Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creepy, In a Good Way

The plan was to knock around The Big Easy for a few days. Wander the Garden District, the French Quarter, and maybe a bayou or on the outskirts of town. Eat and drink too much. Listen to some good local blues and jazz. Take lots of pictures. It was a good plan. Hell, it was a great plan.

Mother Nature laughs at my planning.

Shortly after we arrived, unseasonal rains dumped eight-to-ten inches on NOLA in a short few hours, flooding The Bowl and many other low-lying areas within the city. Clubs along the Quarter found waters coming over their steps and seeping into the venues. Travel around town was a disaster, where you could drive at all. It wasn’t pretty. And then it kept raining.

This mess left us to while away a large chunk of our time in the hotel, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. We stayed at The Columns, a gorgeous old turn-of-the-century boutique boarding house, now twenty-guestroom hotel, that offered a dark, mysterious charm. And by mysterious, I mean creepy.

Creepy in a good way.

Adding to the creep factor, for much of our stay we were the only guests in the place. Quiet dark halls. Empty staircases. Rows of closed doors. Were one to be effected by such things, there was some serious malevolence brewing.

Did anyone see The Shining?

But we loved the place. While Mary napped or read in the room (number 25), I happily puttered around the haunting hallways and climbed up and down the incredible spiraling staircase to capture a few images, fully expecting to get back home to find soft spectral streaks in the photos. Ghosts of old New Orleans, peeking through.

They were most certainly there, visible or not.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Photo Bin - April 2017

It has occurred to me that I have been taking myself too seriously for too long and this poor little blog has suffered for it. I've fallen into the trap of wanting, needing, everything I post to be slick, well developed, and (dare I say) publishable. Wanting it to be remarkable. But by adding that pressure, I've throttled things to the point where posts have become few and far between. The twin ironies are that even my best work isn't all that hot anyway and that by holding out for "the good stuff," I'm not writing anything (which doesn't do a hell of a lot to help advance the craft). I've not even kept up the Photo Bins.

Herewith, I'm shaking off the pretension and getting back to just putting it out there. It's that or stop altogether and I don't think I'm quite ready for that. As this is the April bin (and it's August already), there's some catching up to do, so let's get started.

In April, the camera always fills with the extravaganza that is the annual Live Free Cornhole Tournament, a loving fundraiser for the memorial scholarship that we maintain at Georgia Tech in my step-son's name. Friends and family gather to share loads of fond memories, good fellowship, and just a bit of friendly competition, all in Freeman's honor. Together we miss him and keep alive the event he started as a simple gathering of friends to celebrate the arrival of spring. In his absence, we've repurposed it in his memory.

The brave few that held out to the bitter end

That's a start. A slow month, April, but things got a bit crazy in May, June, and July. Their bins to follow here shortly. Then maybe I'll be back on track.


What is a Photo Bin?