Walkin’ through New Orleans

Almost the title of the Fats Domino hit. We’re here for a few days to sightsee, but drawn by a special event invitation. I wasn’t going to mention it yet, but Neil already has. We arrived at noon today, and our room wasn’t ready yet, so we walked around the French Quarter. Unfortunately I forgot to get my camera out of our bags to bring with me, so no pics, but here are a few from later, after we checked in and went out again. This is St. Louis Cathedral in late afternoon sun. Earlier we had lunch on a second floor balcony overlooking busy Bourbon Street, walked and window shopped on Royal Street, sat a while in Jackson Square, had fresh doughnuts at Cafe du Monde (I can’t spell the french word and don’t feel like looking it up), found a small bookshop to browse, and had a fine time.

Later I thought it would be fun to ride the St. Charles streetcar through town. Didn’t work out so well, as I underestimated how long it would take to get through rush hour downtown, and by the time we got out to the interesting mansions, it was too dark to see much, so we got off and took the next car back. On that one, we saw something unexpected that brought home the New Orleans ethos. An elderly woman was in the front seat, next to the driver. When he came to her stop, he turned off the streetcar, helped her out and down the car steps, then across two busy streets to a bench, I think a bus stop. The woman didn’t walk well, and it was an act of great kindness, even if he knew her well, which seems likely. No one on the car said a word, though this took about five minutes.

The French Quarter is full of street musicians, some good, some middling, some excellent. Ellen liked this group we passed walking back to our hotel, doing an old blues number, especially the dog. Picture’s out of focus, but I think captures the spirit well.

More later.

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