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Friday, March 26, 2010

A few from the Garden District

I had the opportunity to snap a few pictures of Baton Rouge's lovely Garden District earlier today and thought I'd share them with all of you. I also wanted to let my readers know that I'm changing the hosting of my images to Flickr, and I plan to post other photography there as well... in other words, other photos I take that don't fit neatly into a post here on the blog. The link to my Flickr stream can be found at the bottom of the front page of this blog. Also, you should now be able to click any image, which will take you to the photos's Flickr page. There you can see other sizes of the photo, etc.

garden district home

garden district home

kleinert avenue

live oaks

tree lined avenue

garden district home

A special note on this last one. I've driven by this house dozens of times and always wanted to photograph it, because it reminds me of something from David Schalliol's incomparable Isolated Building Studies (a link to his photos can be found further down the page as well). I'm not sure if the building itself actually leans, or if I just wasn't holding the camera straight, but both photos I took look the same. Also, note the utility pole skewed the other way. "Straight" must be somewhere in between.


Thursday, March 18, 2010


I had two appointments in Houma this afternoon, and I grabbed my camera thinking I'd snap a few more pictures of the area. As I set out on my journey, however, I found a key road on my route was blocked due to some sort of construction, necessitating an alternate route. After that, I missed a turn and my GPS didn't recognize me as being on any road. Instead of turning around, though, I figured I'd press on - at some point I'd have to hit a road that the GPS recognized, I thought.

This unexpected route took me straight through the town of Thibodaux - not a big town by most standards but big enough that it's well known in Louisiana. I had never seen Thibodaux before and was fairly impressed. Below are some photos from my journey today, starting in Houma and working back.

My first appointment today was great, but my second was a near-disaster. The business was located in what appeared to be a fairly rough part of town. The parking lot was full and I had to park on the street, in front of this house:

Here are some other views of the street.

The appointment was bad for other reasons, too, and I was glad to be back on the road. In between Thibodaux and Houma, I noticed a few homes I wanted to photograph. When I came upon this one, I saw the Spanish moss and a large, looming white structure and figured it would be an antebellum home. This one is very unique, though. Check out all the ornamentation. I wonder if it's original or added later.

Here's another nice home hidden behind mossy oaks.

The following pictures are from downtown Thibodaux. It definitely has that unique Louisiana look.

Near Chackbay, LA.

Finally for today, I decided to pull off to the side of the road to take a couple photos of something very common alongside South Louisiana country highways. Along many "major" highway in South Louisiana, you will find little bayous. Here is a close up picture and then some perspective.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lecompte to Port Barre - a Trip Down Highway 71

Occasionally I have to travel up to the Alexandria area on business. Interstate 49 runs north from Lafayette straight up to Alexandria, and is the fastest way. However, on a few occasions I've had the opportunity to ride down Highway 71 (highlighted in red), which runs roughly parallel with the interstate:

In the past, though, I've always been with someone else in the car. Today I had the opportunity to make the drive myself and I brought my camera. Today's tour won't consist of lovely antebellum homes - today is about rural decay.

Before we get to the decay, though, a quick update. In an earlier pie-related post, I mentioned a place called Lea's Lunchroom in Lecompte (aka the "Pie Capital of Louisiana.") I lamented that I didn't have a picture of Lea's. Well, our tour today begins at Leas's:

As I started my drive, I realized that the towns I was passing through were probably at one point part of a major north-south thoroughfare. My assumption is that traffic has diminished significantly over the years due to I-49, thus why these towns all seem so abandoned. This first set of pictures is from Cheneyville:


The next few are from the town of Bunkie. Bunkie was actually fairly busy - so much so that I felt self-conscious stopping and taking pictures. This little town probably warrants it's own visit at some point. There was a stretch along Highway 71 through Bunkie that consisted of a few fast food restaurants, a couple car dealerships, etc., but the downtown area is far more interesting. I should probably mention at this point that railroad tracks follow along Highway 71 the whole length of my journey. (I was hoping for a train-parked-downtown-next-to-abandoned-buildings money shot, but it didn't happen.) I mention this because Bunkie seems to have a "wrong side of the tracks," literally. Hotel on the "right side":

And over on the "wrong side":

In Morrow I slammed on the brakes to take a few pictures of this seemingly abandoned elementary school. I took a peek inside and it looks like it was abandoned fairly recently, based on the litter in the entryway. On a Friday afternoon around the time of dismissal, there was not a soul around.

Another fixer-upper near LeMoyen.

Now for another update. In an earlier post, I told you about the wonderful lunch I had at a place called Stelly's, which is attached to a gas station in Lebeau. I've had the opportunity to eat there again recently, and it was great the second time, too. I snapped a fresh picture of Stelly's today (below). Also, check out this article that ran recently in the Baton Rouge Advocate. Our server, Ledie "Miss Dee" Guidry Wyble, is apparently 87 years old and has been working at Stelly's for 60 years. Amazing. I admit I felt guilty watching her carry a tray of fried chicken over to our table - I should be waiting on her.

That concludes the tour of Highway 71. I thought I'd share a couple more pictures I snapped from the car on the way home. First, rolling over the "old" Huey P. Long bridge, with downtown Baton Rouge and the "new bridge" visible in the distance.

And second, a stop at the legendary Tony's Seafood to pick up a Lent-friendly dinner for the family.