Category Archives: Art

#TravelBlog: 5 Reasons Why I Love New Orleans!

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That’s me and my best friend/sister Maria. We spent our 4th of July weekend in New Orleans for Essence Fest. There were so many amazing things about this magical place. I’m going to share some highlights about our adventure to NOLA and why I think everyone should go there at least once in their lifetime!

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“5 Reasons Why I Love New Orleans!”

1. FOOD FOOD FOOD

OF COURSE this is number one for me. One of my favorite things to do is EAT. Although I keep a fairly healthy diet at home, I eat anything and everything on vacation, and New Orleans is the place to indulge! NOLA has many dishes that will make you consider not buying anything but food while you’re down there. In fact, yes when you’re visiting New Orleans, spend all your money on food. And take food back home with you as souvenirs (if you’re flying within the United States). You’ll thank me later.

Other foods we enjoyed: Gumbo, Crawfish Bisque, Jambalaya, Muffuletta sandwich, Drumettes, and other seafood dishes.

Beignets

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From Cafe Du Monde
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nom nom nom

Crawfish (Cajun seasoning)

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My first time eating crawfish! I’m hooked!!!!!!! New favorite.

Po’Boys

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Catfish Po’ Boy

2. THE ART — A CREATIVE’S PARADISE 

At night Frenchmen Street in New Orleans turns into an outdoor market, selling things like homemade jewelry and paintings. We even saw artists painting live.

There are streets filled with art galleries and cute cafes. Maria and I also visited the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and the Sculpture Garden. If you love art, you will leave New Orleans with your heart filled.

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Frenchmen Street
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Store window

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Street Art

3. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

First shout out to all the amazing natural hair women we saw in NOLA!!!!!! Maria and I fit right in, and we bonded with some fellow curly natural hair chicks!

On that note, Maria and I talked to strangers everyday in New Orleans. We met so many amazing, incredible, inspiring people– from musicians to artists to cab drivers to store owners and fellow travelers. Hearing people’s stories will make you build a connection with the city itself. I feel like I have family in New Orleans. The people are incredibly nice.

When you travel, talk to strangers… we’re all family on this planet!

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4. LIVE MUSIC — HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE!

The purpose of our trip to New Orleans was Essence Fest. A huge festival with thousands of people coming from all over the United States to hear empowerment seminars during the day, win contests/giveaways, and dance the night away with performances by Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Usher, etc.

However, you do not need to buy an Essence ticket to enjoy music in NOLA. There is music everywhere, literally. The streets are filled with musicians–the bars, cafes, and even the museums had a pianist playing live. No wonder I felt so merry and light on my feet, prancing and dancing around the streets of New Orleans.

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Louis Armstrong Park
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Jackson Square

5. HISTORY & CULTURE

 I felt transported back into time visiting some of the museums and walking down the streets of New Orleans. The French Quarter is probably my favorite place because it still has European influence in its structure, truly a cultural gem inside the United States. It was so pretty walking around all the little shops and cafes. Until we got to Bourbon street aka the biggest non-stop frat party– at anytime of day people are drinking and partying in the street, smells like pee and beer, but still fun at night. Try signature drinks like the Hurricane and Hand Grenade.

Other cultural and historical places to visit are the Voodoo shops, the cemeteries, the Louis Armstrong Park, the Bayou, the big Southern-style mansions in the Garden District, and the National World War II museum. 

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In front of Jackson Square.

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World War II Museum

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Louis Armstrong Park

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I hope you go see New Orleans for yourself!

💛💜💚💛💜💚💛💜💚💛💜💚💛💜💚💛💜💚💛💜💚

Dear NOLA, Maria and I will be back soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“Wake Up” Poem #100DayProject

“We were trying to wake up the country and wake the world up too.” – John Carlos & Tommie Smith

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 Wake Up

I hope for a world where Love overcomes Hate.

Where we empathize with each other’s pain,

And Compassion runs through our veins.

Where the hunger for money doesn’t blind us

Into believing we can’t make this world a better place.

Because it’s possible.

Just like it’s possible to have a good Monday.

And moments when we’re too grateful to complain.

Where we truly believe that today is a good day,

If I‘m blessed enough to wake.

If I’m blessed enough to dream.

I have faith in humanity.

And

It hurts me,

To have to tell my little brother

All the things he needs to worry about.

And as he looks at me, confused with doubt,

I say “That’s right,

You should be cautious of everyone around you,

Especially if you’re walking alone at night.

Especially because you’re not whi–.”

And that’s enough to take his innocence, his light.

Because we’re living in 2015 with this plight.

And it’s been 50 years since Dr. King’s fight,

For the future young boys and young girls.

I too am using the power of words.

Because if the world refuses to wake up,

We need to wake up the world.

-jessmialma

“Love Drunk” poem #100DayProject

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Love Drunk (full poem)

He gives me so much love that I felt overwhelmed.

Dazed and confused,

Not used —

Not used to a man treating me so well.

That was hard to admit,

But as I take another sip,

His love moistens my lips,

I’m left breath-less.

Less breath at that moment

I thought love would be the death.

Of me.

My knees get weak.

I try to catch myself

Giving his shirt a tug.

He smiles.

That was the first time I felt okay falling.

In love.

*picture was taken on East 13th street, NYC*

“To the Women of the Rodriguez Family” poem #100DayProject #Day1

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To the Women of the Rodriguez Family

Generations of broken women,

Shattered women turned into mosaic art.

Your battles molded generations,

Generations of cold women with gentle hearts.

I see myself in every single one of you,

Remarkable mothers, sisters, and daughters.

I’m better because of all of you,

Generations of strength, gracefulness and honor.

And as I go,

On my own journey

I know you’re watching over me,

Helping me

To become the woman I want to be,

I’m meant to be.

So To the Women of My Family,

I hope I make you all proud.

-Jessmialma