Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Orleans -- Sunday -- July 20, 2014

On our first full day in New Orleans, we got up feeling good after a quiet night's sleep.  We left the Hotel Monteleone and took a walk over to Bourbon and Canal.  While waiting for the light, I took a photo of Saint Charles Avenue car 972 laying over at Canal and Carondelet.  The Saint Charles Avenue line is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the US, having operated since 1835. It uses cars built by Perley Thomas car works in High Point, North Carolina in the 1920s. 

While we waited to catch a Canal Street car towards the riverside, we saw 2002 pass by outbound.  Note the door for handicapped access in the center. 

When we got to the foot of Canal Street, we saw a freight train passing on the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, which runs parallel to the Riverside line. 

We got on a Riverside car and got off at Dumaine Station.  The RTA does a good job with signage. 

We went to the Café du Monde, which has operated in the French Market in New Orleans since 1862. The entire menu is: beignets, café au lait, coffee, milk (white or chocolate) and orange juice. I would have liked to see their powdered sugar delivery. We ate there three times. I could have done more.  Here we see two orders (six) of beignets. 

After breakfast, we strolled through the shops in the French Market.  We heard thunder and then it started to rain.  We stayed under the gallery and watched the rain fall. 

After the rain slackened, we went to find the Palm Court Jazz Café, where I had hoped to eat, hear some music, meet the Jazzology people in the shop and give my condolences about the recent passing of George H Buck, Jr.  We were sad to see that the Café was closed for summer vacation. 

We went on to the French Market Station, which is the end of the line for the Riverfront line, and saw this nice sign which lists all the stations and the attractions to be found at each one. 

We caught car 2020 back towards Canal Street. 

The motorman at his post on 2020.  The farebox is electronic and it can handle single fares, transfers, or passes.  The first time we used our three day passes, we put them in the slot on the farebox and it validated them and printed the to and from dates in big characters.  The motormen spend a lot of time helping visitors pay their fares.  Most were very patient.  The "Riders Must Exit by Rear Doors" signs are routinely ignored. 

We got off at Canal Street and walked past the ferry terminal to the Riverwalk Mall, which people kept telling us was the biggest urban outlet mall in the country.  It was very cold inside, so while my wife shopped I went out on the levee and watched the river.  I saw the Seabulk Challenge pass on its way up the river. 

I watched the 11:30 ferry to Algiers Point sail about 11:38.  I had to explain New Orleans Time to my wife a few times. 

We took a Canal Street car back up to Royal and dropped off some items at the hotel.  We walked over to Carondelet and got on a Saint Charles Avenue car.  I did not get the number.  Here we see it about to make the turn from Canal to Saint Charles.  A huge crowd got on at the first stop on Saint Charles.  The young man with the Police shirt was very helpful to a lady with a stroller and an older lady with luggage. 

We had to get off about Erato Street because of track work.  I loved the Garden District streets with classical names.  We got on a bus, which took us to Louisiana Avenue. 

At Louisiana Avenue, we got on car 922 to continue our trip to Carrollton.  The tracks are laid in the grassy neutral ground.We saw many impressive houses and churches along the way.  There were a lot of Episcopal churches. 

Whatever it is, I liked this little thing at the Carrollton terminal. 

Car 932 approaches the terminal. 

The motorman raises the rear pole on 922.  Then he got back on the car and reversed the seats. 

Most of us got back on 922.  We repeated the bus maneuver from Louisiana to Erato.  I got panhandled at the latter stop. 

932 arrived at the terminal as we waited to leave. 

Sunday night we went to the Pelican Club on Exchange Place, where we had an excellent three course dinner.  For the appetizer, my wife had calamari with a soba noodle salad. I had crab cakes and shrimp "With a Fried Green Tomato, Pineapple-Jalapeno Chutney and Remoulade Sauce." They may have been the best crab cakes I have ever eaten. For the entrée, my wife had the filet mignon with a crab and shrimp cake. I had seared yellowfin tuna "and Chinois Salad With Soy Wasabi Glaze and Avocado." I'm not a big fish eater, but I enjoyed every bite. For dessert, my wife had vanilla bean and brandy créme brulee and I had a white chocolate bread pudding. The food was all good, as was the service. We would go back.

We went back to the hotel and relaxed the rest of the evening. 

My wife kept remarking that everyone was walking down the street with a drink in a plastic cup.  I was shocked when I saw a young guy with a beer can in a bag.  I guess open beer cans are not allowed in the street. 

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