Riding The Rails…The Garden District

On our second day of exploring New Orleans on the trolley cars, we opted to take the St. Charles Avenue line to the garden district.  It travels first through the business district so we got a gander at some of the impressive business buildings along the way.

234 St Charles Ave, Central Business District

I spotted this building, The Ritz Carlton, earlier from the Canal Street trolley.  It was being refurbished and what’s interesting to note is it used to be a “5 – 10 – 25¢” store.  A much fancier building than any that house our current dollar stores.

324 The Ritz Carlton (old 5 & dime), Canal Street

Once out of the business district, St Charles transforms into an oak tree canopied street lined with elegant homes reminiscent of days gone by.

247 St Charles Ave, Garden District

248 St Charles Ave, Garden District

Unbeknown to us, part of the St. Charles trolley line was shut down for repair work.  We had to disembark from the trolley at that point, so we wandered around on foot for a bit before continuing on a shuttle bus.

The St. Charles trolleys are green, rather than red like the other lines.

242 St Charles trolley car, Garden District

We spotted many geckos during our visit and most were very shy, skedaddling away in a blink of an eye.  This little one stood his ground and even displayed an impressive fighting stance with his colourful puffed-out throat.

236 Garden District

The sidewalks pay a steep price for having all the old oak trees alongside them.  As much as we wanted to gawk as we walked, we had to pay attention to the ground too.

239 Garden District

If only Crepe Myrtle trees would grow here, I’d have a yard full of them.  They’re simply stunning.

244 Crepe Myrtle, Garden District

I spoke to the guard standing outside this old beauty and he told me it was a private Ladies’ Club with over 800 members.  He said it was even more lovely inside.  Imagine that.

246 Ladies Club, St Charles Ave, Garden District

The Audubon Park is located on St. Charles Avenue and we couldn’t resist taking a peek inside at its restful green loveliness.  The park is also home to a zoo, but we didn’t take the time to check it out.

253 Audubon Park, Garden District

261 Audubon Park, Garden District

263 Audubon Park, Garden District

Across the street from the Audubon Park is the Loyola University.  Gorgeous buildings and grounds.

269 Loyola University

By time we boarded the shuttle bus to continue our tour of St. Charles Avenue, we were completely parched and we gladly forked out a couple of bucks to an enterprising gentleman with a cooler of icy cold bottles of water.

The shuttle bus took us the rest of the way along St. Charles Avenue before turning right on S. Carrollton Avenue.  This is the same avenue that the Canal Street trolley takes to go to the City Park, but it covers a different section of it.  When we reached the end of the line, we had to get off and cross the street to catch the return shuttle.

Back on St. Charles Avenue, we wandered on foot a little more, taking in all the gracious homes.

249 St Charles Ave, Garden District

278 St Charles Ave, Garden District

I love how the ivy grows on the gate’s stonework.  And what an incredibly elegant house.

275 St Charles Ave, Garden District

This type of home is called a raised center-hall cottage, so named because inside it has rooms on either side of a long center hallway.  If I were ever so lucky to own such a “cottage” I’d want it to look exactly like this one.

276 Raised center-hall cottage, St Charles Ave, Garden District

Festooned throughout the trees, everywhere we went, were Mardi Gras beads.

280 Lots of beads in the tree, St Charles Ave, Garden District

Back in the French Quarter, we were headed for the grocery store on Royal Street, when I spotted the Louisiana Supreme Court Building.  We’d gone past it on one of our first nights and I’d hoped to return in daylight to photograph it.  Hubby and I abandoned Sis and BIL to do the shopping (and toting) by themselves and hot-footed it over to admire this massive white marble and granite structure.  Photos cannot do it justice (little pun).  It stretches over several blocks and is magnificent.

284 Louisiana Supreme Court Building

We then carried on down St. Peter Street, past Jackson Square, and caught the Riverfront Trolley back to the hotel.

285 Jackson Square

After a late lunch and refreshments, we were ready for some more exploring, and what a better way to explore than with a large Hurricane in hand?  Sis and I both had one of the slushy drinks and we enjoyed every last potent drop.  Interesting to note, drinking alcohol is legal on the streets of New Orleans, as long as it’s not in a glass container.

293 Drinking our Hurricanes, Decatur Street

Speaking of drinks, Hubby and I had wanted to try a Mint Julep (such a charming old southern drink) while we were there, but had no luck finding it on any menu.  The closest we came was this ancient sign on the side of a building on Decatur Street.

289 Old sign on building on Decatur Street

This Creole townhouse on Decatur Street is so typical of the area.  Shops below, apartments above, with the balconies adorned with lovely greenery.

290 Decatur Street

We walked for several blocks along Canal Street, checking out the shops and admiring the architecture.

196 Canal Street

323 Canal Street

Then we wandered deeper into the business district as more amazing architecture caught our eye.

The Roosevelt Hotel on Baronne Street.

296 The Roosevelt Hotel, Baronne Street

The Immaculate Conception Parish Jesuits’ church on Baronne Street.  Both buildings are part of the church.  To display my incredible (googling) skills, I can tell you the one on the left is a Neo-Venetian Gothic style building with Gothic Revival and Moorish architecture elements.  Impressed?  Don’t be, I don’t even know what that means, but the buildings were impressive at least.

298 Immaculate Conception Parish Jesuits' church, Baronne Street

The New Orleans Orpheum Theatre on University Place

301 The New Orleans Orpheum theatre, University Pl

Carondelet Street

302 Carondelet Street

I saw this notice several times while in New Orleans, a sombre warning to Southern Louisiana residents.

305  Canal Street

After all that tramping around, Sis and BIL decided to relax and cool off in Harrah’s, so Hubby and I wandered back down Decatur Street where we quenched our thirsts with some amazing lemonades while listening to a jazz band play at the Market Cafe.

314 The Market Cafe, Decatur Street

On the way back to the hotel we happened across Dutch Alley in the French Market. Dutch Alley is home to New Orleans largest artist’s co-op and is lined with quaint little shops.  I snapped this depiction of Jackson Square inside the foyer of one of the studios.

312 Dutch Alley

Another day of adventuring ended with tired feet and happy souls.

3 thoughts on “Riding The Rails…The Garden District

  1. Pingback: The Year in Pictures | joyceholmes

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