Outdoor Exploration: New Orleans

As you may have expected, this outdoor exploration is not exactly me heading out into the wilderness with my camera and snapping some great mountain pictures. That is coming in the next few days.

Building along Jackson Square, said to be an old apartment building

This exploration, however, was one of a new place. I have never been to Louisiana before the Society of Environmental Journalist’s conference (yay for state 43 out of 50!) and I was happy to be able to explore a new city.

St. Louis Cathedral along Jackson Square
St. Louis Cathedral along Jackson Square

When my friend Kasey and I weren’t at the Hilton conference session, we were able to walk around the very humid French Quarter of the Big Easy.

Famous Cafe Du Monde!
Famous Cafe Du Monde!

Most of the time, we wandered around the French Quarter, eating beignets, taking photos of fantastic balconies and munching on great food.

Gator on a stick from the French Market on Dupuyer Street
Gator on a stick from the French Market on Dupuyer Street

On Saturday, we were able to visit the infamous NoLa cemeteries and take a ghost tour. I knew that the tombs are above ground so that the caskets don’t float away during floods (since NoLa is below sea level), but I was surprised to find caskets and headstones in the walls surrounding St. Louis Cemetery Number 2.

Headstones and caskets in the walls of the cemetary
Headstones and caskets in the walls of the cemetary

One of the best stops in St. Louis Cemetery was Marie Laveau’s tomb, which is covered in X markings.

The XXX's on Marie Laveau's tomb
The XXX’s on Marie Laveau’s tomb

As the legend goes, Laveau was THE Voodoo Queen of the Crescent City. Those who visit her grave ask for something, sort of like a prayer, since she was a spiritual healer during her lifetime in 1794-1881. If she grants said wish/prayer, you must return to her and give her a gift. Her burial-place was covered in coins and other tokens of appreciation.

The Voodoo Queen's grave in St. Louis Cemetery #1
The Voodoo Queen’s grave in St. Louis Cemetery #1

After visiting these areas, we went on a ghost tour of the French Quarter. I personally do not think ghosts are a real thing, so I was more interested in the history of the area and the background of the unique architecture.

American Horror Story: Coven shooting location
American Horror Story: Coven shooting location

We did see the building used in American Horror Story: Coven (which I do not watch), and below is a photo of the shooting schedule at that location. This house is used in the show and based off of Madame LaLaurie‘s mansion, which is a few houses down. LaLaurie was known for torturing slaves, or so I learned from Wikipedia and my ghost tour guide. Spooky.

Schedule for production at the AMS: Coven house
Schedule for production at the AMS: Coven house

Until next time, New Orleans!

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