Greetings from NOLA!

I intended to post a string of photo blogs each day of our New Orleans trip, so I brought my little Canon point-and-shoot and set out walking on Saturday while Robert was in meetings of the National Freedom-of-Information Coalition. Since I forgot my card reader and have no way to transfer photos to the computer, I can't show you some of the funky street scenes I saw on my walk to Walmart to buy a cheap water bottle. (Of all the things I could have forgotten, this was the easiest to replace ... And we can blame it not on my aging brain but on our early departure on an 8:30 a.m. airplane ...)

Today it was the camera I forgot! I shot some photos with my cell phone during  our  3 1/2 hour walk through the French Quarter and the Treme - not great quality, but here's some of what we saw.

The best New Orleans breakfast

We started with beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. Not our typical Sunday brunch - and afterwards we felt the need to walk off all the sugar calories. We sat in Jackson Square park for a while reading the Sunday Post on our iPads before heading north on St. Peter. We've been to NOLA enough that we aren't agog at everything we see in the quarter, but it felt nice to be here. The sun hadn't burned off the haze yet so it wasn't too hot. 

Soon we found our way to Louis Armstrong Park.

Armstrong Park fountain

If you've watched the HBO series Treme you've probably seen it on TV but it's even more impressive in person.

In addition to wonderful statues of Armstrong and Mahalia Jackson, after whom the music hall is named, it's home to beautiful plantings, sculptures, trees that looked like locusts but had root systems similar to mangroves, mallards (no geese, that we saw!), and several performance venues. Sometimes it's hard to tell from afar whether what you see is a tree root or a duck ...

It's noted for a beautiful arched entrance, an impressive bridge, and Congo Square, where slaves congregated before the Civil War. I didn't manage to get any photos of any of those things ...

Across from the northwest edge of the park we found a visitors' center and got a better map, one that included the Treme - which we were already in, though we didn't know it! We walked through St. Louis Cemetery, where two bona fide tour guides were pointing out crypts of notables and a sham (a la Davis) was telling people about voodoo and hoodoo. It was interesting to see the mixture of burial plots in the cemetery, some very old markers (including Marie Laveua) interspersed with new, modern structures (one shaped like a pyramid) and some family plots that have been in use through parts of three centuries. 

The Treme itself looks not-too-different from other old NOLA neighborhoods. 

House in the Treme

The major difference is that there are fewer grand homes and more properties in need of TLC. Some are adorned with beads and other markings that you tend to see in New Orleans much more than other cities.

As we headed back across the Quarter, we came across a big group on bicycles getting ready for Bike Easy. Before long they were following us down Royal, accompanied by a brass band - typical of New Orleans.

Bike Easy

By now I was really hungry - and a little grumpy, can you believe it? We found a place called Green Goddess in Exchange Alley, across from the Tobacco Exchange. Robert had a sandwich filled with crawfish etouffe. I had sweet potato biscuits smothered in mushroom gravy, topped with poached eggs and with cheese grits on the side. 

It was 3 by the time we were back at our hotel, time for a short snooze and lots of reading - and only a little while for blogging. No time to figure out how to get the damned photos out of my camera so I can show you some of the street scenes I shot yesterday.

I'll leave you, though, with this one from Friday night. It's so typical of New Orleans, and something you find primarily in areas of other cities where we would not likely be walking down the street.