Cristen and the Big Easy, Day 2

st. louis #1 cemetery
(Don’t worry – puh-lenty of cemetery photos ahead!)

I had spent some time researching Sunday jazz brunches in New Orleans. There are lots of them, but I had no idea which was a good one. We eventually narrowed it down to two and decided we’d go to the one we found parking closest to. That happened to be Muriel’s on Jackson Square. It was pretty fancy, but that was the point. Our table faced big windows overlooking Jackson Square and letting in some lovely light.

cristen at muriel's

The lunch included a jazz trio that went from room to room and luckily did not go from table to table.

jazz brunch trio

And I had my first taste of alligator. It was salty, but delicious. After brunch, we decided to try St. Louis #1 cemetery again. As you might have guessed from the first photo, we actually got inside this time even though it was supposed to be closed. I kept worrying that I might get locked inside like I almost did at Pere Lachaise, but there were several other tourists wandering around, so as long as I kept sight of them, I figured we would would be ok. St. Louis is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans and includes the grave of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen. It has a different feel than the Metairie Cemetery, where I usually take visitors. Many of the graves are in a sad state of disrepair. The cemetery is located next to the Iberville Projects, so it has a reputation of being dangerous, too. Of course, that made it all the more intriguing. Here are just a few of the photos I snapped:

St. Louis #1 with Iberville Projects

iron cross

pile of bricks

iron rose and cross

white vaults

rusty fence

colorful vaults, front

colorful vaults, back

one of these things is not like the other

This one may be Marie Laveau’s grave:

marie laveau's resting place (maybe)

Or it might be this one. It wasn’t really clear.

the other possibility

After the cemetery, we went to the New Orleans Museum of Art. You might remember I went there back in August. I was pleased to see they had switched some of the paintings around. Roman Holiday was replaced by Bouguereau’s Whisperings of Love, which I had hoped to see last time.

Whisperings of Love by Bouguereau

I just love Bouguerou’s style. I think I have mentioned before (on the other blog and many years ago, but just in case) that I always look at the hands and eyes on a Bouguereau work. The eyes are always luminous, and the hands are always so delicate.

Whisperings of Love, detail

Whisperings of Love, detail

On this particular painting, I also loved the draping of the dress and the pattern at the bottom. Just so simple and lovely.

Whisperings of Love, detail

I guess you could say this painting is simply lovely HTT, head to toe. (That’s a Tyra reference, for the unfamiliar. She’s so applicable to everything in life.)

The Muenter I had admired last time was replaced by a Kandinsky I had also hoped to see.

Sketch for Several Circles by Kandinsky

And a new modern exhibit where we got to participate by chalking a wall.

chalkboard

Cristen’s drawing pays tribute to Cleveland. Mine paid tribute to Miss Smile With Your Eyes (Smize!) herself, but I forgot to take a picture.

Since it’s right there, we took a stroll through City Park. There were a lot of people getting professional pictures taken that day. There was a family on one side of a stone bridge and a mother and daughter on the other. But my favorite was a young girl getting some dance pictures taken. Mostly, I loved the fake goldfish bowl they were setting up.

goldfish

It reminded me of one of my favorite Matisse paintings, Woman Before an Aquarium, and I kind of wish I had my own fake goldfish bowl, so I could recreate it myself. That photographer is genius. We had our own little photo shoot (sans fish) instead.

work that tree

And came across some very unimpressed, and I dare say disapproving, lions.

disapproving lion

Saw some birds in a tree:

city park birds

And then went home for some of the best vegetarian gumbo I have ever had. After dinner, we thought we’d check out Magazine Street. Bad idea, though. Everything was closed already, so we pulled up a table at Borders and went through a stack of magazines. Then we decided to try Frenchman Street again. This time, we drove along with our windows rolled down before we committed to parking. There were some good sounds, so we stopped by the Spotted Cat to listen to a ragtime band I later found out were called the Loose Marbles. I looked them up today because I would love to see them again and I found this article from two years ago in the New Yorker. Apparently, they mostly play in the street, so I’ll have to keep a look out. But the article has some youtube videos, which led me to look for more videos. Check them out:

When we saw them they had an amazing pianist. The bar had a mirror over the spot where the band peformed, so I could watch her fingers flying the whole night. I tried to get a picture, but it just doesn’t do it justice.

loose marbles at the spotted cat on Frenchman

It was one of my favorite events of the weekend. I love stumbling across great music like that. Perfect way to end the night.

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