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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Ralph and I took our cameras to New Orleans. Our real cameras, not just our phones. The real cameras, with the hundred buttons and billion settings. The ones I need a degree to use and about six hours just to set up a single shot.

But there is so much gorgeousness in New Orleans that we wanted to photograph and remember it all.

So much history, so much architecture. The wrought iron, the balconies, the statues and artwork. So many strange people with their multi-colored hair and barely-there clothing, sitting on sidewalks and in the middle of streets, playing their trombones and selling foot massages.

So what did I immediately take about a hundred pictures of?


The doors are just so interesting. Sometimes you can’t even tell the difference between a door and a window because they are both huge and covered by shutters. You only know because of the way they open, and because one has a step leading into it.

Case in point. Two mostly identical shuttered openings but only one is a door.

Or if you really want to get creative, alternating doors and windows. For a city that is so drunk and high, it probably makes sense that it doesn’t really matter how you get into a house, as long as it’s through an actual opening in the wall.

The doors to the restaurants and stores and coffee shops are, for the most part, always wide open. It’s one of the things I love, everything so accessible and welcoming.

The doors to houses, though, are shut, sometimes behind gates, most times with more than one deadbolt. Sometimes with gates AND deadbolts and a few extra shutters for good measure. Those are the houses you don’t stand there taking pictures of.

Anyway, you knew this was coming. I warned you a few days ago that doors would, in fact, make an appearance on this blog. I really do have about a hundred pictures just of doors. I promise not to post every single one of them, but I’m telling you, they’re all so interesting. It’s like someone sent a fairy to earth and said Make up some stuff to put on these buildings, would you? And this fairy, not being too orthodox but being extraordinarily creative, probably sporting rainbow hair and blowing a trumpet, said Let there be doors!

The good news is that when you photograph a door, it does not threaten to smash your camera or shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. The good thing about doors is that the older and more decrepit they get, the more interesting they become.

The best thing about these doors is that they did not appear in any nightmares or threaten to open unexpectedly. They just sat there looking door-ish and waiting for their closeup.

I noticed a few things about the doors we passed, most notably that they are never alike. Similar, sometimes. But once you start adding up the colors and the types of shutters and the number of panes and the signs and lights and mail slots and handles and gates and grates… you’ve got quite a stunning lot of variety. There also seems to be a lot of green.

And this unfortunate color combination. Still interesting, though, right? Especially the door knocker.

I also found a Hobbit door, handle optional.

I have no idea who some of these doors are for. A number of them were narrow enough to make me question whether it would even be possible for some of the people I saw to fit through them.

The signs on this door make it even more intriguing. What does it open to inside?

Same building, two completely different doors.

Patchwork door. Come on, it’s a cool door, right? How many times do you think it was glued back together? How many hurricanes do you think it has withstood? Or not withstood, as the case may be.

Doors to nicer restaurants are usually pretty well painted.

And you always know where to get to po’ boys just by the shape and cant of the doors.

By my count, that makes 16 photos of doors for your viewing pleasure. Depending on how you look at it, I’ve either done you a mercy, or deprived you of the other 75-plus gorgeous, unique, intriguing doors in my collection.

Next time you look at your cookie-cutter suburban aluminum door and rail at the universe for the injustice it has done unto you, I invite you back here to appreciate these works of fairy magic and inexplicable engineering.

And I will happily show you the remainder of my collection so you can wonder who, exactly, has to use the midget sized door.

Photo: doors! Even the same doors are not the same. But all so interesting!