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  • Writer's pictureJazmin Jernigan

New Orleans Magic

New Orleans Nights

I'm a city girl with country roots that run deep. I grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. My father was from Greenwood, Louisiana and I spent many an afternoon making mud pies with my cousins or playing hide and seek in the woods. My grandparents, both maternal and paternal, came from huge families that raised their own hogs and turkeys for slaughter and grew their own collard greens and peas. I recall the afternoons that I spent with my great-grandmother, Granny-Gran is what I called her, with my fingertips stained from picking purple hull peas. My grandfather's mother, Grandma Jenny V, always had a remedy of some sort bubbling in her kitchen. So much of my life has always been connected to the earth and nature. Stargazing from my grandmothers porch in Greenwood, or watching wild rabbits play in our backyard--I am grounded in the smell of fresh cut grass and rainclouds on the horizon.

So you can imagine my fascination with New Orleans. One of my first trips to a "big city" as a young adult was to New Orleans. And that first trip lead me to choose Xavier University for my first year of college. I took everything in with fresh eyes. There was a constant hum in the air. There was diversity in shapes, sizes, and hues of the faces that passed me on Canal street. This was a city full of flavor, vibrance and life. It never slept, but it certainly didn't rush through the days. New Orleans possessed, and still has a sweet, syncopated heartbeat that I find so soothing. It was the perfect combination of my country roots, with a bit of metropolitan flair. I loved the way that palm trees sprang from concrete, vines covered crumbling brick walls, and blossoming flowers sang from sidewalk crevices. I felt at home in the magic of that city. I could be the high priestess of whatever I wanted--concocting my grandmothers recipes without side eyes or criticisms. New Orleans has always been a magical place for me. Hopefully I've managed to capture that in some of these images. Enjoy!

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