New Orleans

The Big Easy.  Crescent City.   The City that Care Forgot.

With all of these great nicknames, I expected New Orleans to have a distinctive welcome sign.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

My visit to NOLA this week was to attend a conference, but I built in some extra time to search the city for the welcome sign.  This was actually my second attempt to find the Nawlins welcome sign; I came up empty three years ago on another work-related visit.

The only sign I was able to find was this one in the airport.  It greets visitors as they descend into the baggage claim area.  The (boring) visual of the city’s skyline also features a space for (tacky) electronic advertising.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I normally do not photograph welcome signs in airports.  But I snapped this shot upon departure after I came up short in my efforts while scouring the city’s borders.

But all was not lost.  Approaching Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on Veterans Boulevard on my way to catch my flight home, not only was I treated to aircraft takeoffs on Runway 1/19, but I found a farewell sign!  This sign almost makes up for the lack of a welcome sign.  It incorporates icons of New Orleans: a fleur-de-lis, a trumpet, and the Mississippi River.  The globe seems out of place, but otherwise it’s an impressive sign.

There was no place to stop along the roadway to snap this shot – did I mention it is adjacent to an active runway? – so I actually took this while driving, with the camera perched precariously on the steering wheel.  After nearly five years of photographing welcome signs, this is the first one that I was forced to take while driving.  (And this shot was my second go-around!)


Although it is also nicknamed America’s Most Interesting City, New Orleans turned out to be the least interesting of my visit to the River Region (in terms of welcome signs, that is).  My trip report featuring welcome signs from two state capitals will continue in the coming days.  And an unexpected surprise was waiting for me in Mississippi.


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