Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Orleans and the French Quarter

You can't come to New Orleans without going down to the French Quarter. Although it is known for its crazy Mardi Gras and the famous Bourbon Street, there really is much more.

Since we were staying on the south side of the Mississippi, we chose to take the Algiers Ferry across. A pedestrian ferry, it leaves every 30 minutes back and forth between Canal Street and Algiers.

Looking across to the Riverfront.

We got off and this was sitting at the curb.

Andrew Jackson's statue in front of the St. Louis Cathedral.

In front of the cathedral park on St. Peter's street (or maybe it's Decatur St.).

The police patrol on horseback.

There are other statues besides Andrew Jackson's though. Here a young creole sits and listens to the music behind her.

Did you know New Orleans once had a mint?

Here is a sample of some of the coins minted here between 1838 and 1909. This mint is the only mint which can boast it minted coins under 3 different governments; the Independent Nation of Louisiana, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America.

Another famous site is Jean Lefitte's Blacksmith Shop, now a bar. The legend says Jean Lefitte and his brother ran a blacksmith shop on this corner. Historical information does not back this up. Across the street was the property of the girlfriend of the brother, but that is all. Jean Lefitte was a pirate and also a New Orleans businessman. He did not consider himself a pirate but a privateer, which was just a legal pirate. He had papers from a country in South America, which did not last, and which the U.S. did not recognize. But during the revolutionary war he offered his services to Andrew Jackson in exchange for a pardon for himself and his crew. It was given and Jean Lefitte and his men fought along side Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans.

More statues. New Orleans claims to be the birthplace of jazz. Louis Armstrong was originally from Algiers, LA, on the south side of the river, but played his music in the jazz venues of New Orleans until he went to Chicago.

Representing the Mardi Gras spirit, another statue.

Now, this one is a real person. There were several mimes in the French Quarter, but this one had a sign, calling himself Robotron. It said, "Coins make him move, dollars make him groove."

Being the tourist venue that it is, most restaurants are quite expensive. But Pat O'Briens created the original hurricane drink. Since we just had to stop and try one, we checked on dinner. Their special of the day was fresh grilled tuna, steamed veggies and rice, with a salad for $12.95. That was the price of most sandwiches and burgers. Wow, was it good.

In Pat O'Briens courtyard, their flaming fountain.

Another view.

There were even murals like this in the ferry terminal, giving you the history of Mardi Gras in vivid color. This was only one of about 6 murals.

Bourbon Street even has a cowboy bar.

We heard a lot of music on Bourbon Street, but no cajun or zydeco. There were a 1-2 jazz bands, but most were rock. Surprisingly, there were even several karaoke bars too.

Street musicians like these play during the day on the street.

We took the trolley on St. Charles, over to Carrollton, through the Garden District and in front of Tulane University and Loyola University. I belive this is Loyola.

Next door was Tulane.

All up and down St. Charles you see older homes like these. Many date back to the early 1800s where the Garden District was where the bankers and merchants lived, especially the non-creole, or white Americans from the east.

1 comment:

firesign58 said...

It all looks so good. I am so glad to see the French Quarter again - I have not been there since July 2005 (1 month pre-K).I have only 1 family member remaining in NOLA. Everyone else moved or died (either just before or just after K). Thanks for sharing pics of NOLA and vicinity.