New Orleans walk-about

It is always interesting to take a kind of journey and I like to walk so I walked from the French Quarter to my Marriott Hotel near the Causeway.  I am so far from downtown because of the football game, BTW.  I could not get a hotel nearer the center within government rate because so many people are coming in for the game.  No matter. The walk was good and I had no other pressing business on Saturday. Took me a long time and according to Google maps, it was nine miles, but I cut off a few miles by catching the streetcar.  I took pictures along the way, so I have my illustrated journey. Up top is the start at Jackson Square at the bottom of the French Quarter.

Above is just outside Jackson square. There are lots of street performers and fortune tellers. The most interesting was the Voodoo Bone Lady, above. I don’t know what she does with Voodoo bones.  Didn’t want to get too close, lest I be turned into a zombie. Below is Bourbon Street. The word to describe the French Quarter is raucous.  People were loudly partying, drinking and carrying on.  People walk the streets with big cups of beer and other drinks. And this was just after noon.

Below are little houses on the way out of the French sector. 

Below is Louis Armstrong park. Top is just the pond.  Below that is a statue of Louis himself.  Louis Armstrong was a great trumped player. I still remember him. He sang with a distinctive gravel voice.

After passing out of the park, you enter the 9th Ward, made famous by the flooding of Katrina. There were lots of people just hanging around, but there were also lots of empty lots that probably had homes before the hurricane. I talked to some people about the lost community.  It was interesting and sad. The talked about a community of small homes, homeowners who passed their property to their kids and how the hurricane literally swept it away. They said that some people were returning, but it won’t be the same.  One guy told me that he had set up a kind of phone tree and the old 9th Ward people keep in touch. They have a big picnic in the City Park every year. Meanwhile, services have not returned but wildlife has.  There are deer, rabbits and even wild boar, I was told.  Brad Pitt is running an organization building flood resistant housing in the area.  People were generally happy about that, but that is just one point of light. Rebuilding it taking a while.   Below is … I don’t know what. But the photo is interesting.

I was getting a little worried that it was taking me too long to get back to the hotel. Fortunately, I could catch the streetcar.  I rode from Broad Street to the end of the line.  It cost $1.25.

The line ends in a big cemetery. Evidently, the water table is so high in New Orleans that they cannot bury bodies underground.  They would float up.  So the tombs are above ground, creating a true city of the dead.

It was starting to get dark, so I didn’t take more pictures. At the end of the graveyard was a nice neighborhood in the Jefferson Parish. Legally I was out of New Orleans into a place called Metairie.  It was truly a long walk. I would have taken a taxi, but I found none, so I trudged on, now enjoying the walk somewhat less.  One interesting thing was that the many streets had classic names.  We had Homer, Hesiod, Demosthenes, Claudius & even Nero. The bottom picture I took the next day. This is the causeway that crosses Lake Pontchartrain. It is almost twenty-four miles long.  It looks even stranger at night, with headlights crossing pitch black darkness. Lake Pontchartrain is brackish. Near the north end it is almost completely freshwater. The other end is half seawater. It was flooding from this side that drown so much of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

BTW – I almost made a very bad decision to get a hotel on the other end of that bridge. It was a little cheaper.  I figured, just across the bridge. How far could that be?  Fortunately, I am on the near side. Crossing that thing would be a long and monotonous walks, if you were even allowed to do that.