Being an artistic city, there are many public murals in New Orleans, however, here are just a few to highlight.
I was unaware of these, having never been to Ralph’s on the Park until recently (view up close versions if you take the virtual tour on this link). These murals located in the downstairs dining area are painted by Tony Green, a very talented artist and musician, who happened to be my parents’ French Quarter neighbor for a time while they had their condo across the street and since he visits Venice, Italy annually, he knows my cousins — small world, indeed. These capture an era gone by but still alive with New Orleanians’ eternal party spirit. The contemporary Creole cuisine, by the way is fabulous!
As an aside, another restaurant to recommend (and there are countless exceptional ones in New Orleans too many to mention) would be Herbsaint (check out the murals that I missed seeing). It’s a New Orleans staple but I had never eaten there. My good friend Shauna and I took the afternoon to experience their fine cuisine and I thought it most fitting since the Louisiana Legislature had just voted the Sazerac (made with Herbsaint) as its official state cocktail.
I love this realistic clarinet mural that I see almost every time I venture downtown. It’s painted on the side of the New Orleans Holiday Inn Hotel and makes the best use of the non-punctuated, elongated horizontal wall space and again, captures that New Orleans living-life-to-the-fullest spirit by referring to its music.
There are many more but I’ll mention one other, the Luzianne Tea Mural near Camp Street, downtown. I was in a rush so I couldn’t stop to take a picture this time but I was able to find it on Dogbert10′s Flickr images of iconographic New Orleans’ Neon signs and locations. I love this for its realism and its unexpected location — in a parking lot.