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Where is the French Quarter of the poems? Geographically, it is the area of New Orleans, bounded by Canal St. and Esplanade, North Rampart and the River; it is contained on a map, a place referred to by boundaries. There is no gradual sliding into the Quarter, you go there to find something you cannot find elsewhere.

But what is it you visit?...A collection of old buildings, a street of strip shows and barkers, fine restaurants, peeling plaster and garbage in the streets? There must be something more. It is a mystique, an ambiance as indefinable as a scent you once smelled and long to smell again? There is a feeling of leisure that creeps into your bones with the damp; the luxury of "don't have to get up in the morning," a slow sensuality that leaves you in bed longing for more of something good.

For Quarterites it is the great love affair.

Light and music pour from doorways into the street, here the carnival and there the quiet of candlelight. A celebration of flesh, and an acknowledgement of the spirit.

The faces of the buildings are constantly being repainted. They are ladies past middle-age, settled into their flesh, who must constantly repair the small bits of their maquillage that flake away. The gas lights are kind to these ladies of a certain age, still bright in their layers of paint.

”The faces of people, too, seem more vivid here. A trick of Southern light, perhaps, the sun up when it should be set or after a rain. People walk in crowds wearing their visible differences revealed as children reveal themselves to a tolerable mother who does not reject or punish, but smiles indulgently. It is when they go beyond her limits that they must comb their hair, quiet their clothes, and drink their spirits in closets.” ... Lee Meitzen Grue.

Hope you enjoy this Collection, entitled, Life In The French Quarter...Beau
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The Throwing Of Beads

The tradition of bead throwing starts with their original colors. The color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872. He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The idea was to toss the color to the person who exhibited the color’s meaning.

The beads were originally made of glass, which, as you can imagine, weren’t the best for tossing around. It wasn’t until the beads were made of plastic that throwing them really became a staple of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
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The Wearing Of Masks

Masks are an integral part of Mardi Gras culture. During early Mardi Gras celebrations hundreds of years ago, masks were a way for their wearers to escape class constraints and social demands. Mask wearers could mingle with people of all different classes and could be whomever they desired, at least for a few days.

In New Orleans, float riders are required by law to have a mask on. On Fat Tuesday, masking is legal for all Mardi Gras attendees – although many storeowners will post signs asking those entering to please remove their masks first.
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2/9/16
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"There is a velvety sensuality here at the mouth of the Mississippi that you won't find anywhere else. Tell me what the air feels like at 3 A.M. on a Thursday night in August in Shaker Heights and I bet you won't be able to say because nobody stays up that late. But in New Orleans, I tell you, it's ink and honey passed through silver moonlight.”
― Andrei Codrescu, New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City
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Morning unfolding with friends?

Christopher Bryson
Trent Manning | Graphite Galleries
New Orleans, 2018
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Born To Play

I was returning with takeout from my friends new restaurant down on St. Ann’s Street. I wanted to walk down Bourbon but instead turned down Royal.

He leaned into his music as if he had been born listening to it. He was born to play. He was amazing, even with a city full of musicians...
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The Christopher Bryson Series

There are times when, in your zeal to rediscover the mythology of a place, you create your own fresh mythology. It may be known only to you, maybe to your dog, the people you meet during your travels. It may straddle the partition between real, and unreal—the brittle crust between night and day, right and wrong. It may buttress ancient notions, or create a whole new visual architecture. You may subvert the dominant paradigm. You never know until you get out there and expose yourself to some unknowns, unfamiliars. Or, at the very least, look at something familiar in a different way. Stay curious.

Buttresses
Pirates Alley
French Quarter
New Orleans
2018
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Just a few more weeks...
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The Christopher Bryson Series

This shot is located next to the cathedral, by the old parish prison, an absinthe bar, right off Pirates Alley. For some reason the scene brought to mind Dave Robicheaux, In The Electric Mist with Confederate Dead. Many of James Lee Burke’s novels are set here, and it's a historically literary town. Right around the corner is where Faulkner wrote his first novel, "Soldiers' Pay," during the era of Dixie Bohemia—hanging out with Sherwood Anderson, and about a dozen others with connections to the same institutions. Tulane University, in particular its School of Architecture and the Newcomb College Art School, assembled a lot of the talent. Bonus: the Vieux Carré was also a nice place to ride out Prohibition with writers, slumming debutantes, artists, and actors. Heck, there are still a couple of bars here.

That's all I got. Have a great day, friends.

Benny and his jet
Cabildo Alley
French Quarter
New Orleans
2018
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