Saturday, July 1, 2017

50th Family Trip: Jackson Square

When we woke up on our first morning in New Orleans, the rain had almost stopped so we decided to visit Jackson Square while it was relatively dry out. We walked a block to St. Charles street and caught a streetcar. While navigating unfamiliar public transportation systems with 10 people was challenging, the streetcars were fabulous! They were cheap, easy to use, and stopped at all the tourist sites. And climbing aboard one is like stepping back in time.
 The street cars are old and loud. They rattle and sway and groan. The insides are made of wood - wooden seats, wooden floors, wooden window frames - and it's not at all hard to imagine it's 1950 while you're riding. On the way to Jackson Square we rode a streetcar to the end of the line. While we were waiting a connecting car, we watched the driver (conductor?) of the first car slide the wooden backs to the other sides of the seats and climb into the identical driver's seat at the opposite end of the car. Not only do the streetcars look cool, they are designed to be reversible!
 Unfortunately, the rain had returned and we spent multiple streetcar rides looking at views like this.
I knew nothing about Jackson Square, but it was quite an interesting place. It is a park, surrounded with an intricate iron fence, that is the site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, which added the western half of the country to the U.S.
 The square is named after Andrew Jackson and he is heroically portrayed in a statue in the middle of the square. I managed to avoid photographing that. The square is beautifully landscaped and surrounded by lovely buildings, including Saint Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in America. It looks like a fairy tale castle!

 The inside was incredibly ornate...
 ...including the ceiling...
 ...and the organ loft.
There are also unusual palms trees...
 ...and gorgeous old live oaks.


Even in the gray and rain, Jackson Square was a beautiful place.

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