New Orleans French Quarter in the morning- PHOTOS

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The French Quarter is so thick with history and juxtaposition, you don’t even need Bourbon Street alcohol to become intoxicated. I attended a wedding there a couple weekends ago, and it was my first time back since I quit drinking (today is 990 days, almost to 1,000!). Before the trip I was worried that I would have a frustrating time, but the second the plane landed and I heard the first Louisiana accent, all was at ease. My family goes back generations in Louisiana, and it felt like a warm hug just walking the streets that zillions of cousins had also pranced upon. I got up early to get some photos with minimal people in them; just dozens of skaters and German tour groups.

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William Faulkner house. A literary tour came into the lovely quiet bookstore inside and the tour guide said “No one knows where the Creole people came from.” What? Almost wanted to take over the tour. Instead I went to the serene historical Catholic church next door and thought about loved ones, as these are my mornings now that they lack hangovers.

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LaLaurie House- famous house where a famed socialite tortured slaves, owned by Nicholas Cage for awhile and used as a location on American Horror Story, read more here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/zillow/2013/10/23/new-orleans-lalaurie-house-has-gruesome-past/

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Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop- a bar you can still have a great time in even if you aren’t drinking. Just sit in the dark, cool back of the bar and soak in the history. This place is so mythical to me, that I once lived in an old Victorian carriage home that looked like it:

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Ignatius

Always have to pay respect and sit and judge people with Ignatius from The Confederacy of Dunces.

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Of course, you can’t forget the music. Preservation Jazz Hall was invigorating and fresh as always, but the street buskers stole my heart. I came across 13 Strings and a 2 Dollar Bill and immediately thought “that’s the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen” about The Notorious Nora Jean. The next day I came across them again, and she was tap-dancing on a wooden pallet while playing the mandolin and singing wearing the cutest Gunne Sax dress. Not to dwell on her looks and style, but I admit that I’ve been wearing railroad stripes, hats, black and dusty boots ever since. They are everything you’d want in a traveling busker duo:

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I’m a sucker for an outfit shot in an alley, and the wedding at the House of Blues more than provided. Dress by MSGM

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The Streets of Philadelphia

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This fall I got to visit Philadelphia for the first time, and instantly fell in love. Cobblestone streets, American history, and tons of well dressed young adults; what’s not to love?

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R.I.P. 5 Pointz

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This month I was fortunate enough to be near Queens, NY to see the famed street art Mecca before it was torn down to be turned into condos. The place had a couple guys taking pics of their cars up on the sidewalk, and you had to get out of the way of delivery trucks (the place still has companies doing business inside), but otherwise it was fairly empty and magical. The owner whitewashed the building last Tuesday, saying it would break his heart to see the art go down with the building, an excuse not very well-received. Recent news is that he may have to pay damage costs to the artists, and numerous people have been arrested for tagging the white washed building. End of an era.

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For decades artists came here to legally paint on the walls, from elaborate bubble letters to giant Biggie murals, the styles displayed on the place reached far in variation. Leased to a company that made 8-tracks then cd covers, the digital world left business slowing down, and art then going up.

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Since Banksy was in town when I went, I was on the hunt. I had a mini heart attack when I saw this little boy with dynamite stencil, thinking I’d found one early. Alas, upon closer inspection, it had been there for awhile. Anyone know who did this?

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Luckily, I was near Coney Island and managed to get a pic with the Banksy piece that day an hour before they put a metal gate over it. Street art is temporary, get out there!

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What 5 Pointz looks like now: whitewashed 5 Pointz