Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Orleans -- Tuesday -- July 22, 2014

I was happy to see the Ignatius J Reilly statue standing outside the site of the DH Holmes department store on Canal Street, where Reilly stood at the beginning of John Kennedy Toole's novel A Confederacy of Dunces.  Now that I have been to New Orleans, I shall have to read it again. 

Tuesday was our last full day in New Orleans, so I ran around taking photos of things I had not yet caught, like the huge grandfather clock in the lobby of the Hotel Monteleone. 

A plaque in the lobby is dedicated to Antonio Monteleone, a Sicilian cobbler who came to New Orleans and wound up owning a hotel.  The fourth generation of the family still owns it. 

We had breakfast at IHOP, a family tradition on vacations, and went to catch an outbound Canal Street car at Bourbon Street.  Here we see car 2012 inbound, followed by a string of other cars. 

We caught car 2001 outbound on Canal, headed for the Cemeteries.  We talked to a young lady who turned out to be from San Francisco.  She was exploring New Orleans while waiting for some friends. When we got back to the foot of Canal, we suggested taking a Riverfront car.  We saw many Catholic Churches.

At the Cemeteries terminal, the motorman raises the rear pole. 

We saw the A Philip Randolph Operations Center, which serves as carbarn and shops.  I couldn't get it in a photo, but I saw at least one green Saint Charles Avenue car in the yard.  I suppose this is because of the track work that has cut off one end of that line. 

This facility was badly flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Most of the red cars for the Canal and Riverfront lines were ruined.  Carrollton Station (carbarn and shops) for the Saint Charles Avenue line survived unscathed, but the line was badly damaged.  Green Saint Charles Avenue cars ran on Canal Street and Riverfront for some time until the red cars could be refurbished. 

The Saenger Theater. 

2001 reflected in the windows of a Canal Street building. 

When we got to the foot of Canal Street, we went to the ferry terminal. 

The Canal Street Ferry to Algiers Point was free until 23-February-2014.  It was operated by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development until the same date, when the New Orleans RTA took ownership.  Veolia Transportation operates it under contract.  The line used to carry automobiles.  Now it carries only passengers. 

An auto ferry still runs between Chalmette and Lower Algiers. 

I was happy to take my first ride on the waters of the Mississippi.  We paid our two dollar (cash only, exact change only) fare on the boat in what appeared to be a fare register from a bus. 

Ferry Colonel Frank X Armiger approaches the Canal Street landing. 

Ominous clouds loom over the bridges called the Crescent City Connection. 

Looking back at the Canal Street landing.  The former auto ramp is on the right.  It is now used for bicycles and handicapped access. 

Our hotel, the Monteleone is the large white building with the white sign on the roof.  Our room did not have a river view.  Next time. 

The former Jackson Brewery and Saint Louis Cathedral. 

Ferry Louis B Porterie used to carry cars and passengers on the Canal Street Ferry. Now it sits by the Algiers Point ferry landing.

The Algiers Point ferry landing.  The former auto ramp is on the left.  We saw a bicyclist waiting when the boat got closer to shore. 

At Algiers, the crew made all the passengers get off.  Those of us going back had to walk down the corridor and around a barrier and back to the gate.  We paid our two dollars again.  After the boat sailed, I watched the lady who took the fares and a guard who stood next to her wheel the farebox into a room and lock it in.  They sat on a bench to enjoy the trip. 

Back at Canal Street, we found another huge crowd waiting for the Riverfront line.  We jumped on 459, which was outbound.  The motorman stopped at Julia Street and said "Convention Center.  End of the line.  Everyone out."  We got out and realized that we were not at the Convention Center.  We waited a while till he came back.  It started to rain. 

The motorman had all three front windows open when we boarded.  He soon closed them because of the rain. 

We got off at the end of the line, French Market Station.  459 is one of the first group of cars built for the Riverfront line.  Note that it does not have air conditioning, so it does not have the fake clerestory roof. 

The rain was very heavy as we tried to work our way through the French Market.  We wound up at Café du Monde and had a late snack. 

The rain stopped when we were done, so we walked back through the French Quarter, stopping at Faulkner House Books in Pirate's Alley.  We bought a collection of his essays on the French Quarter and Soldiers' Pay.  The clerk said he had written both in that same room.  We talked a bit about Sherwood Anderson, and about similarities between San Francisco and New Orleans in the way we regard reality. 

We went on to the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum in Royal Street.  Downstairs they had an exhibit on the Boswell Sisters.  Upstairs they had a permanent exhibit on the history of New Orleans.  It was worth a visit. 

We went on to the hotel and put our feet up for a while.  I went to sleep. 

We walked down to the French Market and had dinner at the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen.  The food was good but service was agonizingly slow. 

We walked up to Saint Peter Street just in time to get in line at Preservation Hall.  When a staff member reminded people that there were no drinks, no food and no bathrooms, a lady ahead of us wanted to know how they could do that.  She and another woman later left the line after complaining that the charge was $15 each.


We wound up standing for the 8 o'clock show by the Preservation Hall-Stars.  It was worth it.  Drummer Shannon Powell led the band and did some of the singing.  I didn't catch the names of the pianist, bass player, trumpeter, clarinetist or trombonist.  They did "Shake It and Break It," "Bourbon Street Parade," a sing-along of hymns, and other pieces. 

We went back to the hotel and packed our bags. 

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