Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Orleans Day 2

We ended up being so busy in New Orleans that I didn't manage to post reports from the rest of our trip. I'm working on catching up.

At the recommendation of my college friend, Mary, we started off our second day with breakfast at Brennan's Restaurant, home of Banana's Foster, with Amy's niece Melissa. The building was originally built for Edgar Degas' great-grandfather, during the Spanish rule of New Orleans. It was yummy, though none of us tried the Banana's Foster. We highly recommend the strawberries with double cream.

French Market

After our sumptuous breakfast we headed to the French Market, and wandered through the flea market booths. An eccentric Cajun gentleman explained in more detail than we really wanted, how he crafts beautiful jewelry from scrap - making beauty from the destruction left behind by Katrina. And I added a bright pottery fish to my collection. After stopping to stock up on pralines for the folks at work, we stopped for a late morning snack of beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

From there we headed to St Louis Cathedral, stopping to admire the art displayed on the fence along the way.

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The outside of St Louis Cathedral.

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Looking down the main aisle.

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The organ loft.

Then we headed to Uptown to meet my college friend, Mary, at her parent's house. I'd emailed Mary for recommendations on places to eat and things to see and discovered that she was going to be in New Orleans for the weekend too. After a quick tour of her parent's house we headed off to lunch at a local bar for lunch. We spent lunch talking and laughing.

The local drink.

After lunch Melissa took us over to the Lower Ninth Ward to show us two of the oldest houses in that part of the city. Mary kept up a running travelogue on the drive pointing out the sights and offering stories about the city. There are still signs of the destruction of the hurricane throughout the city, but there are also signs of recovery in most neighborhoods. The houses we went to see are called Pilot houses and sit on opposite corners near the levee. Mary enjoyed seeing these almost as much as we did. She'd seen pictures of them before, but didn't know where in New Orleans they were.

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The Pilot house closest to the levee. This was taken from the top of the levee.

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The second Pilot house. Note the kumquat tree in the yard.

There are more pictures of the Pilot houses here.

Just a block away from the Pilot houses are these new houses. We're pretty sure these are part of Brad Pitt's efforts to rebuild New Orleans. If you click on the picture you can see what almost looks like a fourth house, but is actually a ship docked on the other side of the levee.

I'll save our first Mardi Gras parade for my next post.

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