not really a blog -- just a few pictures

Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Orleans

I visited New Orleans for two days to enjoy the food, music, and history.

Jackson Square is the center of the French Quarter and by extension New Orleans.  My pictures show Jackson’s statue, Saint Louis Cathedral, and the Cabildo, where France officially transferred the Louisiana Purchase to the United States in 1803.

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and Louis Armstrong.  I saw Preservation Hall’s band and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, who were great despite the stodgy name - there were no tuxedos in sight.  My pictures are Preservation Hall.

There were also musicians on the street everywhere.  I was surprised that people crowding around them would choke the streets even after dark.

I tried as much New Orleans food as I could - gumbo, jambalaya, beignet, turtle soup.  I had muffaletta at the Napoleon House - formerly the mayor’s house.

I also visited Chalmette Battlefield a few miles outside of town, where Andrew Jackson was made leading the climactic fight of the Battle of New Orleans, in the War of 1812.  Jackson’s patchwork forces struck me - different signs on the battlefield mention U.S. regular infantry, Choctaw Indians, “free men of color” from Haiti and former Spanish colonial militias, “Irish immigrants and members of the French Creole elite,” “prominent citizens from New Orleans’ uptown American sector,” and “sailors from the USS Carolina and Jean Lafitte’s Baratarian pirates.”

Chalmette National Cemetery is adjacent to the battlefield.  It includes graves of veterans from the Civil War through Vietnam, but also (just) four graves from veterans of the War of 1812.