New Orleans is built upon layer after layer of strata, and its population followed suit. The current Pontchartrain Expressway, running from Pontchartrain Boulevard to the Union Passenger terminal, located at Loyola Avenue, was built along the route formerly known as New Basin Canal. In 1831, the New Orleans Canal and Banking Company was formed to begin construction of the canal, which was to connect Lake Pontchartrain through the “swamp” to the Uptown section of New Orleans. By 1838, after an expense of $1million, the 60-foot wide, three- mile long canal was complete enough to be opened to small vessels. It took seven years to build, and countless lives of the Irish immigrants who were coming to the city in hordes back then. Yellow fever in New Orleans in the 19th century was a ruthless killer. Estimates range from 4,000 to 30,000 deaths of immigrant Irish workers digging the canal. Today, the canal has long since been closed For more information, see www.irishchannelno.org/ New Orleans is as much Irish in its heritage as it is French or Spanish. It’s not just about green beer. New Orleans grew physically to accommodate new residents, making it the second largest population of Irish immigrants, only to New York City.“The Irish were the catalyst for making New Orleans a metropolitan city,” says Fitzmorris. According to Tulane historian Terrence Fitzmorris, “The city’s vibrant economy based on trade drew immigrants like the Irish. They were part of the powerful regional and Atlantic economy that made New Orleans a global city.”
Archive for the ‘New Orleans Attractions’ Category
March 12th, 2012 by cindee
February 18th, 2012 by cindee
Bacchus, the Greek mythological god of wine and cheer, is also known as one of New Orleanians’ favorite Mardi Gras parades. The Krewe of Bacchus was officially formed in 1968 and was a creation of the Brennan family, a name well-known for their local fine dining establishments. Over the years the group has grown into one of the largest and most popular Carnival parades, noted for its sheer size, impressive animated floats, and celebrity riders such as Bob Hope, Nicolas Cage, Elijah and James Gandolfini.
Some of Bacchus’s signature floats include the Bacchasaurus, King, Queen, and Baby Kong, and Bacchagator. The Bacchagator was the first 2 tandem super float ever built and extends 105 feet. Over the years a net was added to reflect all the beads that would end up back in the mouth of the gator. This is my favorite parade that passes down the traditional parade route down St. Charles Ave. such a treat to be only two blocks away.
February 1st, 2012 by cindee
Hey, it’s almost February 2012, and we all know what that means here in New Orleans-Carnival Time! The first joyously anticipated parade rolls next Saturday, February 4, starting at 6:30 PM, through the ever-funky French Quarter and Marigny neighborhoods. Yes, that would be Krewe du Vieux. Makes sense that the first parade would be in the Marigny- Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, a wealthy plantation proprietor of French heritage, raised money in 1833 to fund an official celebration of Mardi Gras, and of course his plantation later became the Marigny. (He was one of the original developers of New Orleans!) But there’ve been carnival celebrations in New Orleans since at least 1743. The Krewe du Vieux likes to boast that it’s the only organization that parades around the original satirical ideals of Carnival. No lofty mythological themes, or glittering stars on huge floats a la Endymion. No, it’s just creative people making fun of their own society. Lots of material in New Orleans!
The theme this year of the always-irreverent (and a bit racy) adult-oriented parade is “Crimes against Nature,” and Deon Haywood as the Queen, the Executive Director of Women with a Vision. As leader of that organization, she fights for the rights of at-risk and impoverished women, marginalized members of society, and their families. She’s clearly not shy! With a theme like that, who knows what might turn up on those mule-drawn floats meandering through the Old Quarter. Recent Kings include Dr. John (2010-“Fired Up!”) and Don Marshall (2011-“25 Years Wasted.”).
December 20th, 2011 by cindee
New Orleans has no lack of museums, and as always, they celebrate the city’s renowned diversity. For starters, there’s your traditional art museum, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. That is New Orleans’ flagship art museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. It’s under new leadership in the person of Susan Taylor, and is proudly moving into its second century. NOMA’s holdings include a significant collection of decorative arts and photography as well as painting, but for its second hundred years, it’s widening the spectrum of pieces in the permanent collection in its new show, NOMA 100.
December 15th, 2011 by cindee
City Park in New Orleans is a magical place during the holidays, and not just if you’re a kid. City Park, located in mid-city New Orleans on a former swamp that later became Allard Plantation facing Bayou St. John, is spread out over 1300 acres and is the sixth-largest and seventh-most visited public park in the United States. It’s one of the country’s oldest parks; the original land grant was established in 1854. It’s half again as big as Central Park in New York City. Even though it took a beating during Hurricane Katrina, the park has rebounded and is expanding even more in the next few years. During the holidays, it’s a place to visit that never fails to delight visitors and locals.
December 6th, 2011 by cindee
From human statues to fortune tellers, New Orleans is the number one place to experience the most unique street performers in the world. Visitors can find some of the most interesting types of street artists year round. Painters, cartoonists, tarot card readers, usicians, dancers, jugglers, and magicians can be found throughout the French Quarter, entertaining locals and tourists alike. Enjoying the street art of New Orleans is one of the least expensive ways to appreciate the city, especially for those visitors or locals on a budget. It is important to remember, however, that while the entertainment and performances are done for free, many street artists make their living from their talents. If by chance you take a photo or find ourself pleasantly entertained, it is a kind gesture to provide a tip to the street performer or artist. Tips
help keep the street art of Crescent City alive and thriving!