Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Life and art in the 7th ward of New Orleans

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Airbnb.  The opportunity to stay in local residents' homes and experience a taste of what it is like to live in a city is invigorating for me.   In fact when I do research for an upcoming trip I always check airbnb first. So when we decided to go to New Orleans we both wanted to do it on a budget.  I discovered a darling little shotgun house in the 7th ward that got rave reviews.  Both June and I thought it looked awesome so I went ahead and booked it.  We never regretted our decision.  Miriam, our airbnb host was a sweetheart and the house was spotless. We were able to walk or take a bus to the French Quarter.  In the evening we would normally get a ten dollar taxi ride back to our little home.  I loved the diversity of the neighbourhood.

So here we go on another walk...around the 7th ward and into the beginnings of the Treme neighbourhood.

 Above is the house where we full of character.  We loved it!!

What seems to be a typical duplex home in the 7th ward.

This was along Esplanade Avenue which is the division between the 7th and 8th ward.

 A quirky trio of colourful houses along Esplanade - technically the 8th ward...
An elegant home on the 7th ward side of Esplanade Avenue.

Alrighty then....

This was protesting something....can't remember what...but thought it was pretty cool.

Another artwork of protest

 Back in the 1950's when the suburbs became THE place to live (sadly destroying inner cities) they needed a way for the almighty vehicle to transport the suburban residents home quickly.  Thus was born the North Clairborne Expressway cutting through a neighbourhood described as the following:  Settled in the heart of New Orleans, a once thriving commercial district filled with cafes and restaurants, grocers, music venues, and other businesses sustaining daily neighborhood activities lined the streets of North Claiborne Avenue. Giant oak trees and greenery loomed in the middle of the boulevard, creating a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, acting as a congregation center connecting one side of the town to the other. The area became so integral to the surrounding neighborhoods of Tulane/Gravier, Trem√©/Lafitte and the 7th Ward that some of the earliest Mardis Gras parades ended with large celebrations up and down North Claiborne Avenue. It was the ultimate display of public space. Source: Wikpedia  I have just read that there was damage sustained to the freeway bridge during Katrina and they are considering now tearing them down.  Whether that will restore the area to its former glory is anyone's guess.  In the meantime beautiful artwork on the pillars depicts what the area must have been like before this monstrosity cut its swath across the area.   

Interesting murals on a local music venue taken from two different angles..

While staying in the 7th ward isn't for everyone  I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a local New Orleans neighbourhood.

1 comment:

Sammi Egan said...

Wow! That art work is incredible.

It makes me so sad that people are still suffering the effects of Katrina so much later.

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