28 May 2015

Post 215: THE FRENCH QUARTER

For the benefit of readers who have never been to the French Quarter of New Orleans, here are a few pictures I took during my visit in April 2015.
George Lewis's House
- in which some legendary recordings were made.

Such famous roads as Decatur, Chartres, Royal, Burgundy and Dauphine run south-east to north-west and are criss-crossed by Iberville, Bienville, Conti, St. Louis, Toulouse, St. Peter's, Ursuline, and so on. The whole area is compact (well under a square mile) and very easy and pleasant to explore on foot. I guess that in total The French Quarter represents only about 2% of the entire City of New Orleans; but what a special area it is!

It is believed that about 4000 people actually live within the French Quarter.


Strolling round the quieter streets (no need to mention the noisy, brash Bourbon Street, which you can't avoid once in a while), you can admire the historic and very pretty colourful domestic architecture, including shotgun houses, classic nineteenth-century creole cottages and double-gallery houses. In case you are puzzled by the expression 'shotgun houses', I can tell you these are very simple homes, narrow and rectangular, with no hallway. The rooms are one behind the other. If all the doors of the house were open, it would be possible to fire a shotgun straight through the house - in at one end and out at the other - passing through all the rooms. Hence the name. There are also 'double shotgun houses', with two entrance doors and a central wall dividing the two homes, as in the first picture below.









Characteristic local transport
- passing Preservation Hall.






This next one is a bonus photo - sent to me by my friend Barrie Marshall. He took it when visiting the French Quarter in 1996.
When you are ready to hear some outdoor jazz in the French Quarter, you can head for Jackson Square:

or Royal Street:
At the north-eastern edge of the French Quarter, close to the Mississippi, is the wonderful and extensive French Market, where you can buy your souvenirs and take a break for refreshments.
Here's the French Market as it was in 1920:
Finally, you could head right out of the French Quarter and look back along the Mississippi at the City - including the more modern business district with its taller buildings. The French Quarter is the low-level area to the right of them: