Sunday, April 28, 2019

April 9, 2019 Our Day on the Mississippi River and My Night on Frenchmen Street with Family & Friends

There are two cities in America that light a fire in my cold dead heart...The Big Apple and the Big Easy. After leaving Chicago's never ending winter, I am thrilled to be in New Orleans and it's 80 degree sunshine. Today's blog theme is "What Brings You Joy?" My answer is everything I did today in New Orleans. I love this city because of it's street art, history, music, people, food, all the locally owned neighborhood businesses and it's incredible laid back energy. Now that sounds like an oxymoron but if you walk around the neighborhood streets will know exactly what I mean. The residents of this city know how to have a good time. 

The sidewalks are a disaster in Faubourg Marigny and Bywater. Since you have to look down to keep from tripping, at least there are beautiful messages on the water line manhole covers. 

We are staying less than two blocks from the Mighty Mississippi River. We love walking along the river in Crescent Park. This is the view from the bridge known as the Rusty Rainbow over the train tracks. 

This park was completed in 2015. It revitalized an area of the Mississippi Riverfront that was no longer used for Maritime commerce. I love when sections of cities are rebuilt while retaining elements of their historical past.  

The landscaping is beautiful...

...and so are the views up river of New Orleans.

There are remains of two old wharves along the trail through the park.

I can see why this river is known as The Big Muddy. But a quick Google search says the Missouri River is the real Big Muddy.

You Are Beautiful started in Chicago. 

Cormorants hanging out on old pilings.

Of course there are train tracks along the river.

This old wharf or warehouse still has a roof on it.
We've seen a farmers/artist market here in the past. 

It's a perfect day for a walk along the river.

We are getting closer to the French Quarter and the CBD.

Some lady enjoying the breeze off the Mississippi River.

The view walking over the tracks at the French Quarter side of Crescent Park.

Since we enjoyed walking along the Mississippi River, we decided to take the Creole Queen paddlewheeler down river to the Chalmette Battlefield in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.

It was windy on the river but it felt good while sitting in the sun.

The Saint Louis Cathedral

The first part of our cruise was along the same route we took to get to the French Quarter.

The Rusty Rainbow Bridge

Because I am a history geek, I loved being on the Mississippi River. Every time I am in New Orleans, I've been amazed by all the commercial boat traffic on the river. I know how much our country relied on our ocean ports and inland rivers in the first 150 years or so. But I now realize how important the maritime trade still is to our country. 

The military keeps a stocked rescue ship here for quick deployment when disaster hits in areas off the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.

There are still active warehouses further down stream from New Orleans.

When I first saw this Domino Sugar factory, I thought it was abandoned. 

I mean look at this mess.

It turns out it is still in operation and is the second largest sugar refinery in the world. That barge is full of sugar and it's being off loaded by crane into the factory.

This is where the sugar is offloaded from the huge ship into the barge.

Also by a crane with a bucket. This doesn't seem like an efficient way to do this job.

More warehouses further down river. There is so much traffic here on the river.

Barges stacked along the shore waiting for tugboats to move them to their destination.

This is our river boat's destination. The Chalmette Battlefield.

 This is the Malus-Beauregard House built in 1835. That was 20 years after the battle. So technically, this house has nothing to do with this National Historic Park.
There are beautiful trees that grow around here. I believe they are Southern Live Oak trees....

...and they are incredible.

The Chalmette Monument

The final battle during the War of 1812 was fought here. 

Andrew Jackson's under manned army defeated the British troops who had hoped to take control of the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

A tribute to Major Samuel Spotts who fired the first shot of the Battle of New Orleans.

We only had an hour at the battlefield, so we couldn't see the Cemetery or walk along the trail through the battlefield. Sorry Christy, we'll have to come back here again because I love historical sites.

Traveling up river took twice as long so I had more time to photograph the transfer of sugar from tanker to barge...

...and barge to refinery.

More scenes along the Mississippi River.

"But I never saw the good side of the city
'Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen 
Big wheel keep on turnin'
Proud Mary keep on burnin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river" 
- Proud Mary by John Fogerty

Tugboats are very active on this river.

A refueling barge.

New Orleans is 300 years old.

We took the Canal Streetcar to the French Market. Then walked back to our house in Bywater to meet my brother Jeff.

The Rusty Rainbow Bridge

I believe art work on a manhole cover over what read on social media.

Christy petting our security guard at the house.

We had dinner at Elizabeth's with my brother Jeff. 
They have an extensive beer...

...and a very tasty menu. The blue cheese oysters were amazing.

Christy thinking that she has to double her alcohol intake to survive two Ott brothers.

Having fun with Jeff.

Jeff and I headed down to Frenchmen Street. Christy stayed at the house because she is too old to stay out late.

We started out at the Spotted Cat where there is an amazing beer list.

At some point in the night, we went across the street to d.b.a. to see the Treme Brass Band. It was there that my friends Tom & Laurie drove straight from the airport to Frenchmen Street and joined us. After ordering beers, Laurie quickly made her way to the front of the stage. It turns out she loves music as much or possibly more than I do. Jeff stayed with Tom at the bar while I joined Laurie. After another round or two, my brother had to leave since he works tomorrow. After the Treme Brass Band finished playing...

...we caught a set by the Smoking Time Jazz Band back at the Spotted Cat. Then it was time to find food for Tom & Laurie who spent a good part of the day traveling to New Orleans. Of course it has been about 6 hours since I had dinner, so I was ready to eat again.

We walked to the Clover Grill on Bourbon Street because it is the only 24 hour place I know about in the French Quarter. I'm sure there are more, I just don't know where. We enjoyed a tasty late night meal. Then picked up their car on Frenchmen Street and drove to Bywater. My day ended 20 hours after it began and I loved every minute of it. Good Night New Orleans...I love you.