Good Friday in New Orleans

New Orleans is about 1/3 Catholic and many more observe Catholic traditions, like Lent, after a raucous Mardi Gras. Good Friday tends to be celebrated by the devout Catholic. There are events throughout the city. Uptown, people get on buses or walk to do the Nine-Church Pilgrimage. Each church will …

Holt Cemetery

Holt Cemetery is an outlier in New Orleans being one of the only below-ground cemeteries in the city. While nearby cemeteries have grandiose sculptures and elaborate stones and foliage, these grounds feel immediate and human.Dr. Holt, well known for his work in Storyville, established the cemetery in 1879 to bury the poorer residents of the city. For Jazz fans, the cemetery houses Charles “Buddy” Bolen, Jessie Hill Jewell “Babe” Stovall, and more. The cemetery often floods and is in disrepair. Money was allocated in 2013 to repair the city-owned cemetery, but it appears as of now, the money has not been spent. That aside, the majority of the …

Womanless Beauty Pageant

Silver Creek Campground in Mt. Hermon, LA, celebrates its anniversary each year by crowning the “Misss (Not so Miss) Silver Creek” at their womenless beauty pageant. Male campers dress up as women to be judged on eveningwear and interview questions. The grand prize is a gift certificate to Walmart. One boy plunks down at …

Madam LaLaurie at the Wax Museum

The Musée Conti Wax Museum shuttered its doors in 2016 to make way for condos. Along with Arnaud’s Germaine Wells Mardi Gras Museum, it was a place I popped into often when I am in the quarter. The wax museum was no Madame Tussauds but that made it all the more …

Bonfires on the Levee for Papa Noel

The locals of St. James Parish, Louisiana have their own unique, long-standing tradition of lighting teepee style pyres on fire for Christmas Eve, some of which are packed with fireworks as kindling. Throughout the entire month of December, local families work together to build the pyres. The pyres themselves traditionally take pyramid …

White Rabbits : True Crime in the Pet Cemetery

John Thompson, an influential man, was able to get Grace declared “insane”. Soon after entering the asylum she escaped to New Orleans. Being a suspicious death, police turned to Grace. She claimed she never made it there and he was killed for his $500,000 gambling treasure. Grace was a gifted …

Richard

Richard had all his fingers when I met him the year before. He volunteers at the Alligator Farm and gets a genuine kick out of the prehistoric creatures. He lures them closer for me by dangling the rancid chicken collected from nearby grocery stores. His eyes twinkle when he describes …

The Dollhouse

I had been in New Orleans for two days when I met the woman with the great eyelashes. After years of photographing strangers, my approach had been honed to telling people directly what I am doing and why I like them. I had seen her walk into the Hotel Monteleone, …

Who Dat: Saints Super Fans

Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? From the Aints era to a Superbowl winning season, fans are in it through thick and thin. Once inside the Superdome, the fans keep the noise level loud, interrupting visiting teams communication especially on third down.

Shrine of Saint Amico

In the quiet town of Donaldsonville, Louisiana, a tiny chapel sits at the end of a short road of houses. The one room with a steeple was built around 1907. Surprisingly, the chapel sits unlocked. A simple wooden stop keeps the doors from swinging wide. The room smells damp and …