There are days like today where you just HAVE to be outside. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the breeze is perfect, it’s not too hot or too cold…you just need to be out and about. I had some errands to run this morning before meeting my mom for lunch at The Scotts Coffee Bar, so I decided to spend a little time taking pictures and reminiscing a bit at one of my favorite places, the Mandeville lakefront. It also gave me a chance to play with photography using nothing but my iPhone. I’ve become rather enamored of using my iPhone as a camera – especially with great apps like Vintique for back-end editing.
When I was growing up in Mandeville, there was not a whole lot to do here. Honestly, it was a pretty small town. For an antsy 90s kid like myself, the only things to do were “cruise” between the lakefront and the arcade. (Yes, we had an arcade. Many summer nights were spent there, playing pool and watching Josh play Mortal Kombat.) If a friend with a car was not available, I could walk to the lakefront and eventually run into someone I knew. Before I turned 16 and got a job, summer days would be spent biking to the library, checking out books, then biking to the lakefront to read them on a bench. The lakefront holds a pretty special place in my heart.
Between semesters in college, when I picked up the hobby of LARPing, my boyfriend and I ran a Vampire game at the Mandeville gazebo. Well, he wasn’t my boyfriend when it started, but we were spending a lot of time together, one thing led to another, and so on. I was 18 at the time, and we had a lot of high school kids playing in our game, so I did my damnedest to make sure that everything stayed safe and legal. Everyone that was under the age of 17 had to leave in time to get home for curfew, and I made friends with the police that cruised the lakefront so if there was a problem, we could flag them down. The area was pretty well-lit – even at night – so there was no concern about that. It went pretty well until some little douchebags decided to graffiti the gazebo with a five-pointed star and words like “devil”, “satan”, “vampires”, and stupid crap like that. The police asked us that week if we knew who had done it, and no one did. To be honest, it was probably some meatheads who were bored and drunk. The game disbanded shortly after that – I went back to college – and the gazebo was repainted. I miss playing there, though.
There are a LOT of big old homes on the lakefront – some that have been there for years. Sadly, the recent hurricanes and tropical storms have just wrecked a lot of them. This house has been there forever and is being lifted and gutted. I hope it gets restored quickly.
I love sitting on these stairs and watching the lake. One of my favorite things to do is sit on the lake wall or the stairs when the wind is kicking up, the sky is grey, and the water is choppy. It’s pretty powerful stuff. I’ve sat on many of these stairs with friends and family over the years and had long talks – and I’ve sat there by myself, deep in reflection. I used to hear that people would get sucked under the stairs and drown under the sea wall if they weren’t careful…don’t know if that’s true or not but I don’t plan on going in that water anytime soon. (That and Lake Pontchatrain water is kind of gross.)