Words and photos by Dondi Joseph
The French discovered and established New Orleans in the late 1690s. After occupying it for 80 years, they ceded Louisiana to the Spanish. Within 40 years, the Spanish gave up trying to make the territory a colony and returned it to the French. With a slave revolt impending in Haiti, the battered French immediately sold it to the Gringos for $15,000,000. This changeover was traumatic for the sophisticated Creole locals (of French or Spanish descent) who felt that a bunch of outsiders had taken over their city, the capital of sophistication.
Royale Street was one of my favourite areas in the Quarter. Superb Bloody Marys, art, and architecture galore!
Beneath New Orleans’ layered history and the beautiful iron and flower-laced galleries and balconies homes in the French and Garden Quarters, lies the macabre. New Orleans is considered the most haunted place in the world, with local experts saying that it’s not a question of which buildings are haunted, but a question of which are not.
Despite the many extreme highs and terrifying lows in its history, New Orleans remains to be of one the United States' most interesting destinations worth visiting. Its beautiful architecture, melting pot of cultural influences, endless tales to tell, and numerous sights, sounds and tastes to experience are enough to invite — or lure — those stricken with wanderlust into its arms.
See our experience of New Orleans, Louisiana in this gallery.
Editor's note: The full article from which these excerpts were taken was originally published in Travelife magazine's June - July 2015 issue.
Gardette-LaPrete House (a.k.a. The Sultan's Palace) in the Quarter. Once occupied by the brother of a Turkish Sultan in 1836, it was the scene of one of the most gruesome mass murders in New Orleans history which today remains unsolved — and possibly unproven. The brother was one of 37 dead bodies allegedly found in the property during the investigation.
|Eccentric New Orleans street artists pitching instant erotic poetry written on old typewriters|
|New Orleans' Alexander the Goth, story teller and tour guide extraordinaire. He met us wearing a black top hat and an all-black outfit complete with buckled boots, walking stick, and black-checked kilt. Within minutes, we were eating out of his hand, and for two hours, we were held spellbound as he painted pulsing tales of New Orleans' history, drama, and gore.|
|One-of-a-kind entertainment at one of New Orleans' many night clubs|
An intense game of chess being played before happy hour at one of New Orleans' busiest thoroughfares
Welcome to the Praline Connection, one of the best restaurants in town.
The Saint Louis Cathedral, one of the most active and beautiful parishes in the USA.
|Dance anywhere you like in New Orleans!|
The Cathedral Plaza is lined with Tarot card readers and fortune tellers. I was told that they absorb special energies from the Cathedral, the priests of which tolerate their presence.
An artist's work for sale along Jackson Square
Tanya & Dorise, one of the top street acts in the Quarter. They are stunningly good and a crowd always gathers to listen to them.
Sweet saxophone blues at one of New Orleans' many street parades and parties
|It's not unusual to find couples opnely showing affection for each other |
on the streets of New Orleans' French Quarter.
Try to time your visit to New Orleans with their annual Jazz Fest: a festival of Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Country, Rock, R&B and everything in between held over two weekends
The view of the New Orleans Sky is beautiful. It's always a surprise for many to realize that this photo was taken when crawling the alleys of the history-filled Saint Louis No. 1 Cemetery.
This was our New Orleans experience, and hopefully, it made travelers like you want to visit it, too!