Whitealbum Challenge | NOLA

Imagine this:  You’re standing on a second story balcony on Bourbon Street watching the crazy, likely drunken crowd roam around beneath you, and throwing beads at them if they “earn them”. There is a man walking down the street with a goofy smile playing the washboard that is strapped to his chest, and randomly joins the five piece makeshift brass band playing soulful jazz music on the corner. Just inside the doors behind you you can hear a man channeling his inner Adele and belting out karaoke like nobody’s business in The Cat’s Meow. Typical night in New Orleans, yeah?

Hopefully that clued you in a little bit on why New Orleans is one of my top three favorite cities.

At the beginning of this past school year, some friends of mine made a “Senior Year Bucket List” and hung it on their living room wall, welcoming anyone to join them in checking off the tasks listed. “Visit the doucheist bar in LA” and “ride a mechanical bull” were featured on said bucket list, but there were also larger trips like “road trip to the Grand Canyon” and “visit the South”. After a few months of planning, we narrowed our Southern city options down to spending a long weekend in New Orleans in March.

We definitely had a lot of excitement built up for the trip in every single aspect (I’m talking about you, Pinterest) and New Orleans did not disappoint.

In one day, we saw six different weddings! On the left is a photo of a wedding we saw just as it finished and took to the streets with a band leading the way!
In one day, we saw six different weddings! On the left is a photo of a wedding we saw just as it finished and took to the streets with a band leading the way!

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Art comes in many diverse forms, and this city is full of it! Singing, dancing, playing an instrument, painting, you name it, but I’ll start by addressing the delicious cooking. We did our best to make the rounds and stuff ourselves with Louisiana’s iconic palette; gumbo, jambalaya, Cafe Du Monde’s beignets, Hurricanes, Pralines, and Poboys.

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While we’re on the topic of art, I love strolling the perimeter of Jackson Square and seeing all the painters, drawers, whatever they be at work. One thing we don’t usually categorize under “art” is tours. We went on two during our time in the city – a nighttime haunted city tour, and a daytime tour of the Saint Louis Cemetary No. 1. They were both really enjoyable and informative, but we had the most outstanding and knowledgeable guide for the cemetery tour.

Born and raised in New Orleans, she filled us in on more than just the textbook facts, all while bouncing around with her quirky personality and fleur de lis umbrella. I won’t give away too much because I believe the best way to learn something is to experience it yourself but the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau, may or may not be entombed there…

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Another art form; photography. This is the art I like to lay claim on as “mine”, and WhiteAlbum was just the thing to help me capture this city with a culture and personality of its very own.

WhiteAlbum is an iPhone app that combines the concept of a disposable camera and an iPhone camera. I absolutely love that they’re are on the same page as I am with their line “Delayed gratification is the new black”. Nowadays so much is yours at the click of a button, we forget the importance of patience and the fun in surprises. After completing an album I get to look forward to my photos arriving in the mail and reviewing the moments I forgot I captured.

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Loyola University, New Orlean's campus with Zaneta, a student at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Loyola University, New Orleans campus with Zaneta, a student at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

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It’s difficult to convey all that New Orleans is in a single blog post. More than many other cities, it really has a vibrant and expansive spirit with so many diverse elements, which makes it hard to accurately represent. The WhiteAlbum Challenge allowed me to preserve snapshots, brief moments of a whirlwind weekend, but side by side I think they do a pretty good job of showcasing the many sides and faces of the city.

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