Spotlight: The Big Easy

Updated: Nov 23, 2019

Out the airport, a damp mid-February night. 


Overcast sky. Drizzle on our way to the hostel. Out the window, I was mesmerized. Southern folks down arid long streets, my whole life been dreaming about this place, a peculiar whit of bliss filled me within.  

We put on a fresh set of clothes, then walked couple blocks to Canal. Teeming on tourists all the way, a human caught our eye. They said my luck for the second half of the year would change, new location, a new circle, a fresh start. What a surprise.


Later that night, regrets of not getting those CBD goods crept on us and someone’s loud snoring along did too, giggling and sharing pictures from that day till we passed out.


Cluttered, dusty, souvenir little shops have always been both our guilty pleasure. Crowded flea markets too. Surveying through every old, quirky looking item. hours went by, we’d laugh at silly grammar slips on the tags of, the muted sandals I had to buy since mine I had forgotten in the bay. We’d end up with 90’s tops and baggy NOLA tracksuits. Old habits never die. 



A couple weeks away from the actual March the 5th

Purple, green and yellow trinkets filled the streets.

Bourbon at midnight. We sat down on the floor, with freshly made french fries and on the other hand: Pan di Stelle, mi amore. The city where France meets the US, hyper-stimulated crowds drink till the moon rises from the west, street rappers from their trucks, grooving to live blues & jazz, sipping local beers from cans. 

Late-night beignets at Cafe Du Monde, po’boys from Verdi Marte, charbroiled oysters, jambalaya and crawfish two nights in a row. 


I shared this trip with one of the very few gals I know that enjoys food as much as I do. We’d stuff our faces every day, all day; greens, rainbow, chocolate for sure. The more time we spent together, the more I got to cherish Italian culture. 

Jessica and I went from living three minutes away, to an eight-hour bus south, to a 20 hour-2k USD (+) flight, further apart.


French vibe everywhere, late drinking on the streets, even during weeknights, we’d walk for hours; down fussy cemeteries, lavish gardens all around, oak and willow-shaded streets lined with diverse architecture; from cozy cottages to imposing, old, historic mansions, me wishing for my mind to keep all that gorgeous scenery intact.


Decatur felt as if going back in time, moved by how unintentionally cinematic life at the Big Easy seemed. It was as though cowboys would emerge from corner taverns. I woke up, it was 2019; artists doing their thing all through Royal, playing, singing and dancing, we’d stop and stare, kept walking as we spotted the spicy empire.


Bewitching alleyways. In spite of not being different from any other city in form and mysteriousness, pastel-colored walls, some exposed-brick ones, will leave me drifting about people from the past; waving from their balconies and windows, at passersby riding horses with shiny manes through this unpaved lane.


The contrast between all sorts of vehicles, aged, new and the four-legged.


This city fully represents the USA, for, it’s diverse. Throughout the days, it unveiled to me as an anthology, one with mysteries, stories to tell. The friendly faces of locals displaying a mixture of traits, reassuring for once that people are people, we are all the same, that all these different traits we all possess; derive from a complex set of biological and demographic events, and that skin tones along with other characteristic physical features don’t correlate.


New Orleans evinced to be more than just late-night drinking on the streets, voodoo dolls, pralines, and king cakes. It was, for me, the first time I went out on the streets with more than my iPhone to capture raw life around. I had purchased my first film (or any) camera two days earlier, no clue on how to use it (as you can tell) and most pictures are flawed (I’m aware). After that trip, I realized how much I feel for photography. I discovered something in me that was hidden for most of my life. I learned that doing it from thy bone means more than capturing with technique. 

I made a promise later that day;  that I’d write letters to myself in the form of photos, for, those colors and faces, stories and places, will remain and snap me back to days I once had.

Camera: Yashica FX-3 Super 2000

Film: Kodak Color Plus 200 (+2)

When: 2019

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JULIETA TRUJILLO

Characterized for over contemplating the hectic universe around her. Raw, intimate and slightly melodic. Writes in an attempt to codify her mind, plying peculiar words grasped from paperbacks and blogs. Her photographs strive for the receiver to doff the bias and expectation, to the point of observing life as is. Making it about what it means for who sees. A nomadic Mexican who learns through empiricism and believes that good art comes from the heart.


Interested in seeing more?

Website: jejoule.com

Instagram: jejoule


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Washington, D.C., USA 

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©2019 by Taylor Mackay