New Orleans views and vampires

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC are in New Orleans for just two days. This city is gorgeous. Colour and light, in the buildings and the people. Tourists at play. Locals working hard for a living.

My impressions? An abundance of stories.

And the vampires? Join me in a journey from light to dark, if you dare.

The book I’m in

Wool, by Hugh Howey. The TC is about half way through the book. It looks like the IT crowd are the baddies. This worm whole-heartedly approves of this choice of reading matter.

Travel tip

Drop in on Bourbon Street at dusk. It rocks. Literally.

And watch out for people who don’t blink. They may not be what they seem.

Pronunciation tip

To say “New Orleans” like a local, pronounce it as “Norlns”. And go heavy on the “or” part.

Recommended accommodation

Hotel Mazarin, 730 Bienville Street, New Orleans. Clean, comfortable, and conveniently located in the French Quarter. Just a single complaint from the TC: Our room was near a generator, which emitted a constant uncomfortable hum and high-pitched squeal.

Recommended restaurant

Olivier’s, 204 Decatur Street, New Orleans. Tasty Creole food, excellent and caring service.

The photos

Me on the streests of New Orleans, with the city seal:

New Orleans and vampires

A view from the aeroplane on our way in, showing the city centre on the bend of the Mississipi river The bridge is actually two bridges, forming the Crescent City Connection:

New Orleans and vampires

The beautiful, wide Canal Street, which runs along the edge of the French Quarter and leads down to the Mississipi River:

New Orleans and vampires

Jazz Gumbo in Canal Street:

New Orleans and vampires

The Mississippi River:

New Orleans and vampires

A tasty and colourful dish of Creole food from Olivier’s in Decatur Street:

New Orleans and vampires

A colourful row of houses in the French Quarter of New Orleans:

New Orleans and vampires

A mule wending its way through the French Quarter. The TC was taking a photograph of the gallery above, and the interesting door at bottom right, when the mule wandered into the shot:

New Orleans and vampires

Many of the buildings are decorated with ornate ironwork, which the TC calls “broekie lace”. This ornate gallery sports a drape showing the New Orleans fleur-de-lis, used all over the city to symbolise its recovery since Hurricane Katrina:

New Orleans and vampires

Renovating a lovely house:

New Orleans and vampires

Are you ready to share a slide down the slippery slope into another world? It begins here:

New Orleans views and vampires

Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo:

New Orleans views and vampires

This worm, hob-nobbing with the zombies and voodoo dolls:

New Orleans views and vampires

A palm reader in Bourbon Street:

New Orleans views and vampires

As dusk draws in, Bourbon Street hots up:

New Orleans views and vampires

And the serious dudes move in. The TC and I dared to do a ghost and vampire tour with Lord Chaz:

New Orleans views and vampires

How does a vampire use a mobile phone? With a pen, of course:

New Orleans views and vampires

One of the eeriest spots on the tour was the nunnery next to St Mary’s Catholic Church. The attic windows are permanently closed, with dormers that are nailed shut. As our tour guide pointed out, this is most unusual in New Orleans, especially in edifices from the days before air conditioning. The attic windows form an essential cooling function. This sealed attic is the source of the belief that New Orleans has vampire inhabitants, and has had them for generations. We also heard perplexing and inexplicable stories of women shipped to New Orleans with arrays of 5-sided coffins, all to disappear into the nunnery. And hundreds of dead babies under the wall. This has to be the spookiest place to be, especially when you’re there with a being who doesn’t blink. As we were:

New Orleands views and vampires

This woman, all unknowing, is leaning against a lamp post on the most dangerous corner of  New Orleans. In the house above her, the Carter brothers murdered 18 people by drinking their blood through their wrists. A little girl escaped one night, after suffering through five nights of feasting, and the Carter brothers were at last brought to justice. But later when the city opened the Carter brothers’ graves, they found nothing. The brothers had vanished. And since then, so the stories go, New Orleans has suffered from numerous serial killers, some apprehended, some not. There’s one active right now ….

New Orleans views and vampires

That’s all for today, dudes.

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