new orleans

a manifested ten year conversation...

 
 photo credit: me, lenora houseworth

photo credit: me, lenora houseworth

 

Don't worry. I promise this won't be some long rambling post. If you follow me on IG,  @therusticwindow you probably saw my adventures in the Big Easy, but don't fret if you missed it because I added it to my highlights. I hope you check it out. What I didn't add there you will see here. Hopefully lol {because my memory}. This journey far surpassed what I expected or anything I could have imagined.

It was beautiful and lively and amazing and inspiring and cultured and heartwrenching. When you are sitting down writing your list of places you want to travel in the world, in between Paris and Bali and Japan, throw New Orleans in the mix.

The story begins with Essence . If you are not familiar, Essence is a magazine that focuses on beauty, fashion, literacy. pop culture, wealth building and more importantly social and socio-economic issues and solutions that directly affect African American women. This mag was created due to the lack of representation in print publications. For the past 25 years they've put on a festival in New Orleans celebrating and empowering women of color by way of music, beauty, financial literacy, networking, panel discussions and more. For the past 10 years, my cousin, mi familia, my inspo, @lenorashewrote   and I had been discussing our unnerving desire to attend. We talked it but didn't walk it!! FOR TEN YEARS.

And last year we threw caution to the wind and it still almost didn't happen. There were literally no hotel rooms or Air B-n-Bs available when we began our search. Keep in mind this festival was last week and everything was practically booked by November 2017, but when God aligns things, everything happens as it should. This is the longest part of this post. Hang in there.

The history of New Orleans became the focal point of our travels and it has forever changed the both of us. Most of the time when people travel and post to social media they post the aesthetics and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but once we stepped into the depths of NOLA's history we couldn't let go.  It would have been irresponsible traveling to ignore what we were seeing. We talked to natives. Asked questions and were lead to the most amazing places. We were given impromptu tours of historical communities by Uber and Lyft drivers. We gave our dollars to black owned businesses in suffering wards. We had a real experience. The following is a visual mix of the landscape, art, the beautiful surroundings, architecture & us vs. the very important and real history of this city where we learned of the roots from which we grew. Enjoy! 


Architecture

Every building has a story; a testament of how rich in history the city is. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has stripped it of quite a bit of its history along with gentrification.  These shots are from the very touristy French Quarter.

 

 
 

the cafe'...

We ate breakfast, had coffee and had NOLA beignets for the first time at Cafe Beignet on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. People kept recommending Cafe' Du Monde which is a very popular tourist stop. It was grossly over crowded, but a lot of natives expressed to us that it is like the McDonald's of Beignets - a fried biscuit is how one gentlemen described them. When the natives speak make sure you listen.

Cafe Beignet is quaint, comfy and the food is crazy delicious.  Scroll through the slideshow. 

 
 

the bookstore...

The Dauphine Street Bookstore has been in the French Quarter for 24 years. There was a cat lived there and his spirit roams between the shelves.

 
 
 
 photo credit: cici ford

photo credit: cici ford

 

just me...

 
 

the history...

Life changing. Please refer to my highlights on IG for more details. The emotions were extremely high because I felt the spirit of my ancestors. I heard their cries. I saw their pain in front of me in vivid detail. I internalized the stories od displacement from the victims of Hurricane Katrina who thirteen years later are still trying to piece together pieces of their lives. I am eternally grateful for this journey.

 
 photo cred: lenora houseworth

photo cred: lenora houseworth