Sunday, December 4, 2011

Report from NOLA: 1. Mid-City, Looking Good

Dear George,

Katja and I are recently back from a wonderful Thanksgiving visit to New Orleans to see our son and daughter-in-law, J and K, and our darling grandchildren, V and L. Their house is in the middle of Mid-City, which in turn is in the middle of New Orleans, about halfway between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. K and J live just two blocks away from Canal Street, so we could walk a short distance, hop on the bright red trolley, and, for forty cents apiece, enjoy a 2.5-mile ride to the French Quarter. Mid-City is a largely residential area, off the beaten track for tourists except during Jazzfest. It’s a hip, mixed income, well-integrated neighborhood with lots of young families. It’s bounded by N. Broad St., Orleans Ave., City Park Ave., and the I-10 Expressway. Canal St. runs through its center, and N. Carrollton Ave. and Jefferson Davis Parkway cut across it.

I spent some time every day walking around the neighborhood because I’d adopted the role of official dogwalker for the family pooches, Titus and Iko. I was particularly taken with Mid-City’s architecture which is unlike anything we have in Cincinnati. The majority of the buildings are double shotgun houses which date back to the late 1800s and which are decorated with wooden "gingerbread" ornaments. Shotgun houses are long and narrow and get their name because one supposedly can shoot a shotgun through the front door and it will exit the rear door without ever touching a wall in between. Mid-City borders City Park with its Art Museum and Sculpture Garden and is home to numerous excellent restaurants and bars, some of the city’s finest old cemeteries, and the Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl where J and K introduced us to Zydeco dancing years ago. The levee breech at the 17th Street Canal following Hurricane Katrina resulted in massive flooding of the neighborhood with virtually all of its buildings heavily damaged or destroyed. Like most local homeowners, J and K, who had just bought their first house two years before the hurricane, had to entirely gut the interior and rebuild from scratch. Mid-City has led New Orleans in housing reconstruction, and a casual observer might not even realize that the nation’s most devastating natural disaster occurred here just six years ago.

I took the photos below in J and K’s immediate neighborhood, mainly between Jeff Davis and Carrollton and between Canal St. and Palmyra. It’s a fun and interesting place in which to stroll around. Lots of dogs, cats snoozing on the stoops, palm trees and live oaks, tropical flowers, kids at play, friendly people, and interesting houses. Here are some of the scenes that caught my eye.



SOURCES FOR INFO ON MID-CITY: (“Mid-City New Orleans”) ("Mid-City Neighborhood Snapshot")

www.mcno ("Mid-City New Orleans Neighborhood Organization") ("Mid-City New Orleans") ("New Orleans/Mid-City and Esplanade Ridge")

G-Mail Comments:

-Vicki L (12-5): HI David, Thanks for the photos of J and K's neighborhood- great to get a feel for where they're living. Such troopers. Glad you had a good trip… Love to Katja, you, Mike and Duffy. Sis

-Donna D (12-4): this was great david. wonderful pictures! donna

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