|Cottages on Upper Magazine Street, with carnival beads|
We jumped on the train, which in this case is a gold Prius, stuffed full of posters and refrigerator magnets for Elevation 13. Come along with us for the ride.
We rolled down Esplanade, looking at the beautiful houses beneath the spreading live oak trees. The stately homes grew more funky and eclectic the closer we came to the river.
Then we turned off on Henriette Delille Street (I'm learning these secret short cuts!), and over to St. Claude. "Into da 9th Ward," said Louie as we rattled past construction barricades. We rolled past the same sights as last night, when we went to the club.
|Elizabeth's in the Bywater|
|Mural across the street from Euclid|
Here crowds of beer-swigging bros swaggered through the potholed streets in their shower shoes and backwards baseball caps. Louisiana Music Factory specializes in local music, carrying jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, Cajun, and zydeco independent labels. In the window, Snooks the cat is grooving to the beat (he has his own Facebook page).
Then it was off down Decatur and into the heart of the Quarter itself, the Prius inching forward past the taxis, bikes, mule-drawn carriages and tourists. We snagged a spot just outside Central Grocery so I could dash across the street for some souvenir pralines.
Alas, the line for muffalettas was out the door and we had no patience, plus there were more stops on Louie's own private railroad.
Up Dumaine Street, where we saw a fully garbed pirate - or was it Ignatius himself? - nonchalantly cross against traffic. Then to the corner of Bourbon where we parked illegally in front of what may be the oldest gay bar in the US while Louie dropped off more posters and swag at Skullyz Recordz.
We crossed Canal Street into the Central Business District, and stopped off for a brief look at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.
|Reproduction street tiles by Derby Pottery|
Then a pilgrimage to Jim Russell's Records, now sadly absent Russell himself, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 94. If you're a collector of 7" singles, you'd love browsing in the dusty, musty shop full of rare vinyl and shellac!
We toured the length of Magazine Street, a dip through Audubon Park and a brief homage to the "raison d'etre of the City of New Orleans," the Mississippi river bank. A family party barbecued on a pavilion elevated over the milky brown water while a paddle-wheel cruiser rolled by.
The streets of this city are barricaded and ravaged by multiple traffic projects. We jounced and bounced over potholes through Uptown, past the Carrollton cemetery, occasionally detouring around the block in pursuit of another one of Louie's passions - a photographic collection of abandoned furniture.
At the first careening detour around the block in the Bywater, I was a little alarmed, wondering if he planned to pack the sagging davenport or battered rattan dresser-drawers into the Prius' hatchback, but he explained that it was simply photos he wanted. By the third or fourth stop, I was able to appreciate the hunt, viewing a blackened, hollowed-out armchair, charred by fire, as the visual masterpiece it was.
Lunchtime came and we considered our options. You might think we'd chose something traditionally New Orleans, but I already had my Parkway po'boy experience the day before. So we chose sushi. We ordered too much to finish, and brought home cucumber salad, volcano roll and a slice of red snapper for Biscuit the cat.
|Impressively ancient freight elevator opens onto a common gathering area|
And soon the private railroad pulled back into its siding near Bayou St. John. What a tour!