New Orleans

It’s probably been five years since we visited the city. My wife decided we needed to come to celebrate a “big” birthday (mine).

We were aware that the city is building a new billion $ airport, but it’s not open as yet and has had a number of delays related to the subsidence that has always plagued the area.

We took the streetcar around to the French Quarter. First stop after crashing at the hotel for a bit was the French Quarter and Cafe du Monde for some beignets.

New Orleans’ street cars

These treats are mounded with powdered sugar and impossible to eat without getting some on you in the process.


It’s obligatory to have some cafe au lait with chicory, blistering hot. We just might come back here again.


I lived in New Orleans as a child for a few years and it was a big treat at the time to come across the river by ferry to have beignets. The ferry would leave the West Bank and arrive at the Canal Street station. Canal street is the main street that bisects the downtown central business district, with the French Quarter on one side and the CBD on the other. The interesting part about the French Quarter versus the area on the opposite side of Canal Street is that at the time, this also represented a cultural divide and the “neutral ground” that separated them. Read further here.

We walked back behind the French Market towards the river (perhaps 75 yards), passing the wall and floodgate. I can’t really imagine this floodgate stopping much here, but maybe it would divert flood water.

Across the street from Cafe du Monde is Jackson Square and the St Louis Cathedral.

To the left of the cathedral is the Cabildo, once the Spanish colonial city hall and now a state museum. There are some very old trees that remarkably, have endured any number of hurricanes, bordering the park (Plaza d Armas).

Washington Artillery Park

St Peter’s

Lined along Decatur street near Jackson Square and across from the old Jax Brewery, are buggy rides for tours around the Quarter.

We walked down St. Peters and decided to have dinner at the Gumbo Shop. You can’t go to a gumbo restaurant and not have gumbo. We had seafood gumbo and chicken andouille gumbo. Go for the seafood gumbo, it was really good.

Continuing down St Peters , you can appreciate the unique architecture of the French/Spanish influences, like this residence with a winding wrought iron staircase that leads up to the second story entrance.

The streetcar stop was about four blocks’ walk, where we waited to catch the streetcar back. Like seemingly every other mode of transport, New Orleans has an RTA (Regional Transport Authority) app that includes streetcar rides. With the reduced fare for us “seniors”, rides are really cheap, slightly compensating for the $41 cab fare from the airport.

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