10-7-19 New Orleans Introduction

New Orleans – reflections about this lovely City. We had visited many years ago when we drove across country in 1978 on our way to Los Angeles. So, when we found the Road Scholar Tour of New Orleans, City Of Mystery & Intrigue it seemed like the right thing to do.

Around every corner is a beautiful building with lovely ironwork. The cast iron on the second level is more difficult than the wrought iron on the upper level.
Lovely – just another street corner in the French Quarter.

After checking into the Hotel Monteleone we joined 28 other Scholars to learn about this wonderful city.

Here we are across the street from the Hotel Monteleone. A lovely old hotel in the heart of the French Quarter.
We would meet at the Clock in the Lobby of the Hotel before going out on tour.

Dubbed affectionately by some as the northernmost Caribbean city, New Orleans revels in its giddy blend of European refinement and carefree effervescence, a place where virtue and vice are celebrated in equal measure. We where invited to surrender to the intoxicating charms of “the Crescent City” that have long fascinated artists, writers, musicians and scholars. We experienced live New Orleans jazz, took field trips inside and outside the French Quarter and Garden District; got perspectives on architectural and literary landmarks, and enjoyed the unique culinary adventures as well as the National World War II Museum.

Jackson Square with the Basilica of St. Louis in the middle, the The Presbytere on the right and the The Cabildo on the left.
The Presbytere – Designed in 1791 to match the Cabildo, the building was used by the Louisiana Supreme Court and now part of the Louisiana State Museum system
As the seat of colonial government, the Cabildo was the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies in late 1803. Now part of the Louisiana State Museum system
Pontalba Buildings – These are on one side of the Jackson Square park.

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi river. With a population of about 391,000 it has the most residents of any city in Louisiana. The Port of New Orleans, that extends to Baton Rouge on the Mississippi river, is considered the economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region and the gateway to the world, both with shipments out of the port and products brought in from all over the world.

Proof that David was there.
Walking along Bourbon Street early in the morning. Clearly early for this city – no one is really out yet to Party!

Founded in 1718 by French colonists, New Orleans was once the territorial capital of French Louisiana – was ruled by the Spanish from 1762-1801,given back to France and ultimately sold to the United States by Napoleon  in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In 1840, New Orleans was the third-most populated city in the United States and was the largest city in the American South until after World War II.

A typical levee along the Mississippi

Needless to say, the flat elevation (New Orleans is actually below sea level) has resulted in flooding, resulting in various levees being created, large drainage pumps being installed and general a fear of the Mississippi and any hurricanes (think Katrina in August 2005).

Our first day started with a general introduction by Ms Ann, a lifetime resident of New Orleans, covering its history culture and discussion about levees and the role Lake Pontchartrain plays in protecting the City from flooding.

Lake Pontchartrain – we stopped here while on our couch tour.  The lake is about 40 miles by 24 miles so it’s really a large estatuary.

Following our “classroom intro”, we boarded the coach and drove around getting a feel for the city and learning about the various areas.

Janeen keeping track of where we were going on the city tour.

This included a visit to the one of the famed St. Louis above-ground cemeteries of the City.

Each of the crypts would ‘house’ multiple generations of decedents. The names would be placed on the front or sides. Not something I would want to take on.
You can see the names engraved on the fronts showing the many people inside.

Along the way, we stopped at the The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture. Atypical of most sculpture gardens, this garden is located within a mature existing landscape of pines, magnolias and live oaks surrounding two lagoons. Lots of very interesting sculptures including some familiar artists  and pieces we have seen in other locations.

Spider, 1996 Louise Bourgeois – This is by the same artist who did a similar spider we saw at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Spain.
Janeen and the Spider at the Park.
Mother and child, 1988 – Fernando Botero
The Spanish Moss was hanging on these trees. Lovely to see.
Hercules the Archer, 1909 Antoine Bourdelle
Ww stand together, 2005 George Rodrigue

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