I had some downtime while in the Crescent City of New Orleans, to take a few pics of the local area, mostly around the old French Quarter district of a few historical buildings and areas, as well as dwellings in the older French Colonial style with some spanish influences. I even learned more about the history of New Orleans, including that its founder, (pictured above) Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, was also the founder of Mobile, Alabama, which at the time was part of Nouvelle, France. (New France). The beginnings of Mobile were in 1702 actually ahead of New Orleans in 1718. Mobile actually has the oldest Carnival/Mardi Gras celebration in what is now the US.
Cool Spaces and Historical Places
From Jackson Square, this red building is made in the Spanish colonial style. It houses a local theater group as well as a restaurant serving Louisiana Creole food; a blend of the West African and Amerindian locals mixed with French and Spanish (and other European) foods. Most of this faire was developed while New Orleans was still a part of New France in the pre-American territory days.
The building above is the old Bank of Louisiana building built in 1826-27. This bank printed up a $10 note in French and English with “dix” (deece) being ten in French. English speakers of course pronounced it like the plural of the name name “Dick” and called the notes “dixies”. Some say the locations around the French areas of the south were referred to as “Dixieland” in reference to the bills.
I stayed in an area west of the French Quarter called the Irish Channel. It’s a fast gentrifying area plum with old shotgun homes and single family working class homes that are being re-built by newcomers. Historically its an old working class area of many ethnicities that saw a large influx of Irish workers in the 1800’s.
The Irish Channel corner club is a marching club of locals that march in costumes throughout the area during Madi Gras as well as St. Patricks day.
Above is a Creole style home. The shotgun homes along either side are single row homes, one room then the next and the next. If you open the front door and shoot with the back door open and the middle room(s) doors open, a bullet goes straight through the home. They are usually only as wide as the one room. The front room is a living room usually followed by a room or two and a kitchen in the back. One has to go through a bed room to reach the kitchen.
The streetcars of New Orleans have been operating as electric powered since 1893, and they are an important part of the citie’s identity. The ones pictured run along Canal street which is the western border of Vieux Carre (Old Square), or the famous French Quarter. The Quarter was in the early days the main domain of the French Creoles of several racial mixes such as African/French/Spanish and sometimes Native.
Much of the old French style had burned down in 1788 and 1794 leaving the Spanish to rebuild much of the quarter. Some things are rebuilt today following the old historic style which is great.
French and Spanish influenced home.
Walking throughout the French Quarter is a walk to yesterday with a myriad of influences. The stately homes of the richer residents were near the simple designed homes of the more humbly remunerated. But it was certainly a time that would seem interesting to see in a time machine invisible to the residents, in a day before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
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