Monday, March 12, 2012

New Orleans French Quarter, etc.

Arriving at our hotel in the French Quarter about 10 AM left us most of the day to explore... so off we went on foot at first... then we took a mule drawn carriage from Jackson Square... and by 1:30 PM we graduated to a 32 passenger city tour bus.

I was surprised at how many semi-attached homes that were as old as these homes were.

Check out the width of these two attached homes!  Pretty crazy, eh?

Check out the width of this three story home... It didn't make any sense to me, until our carriage tour guide explained to us that this was the servants quarters.
For example, o
For example, on a 50-foot lot the principal owner could have his home 30-foot plus wide, plus a court yard between him and the servants.

At first I was troubled by the width of this door... which looked like it might be 16 to 18 inches.  Then I figured it was likely for their postal delivery for the two homes... and nothing much else.

Many of these streets and homes were here a hundred years or so before the invention of the automobile... so these cast iron hitching posts had a real function.  If there is one missing after we leave maybe my friends found a loose one to take home!  I know they really want one.

They brag that Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is the oldest continuously operating bar in the whole USA.

It has a pretty neat atmosphere inside...

Including the original iron forge where the blacksmith heated the metal before hammering and shaping it.

Many of thees old streets have their original names from when this city was the capital of the Spanish province of Luisana. (that is how it used to be spelled.)  Today Bourbon Street is famous for all its bars and night life.

When we took the city tour our bus driver told us that this pub was the only pub in the city that never closed once during Hurricane Katrina.  Bars in this city don't have the usual curfew like most other cities.

The law here says there is only one hour a YEAR that the bars have to close... just after Mardi Gras and before Ash Wednesday so they can clean up the streets at the beginning of lent.

And the city is famous for more than it's bars on Bourbon Street!  Here they take advertising the sex trade to a new level.

We have been sharing my Nikon D300 this trip... and whenever I have it Shirley is quick to point out her favourite fleur-de-lis... so we have more photos of this graphic symbol used in this city all over the place.

And it isn't limited to just the 'French Quarter.  The symbol is synonymous with New Orleans... and even the Saints have it on their football helmets.

These little dogs, decorated by different artists and displayed all over the city, are like the orcas, and bears, and eagles that we have had in Victoria all over our city.  Notice the fleur-di-leis on the back leg.

This famous cornstalk fence was pretty amazing...  in fact they named the hotel after it!

We wouldn't use it on our place... but to each his own.  It shows how far these people went to personalize their properties. and make them "special."

The largest clarinet is on the Holiday Inn here... very nicely painted, eh?  Just behind is the Shell One Building.

As we drove to towards the worst Katrina damaged areas we past the Superdome... which lost it's roof in the hurricane.  When all the damage was prepared 173 million dollars had been spent on repairs!

We had a great tour bus driver... and he spent a good twenty minutes educating us on how the cemetery system works in New Orleans... and why they have shifted to above ground burial to avoid the "pop-ups" during flooding.

We stopped at a monument set up for the victims and survivors of the hurricanes.

Shirley is standing by the 13 foot pole, which shows how deep the water was in some of the flooded areas.

This new construction is right across the street from the monument where we stopped... Lorne and went over to give it an inspection.  Sad to see them building so close to the ground again... like they think another flood will never happen.

You can tell the homes that Brad Pitt has been involved in... they are usually elevated on posts and have solar panels on the roof... ranging in cost between $150-200,000.

More to follow later.  We are heading out today to see the Oak Alley Plantation... another tour bus.

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