NOLA…

This is a view looking up Royal Street towards the Greater New Orleans Business District.  The contrast of old and new…modern skyscrapers are the back drop to the texture of the 18th century spanish influenced french quarter architecture. 

 New Orleans is the proverbial melting pot of culture.  Originally settled by the French in 1718, the Spanish took control of the city in 1768. In 1800 Spain and France signed a secret treaty and Louisiana was given back to France. In 1803 Napoleon sold Louisiana to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

NOLA survived two major fires with in 6 years of one another.  The first fire was on Good Friday in 1788 and destroyed 856 of the 1100 existing buildings.  The second fire was on December 8 of 1794 and destroyed an additional 212 buildings.  Therefore almost all of the original french architecture was destroyed with the exception of a handful of buildings, one of which is Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (blog to follow).  After the fires, the city was re-built in the Spanish style with bricks, firewalls, iron balconies and courtyards.  This is the NOLA we all know and love today!

One of the best websites I have come across is http://www.inetours.com/New_Orleans/French_Quarter_History.html.  Here is an excerpt from their site;

“The absolute best way to experience the New Orleans French Quarter is by taking a walking tour. 

Visitors might want to keep in mind that, the French Quarter is a neighborhood with private homes and other residences and the grocery stores, restaurants, banks, police station and other services that support communities.

This community just happens to be one of the most visually interesting in America and of significant historic importance.  Many of the over 35,000 buildings in New Orleans listed on the National Register of Historic Places are in the French Quarter.”

Just a bit of advice from a nola girl at heart is when in NOLA avoid the obvious…avoid the bus tour and take the horse-drawn carriage ride its much more personal.   Stop in one of the many locally owned antique stores or art galleries and ask the owner where she prefers to have lunch.  Take a chance on a small cafe that uses traditional ingredients with a new interesting spin.  Take the time to talk to the Locals and you will get a feel for the real NOLA and maybe even make a friend or two.  New Orleanians are gregarious by nature and are never in too big a hurry to stop and speak to somone passin’ by.

10 Comments

Filed under NOLA, postaweek2011

10 responses to “NOLA…

  1. It is on my list of places I want to visit!

  2. I’ve never heard New Orleans referred to as “NOLA”. Love it. Learn something new every day. Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I haven’t posted on it lately, but you’ll find lots of helpful tidbits and videos if you scroll through old posts.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog, Gloris (that’s not a typo, that’s my name =] Sounds like Doris)

    • Thanks for popping over and especially for taking the time to drop a line. NOLA is a local term that I believe became a bit more popular when Emeril Lagasse named one of his restaurants NOLA.

  3. Walking (or biking) is the best way to get to know any place on the planet.

    We can’t appreciate the sights, smells, and sounds nearly as well when we’re racing by in a cab or a bus.

  4. If I ever came to the US, New Orleans is on my list of places to visit 🙂

  5. Hey, Jeanne! LOVE THAT SHOT!

    When we went last October, here is where we stayed

    http://old-new-orleans.com/NO_Inside_Pontalba.html

    The Pontalba Apartments. They are not “owned” but rented and once they have been rented by someone, it’s never let go…so they are next to impossible to get. A friend of ours was interested in them and did research, he’s a doctor, and found an AD on Craig’s List (of all places) from an attorney, looking to sublet the place (which I don’t think you are technically supposed to do) anyway, he and a gal rent the place and are always traveling. He let us stay there, and the balcony faced Jackson Square. Access to the iron balcony was only through the floor-to-ceiling window. You had to step over the window ledge. So interesting! We were VERY fortunate.

    Meanwhile, the doctor has a condo in the business district, where Reggie Bush lives. It was interesting to see modern vs. oldest apartments in the United States.

    Sandi
    http://www.ahhsome.wordpress.com
    Lake Forest, CA
    **Down 10 lbs in 2 weeks! WOOHOO!

    • Sandi, I love the Pontalba Apartments. They make the square what it is (literally). Staying there must have been an incredibly memorable experience.

  6. Pingback: Music Moves Me…Louisiana Christmas Day | jeanne's blog…a nola girl at heart

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