A New Orleans Travel Diary Through The Eyes of Photographer Patrick Melon

To get you ready for ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, we're showcasing NOLA through the eyes of some of it's coolest residents. It's clear that local photographer Patrick Melon not only has an amazing eye, but a true love, pride and passion for his city. Check out his recommendations for the best places to eat, see art, shop and more!

ESSENCE.COM Jun, 17, 2016

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Krewe du Brew Coffee Shop

 

Krewe Du Brew is a local black-owned Coffee Shop in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans, just a short streetcar ride from Canal Street up St Charles Avenue.

 

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Krewe du Brew Coffee Shop

 

I love going here to enjoy a ‘Gentilly’ sandwich, made with all local ingredients in a friendly environment.
 

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We Dat Chicken & Shrimp

 

Located at 1407 Canal Street, We Dat Chicken and Shrimp is a newly opened restaurant that started off as a food truck and now has a physical location as the only black-owned restaurant in the CBD on Canal Street.

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We Dat Chicken & Shrimp

 

I’ve literally watched the owner greet every patron that walks into his business with a smile and a handshake and the food is on par.

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We Dat Chicken & Shrimp

 

One of the best things about this restaurant is that it stays open until 2am every night, perfect for those late-night cravings when you’re trying to decide what to eat.

 

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Humidity Skate Shop

 

I’m not much of a shopper but when it comes to gear I usually stick to Humidity Skate Shop.

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Humidity Skate Shop

 

Located in the heart of the French Quarter a block away from Café du Monde, they stock all the latest in skateboard gear from t shirts to sneakers, and of course the essentials: skateboards.

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Circle Food Store
 
Located in the 7th Ward, one of New Orleans’ if not one of the country’s, oldest black neighborhoods, the Circle Food Store is a black owned grocery store that supplies the necessities for living. If you find yourself at a time when you can purchase groceries from a local supplier with vested interest in the African-American community, this is who I suggest you shop with.
 

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Murals along Claiborne Underpass

 

Also located in the 7th Ward along the Claiborne Underpass are several murals painted on the support structures of the i-10 bridge. Claiborne Avenue was originally lined with 2 miles of beautiful Oak Trees which unfortunately succumbed to urban development and highway installation. 

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Murals Along Claiborne Underpass​

 

The murals are part of a beautification effort to the environment and show snippets of the beautiful New Orleans culture hand painted by local artists.

 

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Studio Be

 

Studio Be is the first solo show by New Orleans aerosol artist Brandan “B Mike” Odums and explores the arist’s relationship with his past and future with elaborate larger than life murals of American Civil Rights Heroes, or simply ‘American Heroes’ in his own words. 

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Studio Be

 

You can check out the exhibit Wednesday through Saturday in the Bywater at 2941 Royal Street.

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Studio Be

 

More info at the site’s instagram page @studio_be_

 

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Secondline Mural
 
This mural by artist Henry Lipkis ( @lipkisart on instagram ) is an ode to what you can see on Any Given Sunday at a Secondline Parade in New Orleans. Located in the lot next to Frankie and Johnny’s Furniture Store on St Claude Street in the Bywater, this monumental mural gives you the chance to have an intimate experience with one of New Orleans’s most beloved traditions.
 

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Neutral Ground Murals

 

All along the city you’ll run into these hand painted murals on power converters commisioned by Community Visions Unimited referencing distinct New Orleans practices.

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Neutral Ground Murals

 

You can find out more at http://www.cvunola.org

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Kermit Ruffins’ Mother-in-Law Lounge

 

Legendary artist Kermit Ruffins and his BBQ Swingers find their home in the 7th Ward of New Orleans along Claiborne Avenue.

 

 

 

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Kermit Ruffins’ Mother-in-Law Lounge

 

Come here for drinks, great music, and the amazing artwork strewn across the walls of this historic establishment.

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Bayou St John

 

A great rest stop either biking to it or catching a ride, Bayou St John features a walking trail with a scenic view of downtown New Orleans in the distance. 

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Bayou St John

 

The Jazz Tree Sculpture by sculptor and ‘chainsaw artist’ Mariln Miller makes for a beautiful backdrop to enjoy the scenery.

 

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Laffite Greenway​

 

A clean slice through dowtown New Orleans and Bayou St John, this bike trail is a great place to get active. 

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Laffite Greenway

 

If you want you can rent a bike from downtown and within a short scenic route find yourself in Bayou St John near Central Park to enjoy a beautiful sundown along the water.

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Laffite Greenway​

 

A clean slice through dowtown New Orleans and Bayou St John.

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Streetcar Ride

There’s always the street car ride to view some amazing new orleans scenes and chat it up along the way. 
 
 

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Streetcar Ride

 

You can catch it along Canal Street to visit City Park up to the New Orleans Museum of Art or down St Charles to see the beautiful homes in the Lower Garden District.

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Frenchman Street

 

Without a doubt, skip Bourbon Street and catch a brass band playing on the streets of Frenchmen, or one of the other many clubs in the area.
 

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Esplanade Avenue


A colorful New Orleans home along esplande Avenue
 

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Bayou Road

 

Bayou Road has several black-owned businesses.

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Bayou Road

 

The occupants of them will be most happy to tell you about the history of these places

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Houses of New Orleans
 

Everywhere you go you’ll run into beautiful new orleans houses with interesting color schemes. This one was captured in Mid City.

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Soulja Slim and Malcolm X Mural
 
New Orleans’ very own Tupac, Soulja Slim (or Magnolia Slim as many will still call him) is revered as one of New Orleans’ finest lyricists and spokesmen, in tune with both the evils and struggles of his community. Raised in the infamous Magnolia Projects, this slain warrior’s façade can be found on the exter of Nuthin by Fire Records in New Orleans’ 7th Ward. Mural by artist @jhandpaints
 

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Florida Street Bridge
 
If you’re interested in great scenery like me, the Florida Street Bridge in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward is a standout to me. The striking blue hue pops out to me and provides a great opportunity for both landscape and portrait photography.

Tags

# Travel

Tags

# Travel