New Orleans, LA - 2015
This was our first visit to New Orleans. It was a city we wanted to visit for three reasons - see the French Quarter, walk through a cemetery and eat a biegnet (French donut). We had no desire to participate in the nightlife of New Orleans. We were careful to follow the recommendations of the 'people in the know' as to areas to visit, areas not to visit, even in the daytime. That being said, we enjoyed our day in New Orleans.
We encountered more traffic than we were used to - we have been traveling two-lane roads with little traffic. And, as retirees, we avoid traffic as much as possible.
Without our GPS, we would not have found our campground. Even with the GPR, a street on our route was parallel and too close to another for the GPS to identify it so we missed our turn.
We should have turned right toward the train.
Instead, we ended up on the overpass over the train tracks.
We recovered quickly after a u-turn in a neighborhood.
Our campsite backed up to the canal leading to the marina. The campground was in a marina/boatbuilding/industrial area. Approaching the campground we wondered if the recommendations we received were on target. The recommendations were spot on. (We know because as we were leaving New Orleans, we saw some of the other campgrounds we considered . . . using them would have been a mistake.)
A walkway next to our site ended at a floating ramp to a floating dock. Several floating rental cabins were located along the floating dock.
We had time for a short ride around the area before dark. The counter gal at the camp office gave us 'easy' directions to the city park. We got lost ... or ... at least did not find the park. In our opinion, people in New Orleans are scary drivers and ignore stop lights. (Later, we found out that we were just a block away.)
We saw houses with tiles and several with solar panels on their roof.
Several had storm coverings for their windows.
Houses were built on mounds of dirt or concrete risers.
This one had decorative security bars.
Many houses were being renovated.
This art work was in a small park near the campground.
A statue of General Beauguard, who fired the first shot at Fort Sumpter, stands outside the entrance to the City Park. The general was a Louisiana born Confederate general during the Civil War. His nickname was "Napoleon in Gray".
Sculpture on grounds of The New Orleans Museum of Art.
The next morning we took the 10:00am shuttle to the French Quarter.
For six dollars (roundtrip) each, we could ride the campground's French Quarter shuttle. The last pickup in the French Quarter was 6:00pm. If you missed it, you had to find your own way back to the campground.
Our drop-off and pick-up point . . .
An interior courtyard also know as a patio, between buildings, are now part of restaurants rather than the private residences.
As we approached Decatur Street, an officer blocked traffic for a tour bus.
If you did not want to walk, you had transportation choices.
Knowing we wanted to take a bus tour of the city, we headed for the Lighthouse Ticket Office to purchase our tickets. It is an attractive round building on the waterfront. We selected the Gray Line All-City Tour because it included the areas we wanted to see and a stop at St Louis Cemetery #3.
It was too early for lunch at this place across from the ticket office.
After purchasing our tickets, we headed back to Decatur Street for our fresh beignets. Looking left and straight provided views of new and old buildings.
The VooDoo Store . . .
The small CVS sign hangs in front of the 15' wide store.
The mural was in the CVS entryway. >>>
The store was small but they had a business presence in the French Quarter.
The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France
Visitors can take various steamboat cruises while visiting New Orleans.
We made our way to the place that sold the "best" beignets in town - Cafe Du Monde, Original French Market Coffee Stand.
Mary Lou got in the line on the sidewalk in front of us. After standing there for a while, she was told that it was the line for a table inside the restaurant - the wait was too long.
So, she moved to the 'takeout' line on the right. It was longer than the 'inside' line. Based on the slow movement of this line, she decided the wait was too long.
We back-tracked to a place we had seen where the line was only about ten people deep. Their restaurant area was quite busy and their fresh beignet's were very good.
Water draws us to it. So, we took a side street back to the Mississippi River boardwalk.
Hotel with palm trees on roof . . .
Looks like a building on a building . . .
Ships under construction . . .
Barge on the river . . .
Robert Schoen's Old Man River sculpture is a stylized stone human figure made of 17 tons of Carrara marble.
STARTING THE ALL-CITY BUS TOUR . . .
As we were leaving on our All-City bus tour, the driver told us the flower bed in front of us did not have a fence around it originally. So, people would walk through it. The city installed a 12" fence to eliminated that - people stepped over the low fence. This three foot fence was installed. It has been effective keeping people out of the flower bed.
He also pointed out the flood wall, flood gate and one of the trolley cars. There were several trolley lines in New Orleans - the one you see here is a Capital City Trolley.
Flood walls and flood gates are designed to protect the city from a rising Mississippi River.
Monument to Immigrants . . . At the turn of the century many Italian immigrants came to this country, a large number of them through the port of New Orleans. It is made of white carrara marble and is created by local sculptor Franco Allesandrini.
Bienville Statue: Jean Baptiste La Moyne de Bienville founded New Orleans in 1717. He served as governor for a total of four years.
Gallery and balconies . . .
<<< This is a Galleiy.
These are balconies >>>
Do you see the difference?
Galleries are supported by posts.
Some are decorated with flowers, some are just very decorative.
The streets are very narrow ... but ... renovations must go on.
The people of France gave the golden bronze statue of Joan of Arc to the City of New Orleans in 1972. (Note: This statue is an exact copy of the famous 1880 Emmanuel Fremiet equestrian statue of Joan located at Place des Pyramides, Paris.) This statue was originally located in front of the International Trade Mart building but it was moved in 1999 to its present location of the 'Place De France" in the French Quarter next to the French Market on Decatur Street.
French Market . . .
Mobile fruit and vegetable trucks
sell in the neighborhoods.
Some areas of New Orleans have very colorfully painted houses.
The Haitian's used the brightest colors - in their culture it indicated wealth.
ST LOUIS CEMETERY #3 . . .
Established in 1854, each tomb recounts a chapter in New Orleans' rich history—from immigration patterns, to floods and yellow fever outbreaks. We walked the rows of marble and stone gravesites.
The cemeteries are often referred to as "cities of the dead". New Orleans has 45 cemeteries - 31 are considered historic, and 5 are officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Due to vandalism, some are only open to organized tours.
The story of how New Orleans handles the limited space for burials caused by a high water table is very interesting.
When a family member is ready for burial, the front is taken off the tomb. Most tombs have chambers for two bodies in caskets. By law, the body cannot be disturbed for one year and one day so decomposition can occurred.
The prior body is placed in a biodegradable bag and placed elsewhere in the crypt. The new body is laid to rest in the burial chamber, then the tomb is resealed. The new resident's name is added on the front panel.
The cemetery provides holding crypts should there be too many bodies to buried at one time.
When the tomb is sold, the panel with the prior names is moved to the side of the tomb. The cemetery disposes of the prior bags and contents. New owner's names are added to the new front panel as they are buried.
Tombs sell for from $12,000 for concrete to $35,000 for a small marble or granite one.
This wall of vaults is from 1854, the oldest in the cemetery. The owners are responsible for maintaining the front of the vaults.
The decorative grass grows extremely tall.
One of a few wide residential streets.
CITY PARK . . . A 1,300 acre city park. (The city park was a stop on the All-City bus tour.)
This is the McDonogis Oak, the largest and oldest oak tree in New Orleans' City Park. The oak's circumference is more than 25 feet, and its crown spread is more than 150 feet.
Besthoff Sculpture Garden . . . (within the city park)
Table set up for a party . . .
We grabbed a 'highly recommended' hot dog in the concession building across from the sculpture garden prior to boarding the tour bus.
In the distance, on the grounds of the city park,
is the New Orleans Museum of Art.
End of the green line . . .
Loyola University . . .
A house decked out for Halloween . . .
Some homes were huge . . .
Beads from Mardi Gras that didn't hit their target. The beads thrown from the parade floats symbolize the throwing of "wealth" to the peasants.
New Orleans had a mix of building architecture . . .
Statues adorned the 'neutral ground'. (We would call it the median.)
This is where two ethnic neighborhoods met.
Like many older, high density cities, New Orleans has many narrow, one-way streets.
This looks like the Red Line coming at us . . .
THE END OF THE ALL-CITY BUS TOUR . . .
We spent our time waiting for the shuttle pickup at the Mississippi River waterfront.
Covered boat dock waiting area . . .
This day, the Woldenberg Riverfront Park Shelter was the site of a fundraising group promoting the need for footwear for the poor, participants walked barefoot to raise funds.
Get a room!
Parking is at such a premium by the waterfront,
permits can be obtained to park on the sidewalk.
This ferry crossed the river every twenty minutes.
Musician heading for his evening's gig . . .
Mail/supply delivery boat . . .
Street performer . . .
The last night, we had dinner in the campground restaurant.
Mary Lou shared some of her dessert - pecan pie.
Departure morning was WET. Hurricane Patricia was heading our way. We did all the prep we could inside and continually watched weather radar on our phones. It did not look good except for a small hole in the huge rain pattern.
The rain did not seem to bother some boaters.
When a small break in the rain arrived, we moved fast. We completed our outside work and splashed our way out of the campground.
Heavy clouds hung over the entire New Orleans area.
On the road again . . . it was WET and cloudy all day. We drive through or stayed ahead of the worst of the rain.
We were very fortunate that we visited the French Quarter and the rest of New Orleans the day before. We had a fantastic day with beautiful weather.
Mary Lou had two major objectives: eat a biegnet and walk through an old cemetery. Those accomplished, she could leave New Orleans satisfied with her visit.
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