|New Orleans continues....
One of the oldest
buildings in the French Quarter
is apparently now an extremely popular gay bar
We know the French
love their dogs but surely this is
taking it too far? Lower sign says "The bakery for dogs"
Queenslander style ballustraded balconies
attractively decorated with hanging fern baskets
about 300 mm high of jazz musicians
St Louis Cathedral
located on Jackson Square.
Brian muses on the
juxtaposition of the cathedral,
beside Place John Paul II and the the Pirate's Alley!
The French build
Cathedral is beautifully maintained
unlike so many Cathedrals one sees in France.
By now it was late
afternoon and we were feeling pretty exhausted. It seemed like a
good idea to have an early night and so we purchased some food
provisions and finished the evening over a picnic supper in our
10th May 2004
Our feet still haven't
recovered from yesterday's walking tour and so we decide to
spend the day exploring the city via the streetcar service. This
also affords the opportunity to get out of the tourist saturated
French Quarter and into New Orleans proper.
We boarded a
streetcar at nearby Ursuline station beside the French Markets
with the intention of taking a journey out to City Park where an
outdoor exhibition of sculptures was apparently on display. We
were half way to our destination when some official spoke to the
driver and the destination was suddenly changed without
explanation!! No announcement was made to passengers. We only
knew because we were seated near the driver!!
Our new destination
Actually the Cemeteries
of New Orleans are a popular tourist destination. All graves are
in the form of large above ground crypts and many contain famous
historical figures. New Orleans is built on a delta formed by
the Mississippi River and thanks to flood mitigation levees
surrounding the town it is now below the river. The resulting
hydraulic pressure pushes bodies clear out of the ground over a
period of time if they are buried in a conventional manner.
Hence the heavy stone and granite above-ground mausoleums.
Well, we're not really
interested in cemeteries so we remain on board because
"Cemeteries" is the end of the line (in more ways than
one) and the streetcar will now terminate and head back towards
downtown. Besides, it is now raining heavily.
In due course we reach
a junction where we disembark in preparation for changing to a
different route. We notice a Japanese restaurant offering
"Sit down Sushi Buffet - $9.95" which looks like pretty
good value and as it is almost 12.30 pm we decide to try it for
lunch. Excellent value and not bad sushi given the wide variety
and low price. A flask of saki only adds another $1.50 to the
Resuming our journey
we enjoy the scenery of neat and simple southern style bungalows
which are quite unlike anything we see at home. The streets are
arched by rows of large old oak trees making a scene so much those
we see in movies with locales in the American south.
We finally reach City
Park but as it is now raining again we decide to call it quits and
just spend the rest of the afternoon riding the streetcar.
I haven't mentioned
that 90% of passengers on our streetcar journeys have been Afro
American and this in itself is a novelty for us. Around mid
afternoon we stop at a High School and a squad of loud and
boisterous black teenagers swamp the tram. Most of them are
speaking some kind of very loud street talk which was virtually
intelligible. You should have seen the sour, pursed-lipped looks on
the black adults on our streetcar.... they definitely did NOT
We had dinner at an
excellent restaurant which we had researched and booked from
Australia some weeks ago. It was quite elegant and came with a
great reputation. We were amazed at the low prices for a
restaurant having such a high status. Both food and wine was
very reasonably priced and VERY much lower than we'd pay at a
similar place in say Sydney or Melbourne.
We won't go into
tremendous details about our meal but three dishes are
particularly worthy of mention. A garlic cream soup was
surprisingly subtle and quite superb. The quail
salad comprised small and tender salad leaves dressed with a
yummy molasses vinaigrette and topped with crispy fried sections of
quail. Sliced breast of duck was a tender melt in your mouth
masterpiece accompanied by a caramelised savoury marmalade of
red cabbage and apple.