I’m a card carrying professional at burning stress…either at the gym or in front of the refrigerator…in lieu of one I always have a back up plan. That said, I had planned to run the New Orleans Rock & Roll Half Marathon and organized the trip for a group of us to go…. This was all before I got mono, the race was only a few weeks into my battle with the immune killing virus so I was certainly not able to run the race….BUT…I still went to NOLA for a weekend filled with Noshing, Art, Sightseeing and Supporting Friends!  The Enchantments of New Orleans have to be served up in separate posts as one must be dedicated to the ART and the other to FOOD. Combining both subjects into one post would do justice to neither!

Shelby and I got on an art kick after spending too much time at home (sick) staring at blank walls…so the beautification of our dwelling began before making the trip to the bayou…she gets nervous anytime I break out a hammer, or a vacuum cleaner for that matter, and this night was no exception…

A Fresh Perspective...
A Fresh Perspective…

My friend and artist, Candice Teeter Dunigan is an exceptionally talented artist who listens to my ramblings and turns them into art…the made this piece for my birthday.  It’s a special kind of telekinesis we share that allows my scattered visions and ideas to become her art…but miraculously it happens…and I love her for it!

Hammer Time...
Hammer Time…

What you can’t see is that there are approximately 349 new holes in the wall that are politely obscured by my beautiful multi-paneled-hard-to-hang-art! Shelby had reason to be scared of the hammer this time! But if you look from just the perfect angle you almost can’t tell that these are all leaning slightly to the right! I am not now…nor will I ever be HANDY!

With new art in the house and on my mind, we set out to conquer NOLA…my plan was to eat/shop my way through half marathon weekend while my friends pounded the pavement and conquered the streets.

If we could only read a map...
If we could only read a map…

Thankfully my partner in crime and fellow kitchen ninja was at my side for the fun…oddly enough the typical attractions of New Orleans don’t hold much allure for me…boobs, beads, bourbon and debauchery are all well and good for some but I love NOLA for different reasons all together…one of them being ART…and maybe Channing Tatum and maybe a nice strong drink or two…I mean…let’s be real.

I just wanna Channing your Tatum...
I just wanna Channing your Tatum…

Much to our disappointment, Channing DOES NOT have an apartment above his NOLA Nightclub Saints & Sinners nor does he bartend there….don’t worry, we asked, and since it was way too early for drinks…we pressed onto Jackson Square…

Just something about this place, a little mystic, a little magic, a little sacred, a little scary...
Just something about this place, a little mystical, a little magic, a little sacred, a little scary…

This town is a beautiful and terrible crossroads of:

culture & ignorance,

wealth & poverty,

history & kitsch,

freedom & abuse,

exuberance & apathy…

The list goes on and on, but on Jackson Square the collision of all these things happens in one place…the result is an artistic explosion playing to the tune of tour guides, tarot card readers, street musicians and church bells. It’s sensory overload and it’s pure bliss!

Shopping for street art is pretty personal affair…causing you to call to mind all the things that make you who you are… When I look for art, it’s a heart issue…and you always know what reverberates in your soul. There are pieces that give something back to you and pieces that just sit there on the fence, inanimate. The thrill is in the search, the expectation, the hope…not that you will find a piece to fill the empty wall above the toilet in the guest bathroom upstairs…but that you will find the piece that says something back to you when you put your heart out there looking…the piece that says something about who you are…who you’ve been or who you are becoming…

Needless to say…NOLA didn’t let me down…

You get what you put in...
You get what you put in…

I had the pleasure of meeting artist, Sean Conroy, click on his his name to see more of his work. This piece had something to say to me, but it was only a one part of an ongoing story…so I commissioned a second piece to hang with it that brings the story up to date…little mysterious? Sure it is…more about that later…the end of this story will require a hammer and a laser level…look out. Pics to come!

Stands the test of time...
Stands the test of time…

New Orleans is Fusion…which means it is real, in your face and raw…I don’t always like it but there is something that resounds with the soul in this city…with a familiarity that makes visitors feel like they’re at home…whether they like it or not…

I heART New Orleans…

Stay tuned for the next installment of culinary indulgence with a photographic tour of some pretty freakin impressive food stuffs!

Keep pressing on…the weekend is only two days away…

Been to New Orleans? How do you feel about it?

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