City Park, New Orleans, 5/15/16

IMG_7719Up to NOLA’s City Park – bigger than NYC’s Central Park, it features a botanical garden, art museum, lake & bayou, amusement park, mini-train, golf, and a sculpture garden. It was built thanks to FDR’s WPA program, and suffered $43 million in damage from the busted levees of Hurricane Katrina. But it is gorgeous now.

The Singing Oak, is an art installation with wind chimes on an ancient oak tree:

The walk from Singing Oak, past the museum, to the botanical garden is lovely, with unexpected flowers and sculpture along the way.  You can double-click any photo to see it full-size.

The Botanical Garden includes a collection of WPA sculptures.

 

Adam & Eve

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This is some kind of creepy fish-thingy in the rainforest exhibit:

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Orchids:

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One side of the garden had families gathering a stage for what may have been a dance recital, with little girls in tutus. Interesting flowers and plants, a small Japanese garden, and monarch butterflies.

The garden has a model train set that runs around a miniature New Orleans:

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Shotgun-style Creole cottages

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Here’s the mini Robert E. Lee Monument:

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After lunch, we explored the sculpture garden.

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Human forms, of all kinds:

And non-human:

St. Gaudens in front, Rodin in back:

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Saw the train-ride around the park, and strolled by the bayou. I love the different shapes and crisscrossing of the palm fronds on these trees:

We left the park and walked the length of the bayou, checking out some of the enormous magnolia blossoms and historic homes along the way:

Stopped at Parkway Bakery & Tavern, opened in 1911, for a gin rickey, sweet potato fries, and bread pudding – why not? Learned that the po’boy sandwich was invented in 1929 to feed the streetcar conductors – those po’ boys – when they were out on strike. Parkway was badly flooded a number of times, but managed to reopen 2 months after Katrina.

Kept walking, past N. Jeff. Davis Blvd, peace banners, to get back to the streetcar.

Louis Armstrong Park, featuring Congo Square, where enslaved Africans gathered on Sundays to dance and make music – the precursor to American Jazz:

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Big Chief Tootie Montana, Chief of Chiefs of the Mardi Gras Indian Tribes:

On our way to Frenchmen St., we pass more music history – J & M Music Shop:

Gotta love a purple cottage:

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And our final night on Frenchmen Street – music in the bars, music in the street, music in my heart. Plus tap-dancing! Thank you, New Orleans, for sharing your sound and spirit.

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Street brass by day, with some overly-excited young ladies:

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and by night, with a big crowd:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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