Travel + Landscape | New Orleans / by Lauren Wessel


“The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time.” ― Bob Dylan


I've always had a romantic idea of New Orleans-- you can blame my adolescence poring over Anne Rice novels, where the decadent vampires strolled the streets of the French Quarter or lurked in swamps... so when I finally got to visit the city, that's where my mind went. The French Quarter, the old cemeteries and tombs, and swamps. Of course, I also sought the music, the thrum of jazz and blues... but more than anything I wanted to come to terms with my fantasy of New Orleans in reality. I believe I succeeded-- below are photos from casual strolls from Bywater to the French Quarter, an old pharmacy, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and the Barataria Preserve in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.