St. Roch Cemetery, New Orleans.

There are SO many beautiful cemeteries in NOLA! Every time I’m there I try and visit at least one. On my last visit I stopped by St. Roch cemetery for the first time. It’s in the St. Roch neighborhood; which is north of St. Claude just opposite the Marigny. And it’s dedicated to…..St. Roch 🙂 (pronounced rock). He is the patron saint of invalids and is often is invoked against pestilence and the plague.

It’s your typical above ground burials – New Orleans style cemetery, but in the middle there is this small chapel dedicated to…. you guessed it. And inside the chapel there’s a shrine chock FULL of all kinds of ex-votos (offering to a saint or divinity given when your prayer is answered). The assortment is quite interesting. There are artificial legs and leg braces, plaster hands and feet, at least one red plastic heart, silk flowers, an old camera, several old rusted crutches, old shoes, back braces, all sorts of things left by those seeking St. Roch’s help and by those who’s prayers have been answered. Even the marble bricks that make up the floor of the shrine are inscribed with words of thanks.

When I visited I was the only one in the chapel. And once I made it past the slightly unnerving gaze of the giant St. Roch statue, it felt very peaceful….and maybe a little creepy at the same time. But I always feel like that when I’m the only one in the cemetery. Definitely check it out if you’re in the ‘hood.

St. Roch Cemetery  #1 & #2 are located at 1725 St. Roch Avenue.

Oh and this article on the cemetery is fantastic.

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Street Art in Athens.

I spent 1 ‘buffer’ day in Athens during my trip to Greece specifically so I could check out the street art. I had heard that the Exarchia, Monastiraki and Psirri areas were the areas with the most street art. But when I was wandering around the city trying to find out where in my phone I had put the note about the neighborhoods with the most street art ’cause I couldn’t for the life of me find it I just started asking people and eventually a man at a cafe told me to go around the corner and I would find it there. That’s how I ended up spending the day in Psirri. Thank you man at the cafe.

I didn’t have a game plan. Clearly. So I just wandered around. There was literally street art EVERYWHERE in Psirri. And granted I didn’t see very much of the city but Psirri ended up being my favorite part of Athens (and Plaka my least favorite. Ew.). I even found a few excellent cafes and restaurants during my wander.

Poems and Crimes is an ‘art bar’. Fancy! There’s a book store in the front and a cafe serving food and drinks in the back. It’s really cute. I liked it a lot. Free wifi. A patio, cheap drinks and good food. What more do you want? The perfect place to take a break from the hot sun and recharge. And…It’s not technically in Psirri, BUT it’s right on the edge.

I wanted REAL Greek food so I tried to find restaurants with mostly Greek people eating in them. I walked by Enastro around lunch and decided to go back for dinner. It’s located on a quietish side street in a beautiful old building. They also have outdoor seating across the street in a welcoming courtyard. The food was delish. And affordable. And there were only Greeks there (and me)! Score.

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