The Big Easy….La Nouvelle Orleans…Nawlins...the Crescent City… or as the dictionary says..New Orleans. What started out as a French outpost along the Mississippi river allowed me to capture a few pics while walking the big easy when in town for a little personal business. At times a gritty, hot and/or humid place…it is never short of a photo that will harken pack to a time long gone…but still here staring you in the face..or the camera.
Above is the, Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, or the St. Louis Cathedral.having attained Cathedral status in 1793 it was largely rebuilt in 1850. The view is from the floor of the Plaza d Armas, currently known as Jackson Square. These are areas central and important to the French Quarter district of the old historical New Orleans.
It is almost a tradition to stop by the famous Cafe Du Monde (cafedumonde.com) on Decatur street to try the famous chickory laced coffee and the powdered beinets. This is an establishment that has been in the city since 1862 and is still going strong. Offering someone beignets in New Orleans is like offering anyone water upon entering your home! It seems part of the life of the city.
On either side of the cathedral are the sister buildings, the Presbytere and the Cabildo. These are two fine examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the Americas. The Presbytere was built on the former sight of a presbytery or rectory, a clergy house. The Cabildo, to the west of the Cathedral was the former seat of the Spanish colonial city hall, while the Presbytere was used originally for commercial purposes and then used by the Louisiana Supreme court.
Jackson square was designed after the 17th-century Place des Voges in Paris, France, with the centerpiece being the equestrian statue of former US president Andrew Jackson. At one time this was a military plaza that was changed to it’s current name following the Battle of New Orleans, to commemorate the victorius Jackson, at the time a war General. In the north side of the square in front of the cathedral is Chartres Street, known for its street entertainers and musicians and artisans who uses the space for tips and other remuneration.
At one time the French territory changed hands to Spanish, and the Place d’Armes changed to the Plaza d Armas before its current name.
To either side of the square are the Pontalba buildings as seen here in the background. They are 4 story red brick buildings built by Baroness Pontalba in the 1840s that house shops on the lower floors with private residences above. These are said to be among the oldest continuously rented dwellings in the United States.
Renting a horse drawn carriage to see the local streets of the French Quarter old district in New Orleans is still a popular way to take in some of the sites and history of the area.
Thanks for taking a walk with me in New Orleans. Stay tuned for a few more pics soon! As usual, please leave a comment below!