New Orleans Cemetery Photos
Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans
In mid June I spent several days in New Orleans and got a chance to visit one of their unique cemeteries, the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District. If you're going to be visiting, the cemetery is located on 6th Street at the corner of 6th and Prytania Street. It's a short walk from the Washington Blvd stop on the St Charles Avenue Street Car.
Established in 1833, Lafayette is one of the oldest cemeteries in New Orleans (the oldest is St. Louis #1 near the French Quarter). Lafayette Cemetery is particularly noted for appearing in the film, Easy Rider, as well as its frequently being featured in the books of Anne Rice, first appearing in Interview with a Vampire. Lestat's tomb is located in Lafayette Cemetery and so is the tomb of the "Mayfair Witches".
Because New Orleans is virtually at sea level, it isn't possible to bury bodies below ground as is done in most places, so all of the tombs are above ground.
Photography in the City of the Dead
The day I visited Lafayette Cemetery it started out as an incredibly sunny and beautiful day. A few hours later there was a bit of a monsoon, but fortunately I was long out of the cemetery by then.
I nearly didn't go to the cemetery on my own because my guide book repeatedly advised not visiting the cemeteries alone due to muggings, unsavory characters, etc. But after talking to a tour guide on the phone, who scoffed at the idea and suggested I just go out on my own if I wanted to do some photography, I said to myself, "Ah, screw it!" and went. Normally, I wouldn't let a guide book scare me away from someplace anyway, so I don't know why I let this one get to me.
At any rate, I mostly had the cemetery to myself and didn't see anyone to worry about. A few tourists wandered in while I was walking around and they did their own walking around. I did see a 'tour group' come in. It consisted of a tour guide and two tourists. So if I was looking for safety in numbers, I don't think that would be enough people to give me comfort. If you decide to go, I would say Lafeyette is fine for visiting on your own. Just keep your wits about you.
I took both black & white and color photos with my digicam and shot some medium format pics with my Holga as well. The last five pics in the photos to the right are scanned from the Holga prints. You can read about the Holga in my Plastic Toy Camera hub.
If you click on the photos to the right, you can see a bigger picture. For the original size images, you can visit my Flickr stream. And right after the Lafayette photos on Flickr, you can see some pics I took at Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston (another famous cemetery).
New Orleans Guidebooks
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