Saturday, May 1, 2010

Goodnight NOLA

As you all know, we're nerds.
You also know, if you are a regular, that we've kinda become semi-photo geeks since we bought our dSLR last year.

That hint of a hobby, combined with trying to raise a literate toddler, sparked an idea for a little photo project that I'll share with you today.

If you've been around kids, you are probably familiar with the book Goodnight Moon, wherein the narrator goes through a catalog of impractically juxtaposed items in a bedroom, acknowledges them, and then gives them a dismissive night time greeting.

Fortunately, from this crap on a page, a Louisiana author had the idea to do a New Orleans themed version, but less crappy.

Riley's Nanny, Lesley, introduced us to the book Goodnight NOLA by Cornell Landry and Louis Schmitt.

It's like Goodnight Moon, but good.

Week 106 (812)

The book sticks to the "Goodnight (insert object)" formula, but with New Orleans/Louisiana items, and much better illustrations than the Moon based original.

Here's some examples from the official website:


you can pick up your copy at or at some of the chain book stores.

Now to why this is relevant here.

I thought it may be fun to set aside a weekend, head down to NOLA, and "recreate" the book with photos depicting Riley with the subject matter.
Throw it all together online and we've got a neat little keepsake. Then we can do it again as both he and our family grow.

So, a few weeks ago we ran like mad all around NOLA trying to be sure that we got everything.

Our rules were simple:
1. All shots had to be taken that weekend.
2. We had to incorporate all of the featured objects in the book.
3. Shots had to include Riley unless absolutely impossible due to legal or sleep reasons.

It was quite an ambitious project with a 2 year old with active sinus congestion, but it made for an interesting weekend.

We got some good shots for some pages, and had to settle on others, but, 800+ shots later, here's our handy work. (cropped, but otherwise all natural)

Goodnight red beans, goodnight rice

Week 106 (239)

Goodnight pralines and Zatarain's spice

Week 106 (151)
Week 106 (10)
Week 106 (6)

Goodnight Cathedral, goodnight French Quarter

Week 106 (30)
Week 106 (75)
Week 106 (169)
Week 106 (87)

Goodnight Cafe DuMonde

Week 106 (562)
Week 106 (568)

Goodnight Muddy Water

Week 106 (42)
Week 106 (48)
Week 106 (73)

Goodnight po'boys and Hubig's pies, Goodnight Lucky Dogs and Cooter's fries.

Week 106 (18)
Week 106 (743)
Week 106 (172)
Week 106 (449)
Week 106 (456)

Goodnight to the Saints and the Dome filled with noise. Goodnight to the fans cheering "Bless You Boys!"

Week 106 (365)
Week 106 (352)

Goodnight to the Hornets and the balls that they dunk,

Week 106 (377)

Goodnight to the bands playing Jazz, Blues, and Funk.

Week 106 (303)
Week 106 (139)
Week 106 (252)
Week 106 (297)

Goodnight to the restaurants with their glitz and glam. Goodnight to the cooks and to chefs who yell, "Bam!"

Week 106 (250) crop

Goodnight to the Aquarium and the Audubon Zoo, Goodnight to the fishies and animals too

Week 106 (587)
Week 106 (576)
Week 106 (264)
Week 106 (269)

Goodnight to the Bunny and the bread that he bakes.

Week 106 (737)

Goodnight to the Causeway that crosses the Lake

Week 106 (473)
Week 106 (471)

Goodnight to doubloons and Mardi Gras things

Week 106 (505)
Week 106 (496)
Week 106 (512)

Goodnight to Rex and to Cakes made for Kings

Week 106 (508)
Week 106 (483)Week 106 (491)

Goodnight to streetcars and rides which are breezy

Week 106 (754)

Goodnight to the city they call the Big Easy

Week 106 (323)
Week 106 (417)

The End

If you don't have the book, pick up a copy, for yourself or as a gift for a parent trapped in the cow-pie minefield of most kids books. Well worth the price.

We learned a few lessons during the trip, including:

1. Riley is afraid of cooked crawfish, but not live ones;

2. In our post 9-11 world, the sight of three late-20s looking, pasty white people, with a toddler, photographing the Causeway Bridge is apparently some sort of threat to national security worthy of police attention (fortunately he was polite, unlike most stories at

3. Most of the non-Ron Paul supporters at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference are major douchebags. (yes that includes all of you chubby frat boys wearing seer-sucker suits and white shoes and ranting about gay marriage like it is actually a pressing political issue.)

4. To get a shot of a Lucky Dog cart during the day, you have to stand in the middle of Decatur.

5. I like taking shots reflected off of Riley's sunglasses.

in closing, here's some miscellaneous shots we just liked.

If the sign fits...

Week 106 (836)


Week 106 (106)
Week 106 (107)
Week 106 (111)

His middle name

Week 106 (149)


Week 106 (412)

Safety First

Week 106 (428)
Week 106 (432)

Looking older

Week 106 (556)

Strike a pose

Week 106 (759)

Rockin' the milkshake at Creole Creamery

Week 106 (782)


Lindsey said...

LOVE it. I love that book. Calvin has it memorized.

Ya'll are so creative!

Loula said...

Yay! I saw this just after I saw Treme and there might be some stuff leaking from my eyeballs right now maybe.

Next time you're out there a) let me know so I can visit, and/or b) let me know so Dane can get you a free ride on the Natchez (which is one of those things that's sort of meh when you have to overpay for it, but really really fun when it's free).

And one day I'll live there again, I swear.

Jackie said...

That is awesome. And potentially makes for one expensive and fattening trip to Nola. All in one day? Ha!

Frances Hicks said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what y'all did with the book! Such a cute idea!

Bobby said...

Great idea - even better execution! That's going to make for a great keepsake. You should email the author of Goodnight NOLA a link to your blog.

Just a note.. the New Orleans Children's Museum has a "Good Night Moon" room. We didn't care for the book either until we went there and my daughter started pointing out all the stuff from the book.