"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Orleans: Some Parting Shots

 I'll just finish up New Orleans with a few interesting places and cool pictures I couldn't fit in earlier posts. We took a walking tour of the Garden District with Free Tours by Foot, a business I would highly recommend. They offer several kinds of tours, and they are all "free," or pay what you can. You must make reservations and there is no pressure to pay any particular amount, just what you feel your tour was worth at the end. We were generous with our tour guide, who was knowledgable, competent, entertaining and personable. We couldn't have asked for more.

We started the tour in the Lafayette Cemetery I, which is in the Garden District. Our guide explained why the crypts are above ground (high water table).

She also explained that the heat of NOLA bakes the corpses inside the sealed crypts until near to nothing is left. Those remains are swept off the shelves onto the floor of the crypt so that the shelves can be used again. Thus a crypt is used over and over again, and in the case of these older ones, for centuries! The carved stones below list the "residents" of this crypt from 1847-1988!

She told us about the NOLA social aid and pleasure clubs, one of which is the Muses. The shoe below, on one of the graves, has to do with the Muses - either made by the muse herself, or by her friends.  The whole phenomenon of the clubs and the parade krewes is fascinating and I'd love to learn more.

After the cemetery we walked through the Garden District. It's called that because the homes have large yards with grand gardens and there are large live oak trees growing along the streets. The trees cause a lot of trouble for the sidewalks, but the city has decided that the trees are more important that the sidewalks, so they work around the problems and save the trees.

 She told us the histories of some of the homes and the more contemporary residents of others (Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, among others). There's lots of wrought and caste iron fences and porches.  More beautiful homes than you can imagine.

One day Rick and Glenn went to the World War II museum and Lynn and I went back to the French Quarter to do some Christmas shopping and meander in and out of shops as women like to do at times. We started at Cafe Du Monde for another wonderful breakfast. Do you know, the Cafe Du Monde seems to be completely run and staffed by Asians? That made me really curious.

Back on the streets again, and taking pictures.  The French Market - a glorified flea market really. 

One of the hard working horses pulling buggies.

A long hallway from the street into a back courtyard.

A voodoo doll in the window of Rev. Zombies' VooDoo shop.

The cool dark interior of the Coffee Pot Gumbo Shop. (Great lunch).

A moment of happiness…

...and an everlasting moment of grief.

While we may not be as grief stricken as the Weeping Angel in Metairie Cemetery, we are sorry to leave New Orleans. It's a beautiful, magical, moving place, and I know we'll be back.

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