Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Po' Boy Among Po' Boys

Photography in the digital age means that you stop taking pictures not when you run out of film, but when your batteries run out of power. I might have taken more photos of certain places but for low power, a situation that's impossible to correct at a campground without electricity.

Such as in Lafayette. Camera-battery power was low the morning I went into town, so I have no images of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Cemetery on Surrey Street, which was chock-a-block with the sort of above-ground tombs generally associated with New Orleans. When visiting the visually interesting Vermilionville (see July 1), I left my camera in the car.

Later in the day, I drove out to New Iberia and then Avery Island, world HQ of Tabasco Sauce, to take the tour. As interesting as the process of making that hot sauce is, it was just as well that I left my camera in the car there, since the inside of Tabasco factory isn't all that compelling, visually speaking, at least for a photographer of marginal skills. Except for the giant faux Tabasco bottle.

Outside the New Iberia Public Library are enormous old trees festooned with Spanish moss. Down Main Street from the library, behind its own live oaks and bamboo and an impressive gate, is the sugarcane plantation mansion Shadows-on-the-Teche, which was closed when I arrived, but impressive even at a distance.

Maybe it's just as well that I didn't make many pictures of Lafayette, since it will oblige me to visualize my memories by myself. In the end, I decided I had power enough for one picture in Lafayette, and this is it:

I had lunch that day near Louisiana University at the Old Tyme Grocery, which may be old tyme, but it really isn't a grocery store. In one part of the place, you order from its simple menu and wait for your food to be wrapped and ready. The other part looks like a small bar. I ordered my food and sat at the bar.

Looks don't count for much at a place like this anyway. The food's the entire deal. I had a shrimp po' boy, fries and locally made root beer. Note the gushing comments here. I agree with them all, and have to add my own about the po' boy: Damn, that was good.

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