art on St. Croix.

In New Orleans, you can't swing a cat without hitting another piece of statuary. Some are pretty plebian. Some catch your eye and won't let go.

This is a statue of Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, that sits in traffic down near the French Quarter.    

Joan again, this time in the cathedral.

In Louis Armstrong Park there's a lot of statues, dominated by this one of Satchmo himself. Here I'm exchanging a few words with him, or maybe it looks more like I'm asking for directions.

 Tori joins the dance in a statue commemorating Congo Square, a public space now within the park, where in the 18th century slaes were allowed to congregate on Sundays. It became an open air market, where the slaves would sing and dance, creating the environment that infused the city's culture with life and music.

This statue is a tribute to jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden. All three faces in the statue are Bolden, whose coronet helped create the rag time sound that became New Orleans jazz. From 1900 to 1907 his band was the biggest draw in the city. Then he was stricken by dementia, probably brought on by alcohol, and spent the last 26 years of his life institutionalized. He was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave, but his music lives on.

Tori gets up close and personal to a statue at the gate of the park celebrating New Orleans jazz bands.

I share a joke with Jacques the Butcher, outside the Dutch Alley Artists Co-Op.

Not a statue per se, but interesting. Max and Kate stand in front of a tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. The pyramid behind them belongs to Nicolas Cage, the actor, and no, he's not technically dead yet. According to various tour guides we eavesdropped on, Cage lost a couple of properties in the city (and they sort of agreed it was Katrina, although one of the guides blamed back taxes) so he bought and built this tomb (for what the guides agreed was $1.3 million) so that he'll always have a place in New Orleans. Who knows, it could even be true.

This angel atop a large cemetery monument caught our eye because we're Doctor Who fans. Fellow Whovians will understand the weeping angels reference, and the word 'Silence' at the base adds on ominous note.

1 comment:

Pat Kight said...

Wonderful shots - I remember some of the statuary from my 2010 trip to New Orleans. It's good to see you guys laughing again.