A Shoe Shine in New Orleans, Two Bits?

The Shining by Jann Alexander ©2014

The Shining by Jann Alexander ©2014


A shave and a haircut in New Orleans isn’t two bits any longer, and neither is a shoe shine. But the trade is still the craft it was when shoe shining with Kiwi polish began over a century ago, and in Jackson Square, you can get some slickly two-toned hikers shined for $6, from a seasoned shoe shine man in his seventh decade of life.

Tools of the Shining Trade by Jann Alexander ©2014

Tools of the Shining Trade by Jann Alexander ©2014


The tools of the shining trade show their rust and wear, arrayed on top of on his carrying case. There’s no charge to photograph them, if you’re polite enough to ask first, as long as your traveling companion is paying for a shoe shine. If not, that’ll be two bucks. The tales the man tells of an entire life in the Big Easy are free, for as long as the shining continues.

Shining and Styling by Jann Alexander ©2014

Shining and Styling by Jann Alexander ©2014


Old hikers, shined into two-toned style by an even older shoe shine man, never looked so good! Or maybe it’s just the thrill of experiencing an old tradition—that’s where New Orleans excels. ♣ 

What’s your most memorable experience in New Orleans?

There are plenty more of my travel tales, and the photographs that speak louder than my words, HERE.


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