Saturday, January 05, 2019

Images of Christmas, New Orleans

City Park, New Orleans (December 1988)

Glad I got this in on time. “What do you mean? It’s way after New Year’s. You missed Christmas by a lot.” Not so fast, my friend.

This is still the ‘Christmas Season.’ The Brits call it “Christmastide’…the Twelve Days of Christmas. Traditionally, the ‘Season’ ends on Twelfth Night…the twelfth day after Christ’s birth when the Three Maji came bearing gifts. The Christian world knows it’s the beginning of Epiphany. In New Orleans, this was an even bigger deal because Twelfth Night marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season.

Last year, I posted some holiday images from New York City, my ancestral home. Seems right to dip into the Archives and do the same for another former home.

Mouse in a Tree (1984)

Sometimes, I take a shot of the entire tree and sometimes, I zoom in on a single ornament. Occasionally, a subject works well in silhouette. You don’t need to see any more features to know this is a mouse…wearing a Christmas hat. The only other recognizable object is the tree branch.

Many people know about New Orleans’ Audubon Park with its zoo and Garden District charm. City Park, the other large New Orleans park, is special in its own way. One of our country’s oldest urban parks (1864), it boasts a wide array of recreational opportunities, many of which are situated in the world’s largest stand of mature live oak trees.

During the Holiday Season, the park is decorated with lighted displays…called ‘Celebration in the Oaks.’ We lived just two blocks away so the photo ops were close enough for this lazy shooter to get off his butt and take the tripod for a walk. 

Dueling Oak at Christmas, City Park, New Orleans (December 1988)

There was a time when (testosterone-addled) Men of Honor settled their differences with deadly weapons. “You, Sir, have insulted my woman…my horse…my boots. Whatever. I must be satisfied. Choose your weapon.” In New Orleans, these idiots would often meet at the Dueling Oaks in City Park. One of the two massive live trees survives and its spooky presence was enlivened by large red ornaments.

Because the picture was taken when it was fully dark, I had to expose the shot for several seconds. In that time, the globes rotated a little in the breeze. The individual lights blurred a bit in the image but the red remains round (How’s that for alliterative overkill?). I don’t think it’s a problem as long as the balls don’t sway in the air. 

Christmas on St. Charles Avenue (December 1985)

On the grand, uptown avenue with the street cars, there are fine mansions with high ceilings and room for stately trees. On nights when home exteriors are bathed in the glow of stark, colorless street lights, the interiors are warm and inviting with that holiday glow.

Christmas in the Oaks, City Park, New Orleans (1988)

Here was a spot where we could do a ‘selfie.’ After propping the wife up against a pillar, the camera was set for a longer exposure so the Images and More Holiday Editor could enter the picture. I was trying for a ghostlier look and should have settled in for a shorter exposure. As it is, I can see bricks through my legs and lights, unfortunately, through my head.

Since this was shot in the days of film, I had to wait a week or two to see that the picture could have been better. No do-overs were possible then.

Happy New Year to all.
Hope your 2019 is healthy and rewarding.


At 7:54 AM, Blogger David Bauereis said...

Great pix of N'oleans.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Ted Ringger said...

Thank you, David & Bette. Got your Holiday card and update. Glad you and the house survived the storm.


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