Riding The Rails…City Park

We started our third day of riding the rails with a visit to New Orleans City Park.  This destination was on my “must do” list and it didn’t disappoint.  I could’ve easily spent the entire day there.

One of the first buildings, upon entering the park, is the New Orleans Museum of Art.  We didn’t go inside, but I hear it’s excellent, if museums are your thing.

327 New Orleans Museum of Art

We followed the path to the right of the museum past what is called the Big Lake.

330 New Orleans City Park

We were greeted by some eager ducks, most with adorable babies in tow.

333 New Orleans City Park

It quickly became apparent that they expected to be fed and when we didn’t offer anything, they soon lost interest and waddled off.

336 New Orleans City Park

New Orleans City Park is renowned for its live oak trees.  They’re called “live” oaks because they retain their leaves all year-long rather than losing them in the fall like most deciduous trees.  The massive trees were stunning and magnificent, many draped with Spanish moss.

332 New Orleans City Park

342 Live oak with Spanish moss, New Orleans City Park

343 Live oak with Spanish moss, New Orleans City Park

341 New Orleans City Park

367 Live oak with Spanish moss, New Orleans City Park

We came to a large field by the water and discovered why the ducks had thought we might feed them.  Apparently feeding the waterfowl is common practice and can attract quite a crowd.

350 New Orleans City Park

361 New Orleans City Park

Just look at all the different species of feathered friends in this shot.

365 New Orleans City Park

There was a stately pair of black swans as well.

353 Black swans, New Orleans City Park

354 Black swan, New Orleans City Park

I noticed this poor goose and was curious about how its wings became so seriously clipped.  Didn’t seem to adversely affect it though.

359 Poor goose with clipped wings, New Orleans City Park

360 Poor goose with clipped wings, New Orleans City Park

The Botanical Gardens had an admission charge and with so much free beauty surrounding us, we opted not to go in.  I had to be satisfied with peeks through the fence.

371 New Orleans Botanical Garden, City Park

379 New Orleans Botanical Garden, City Park

City Park has a Storyland and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, but they also charge admission so we skipped by them.  They did look cute for little people though.

380 Storyland, New Orleans City Park

Some of the most breathtaking pictures of the day (and of the trip) were taken from a bridge crossing the Bayou Metairie.  Gorgeous, gorgeous.

389- Bayou Metairie, New Orleans City Park

393 Bayou Metairie, New Orleans City Park

394 Bayou Metairie, New Orleans City Park

More lovely park shots

391 New Orleans City Park

400 New Orleans City Park

405 New Orleans City Park

The Peristyle

397 Peristyle, New Orleans City Park

The Great Lawn

402 Great Lawn, New Orleans City Park

We ate lunch in the Casino Building.  (It didn’t actually have a casino as far as we could tell, lol).  Lunch paid homage to the local cuisine with jambalaya, gumbo and my personal fav, yummy beignets.  If I recall correctly, ice cream may have also been consumed.

409 Jambalaya, Casino Building Cafe, New Orleans City Park

410 Beignet,  Casino Building Cafe, New Orleans City Park

The entire left side of the park is full of ancient oaks, unbelievably huge and awe-inspiring, as you can tell by how small my BIL looks in comparison.

414 Live oak, New Orleans City Park

417 New Orleans City Park

418 Live oak, New Orleans City Park

Most trees are several hundred years old, and the oldest tree, the McDonogh Oak, has been dated to about 800 years old.  There’s no plaque or anything to distinguish it, but we figured this one looked like the mightiest oak of all and I was later able to confirm it was indeed the McDonogh Oak.

425 800 year old  McDonogh live oak, New Orleans City Park

It appeared that the tree had suffered some sort of catastrophic injury in the past, possibly losing a good portion of itself in the process.  Repairs had been made with a black substance that likely saved the tree.

422 800 year old  McDonogh live oak, New Orleans City Park

While it took away from the natural beauty, I can understand why they had to prop up those immense branches.

420 800 year old  McDonogh live oak, New Orleans City Park

An unsupported branch had drooped to the ground and over the years began growing up again, itself as thick as an average tree trunk.

421 800 year old  McDonogh live oak, New Orleans City Park

When I saw this picture of my BIL, I regretted that I hadn’t thought to touch the tree. I may never have another chance to put my hand on a living 800 year old tree.

424 800 year old  McDonogh live oak, New Orleans City Park

There were many memorials in the park, mostly the usual benches and trees.  This lovely fountain was perhaps the most elaborate.  And what a gorgeous setting.

427 New Orleans City Park

When I saw this strange creature, I thought a turkey must have had relations with a duck, but no, I have it on good authority that this is actually a Muscovy duck.

440 Muscovy duck, New Orleans City Park

It wouldn’t be a park without squirrels and we saw some way cute ones.

445 New Orleans City Park

The crown jewel of the City Park is the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.  It’s the best $0.00 you can possibly spend in New Orleans.  Not only is it free, it’s home to over 60 sculptures – and my hubby did his best to take a picture of every single one.  I have to admit, I just didn’t “get” a lot of them.  To me, they weren’t art, they were an object, sometimes a strange object or pointless object.  But I’m certainly not an art critic and I don’t profess to know much of anything about the art world.  I do, however, know what I like or what is appealing to me, and I found plenty to fill that bill.  Here’s just a sampling of the ones I liked.

This big fellow greets you at the entrance.

449 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

Sis and I met a few, ahem, striking characters.  They are Riace Warriors.

458 Riace Warriors I, II, III, IV, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

And the view from behind was equally interesting.

460 Riace Warriors I, II, III, IV, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Overflow”

462 Overflow, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Restrained”

466 Restrained, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

This piece left me feeling a little disturbed.  There’s actually a bell inside the sculpture.

485 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Las Mesas Bench” & “Pablo Casal’s Obelisk”

490 Las Mesas Bench & Pablo Casal's Obelisk

“Pablo Casal’s Obelisk”

491 Pablo Casal's Obelisk, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Hercules, the Archer”

496 Hercules the archer, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Diana, the Huntress”

502 Diana, The Huntress, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“La Poetesse”

512 La Poetesse, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Monkeys”

515 Monkeys, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Tree of Necklaces”

514 Tree of Necklaces, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

This sculpture was fascinating, but difficult to photograph

509 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

510 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Three Figures and Four Benches”

523 Three Figures and Four Benches, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

527 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

“Spider”

530 Spider, Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

483 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

529 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

532 Sculpture Gardens, New Orleans City Park

When I realized Hubby wasn’t about to leave until he’d examined and photographed each and every piece in the entire garden, I suggested that Sis and BIL, who didn’t quite share Hubby’s fascination, go off on their own.

We finally left the park over an hour later.  If Hubby’s knee hadn’t been acting up, we likely would have returned to where the large trees were and spent a little more time wandering through their magnificence.  We did happen to spot some more friendly fowl being fed on our way out of the park.

547 New Orleans City Park

551 New Orleans City Park

Back in the French Quarter, we wandered down Decatur Street, looking at some of the tourist shops along the way, before heading to Hubby’s favourite spot, The Market Cafe, for refreshments and some lively jazz music.  The pigeons entertained me almost as much.

569 Market Cafe, Decatur Street

After that nice break, we slowly made our way back to the hotel to change for dinner.

Creole Townhouse, Decatur Street

591 Creole Townhouse, Decatur Street

Corner of St Philip & Chartres Streets

572 Corner of St Philip & Chartres Streets

Chartres Street

575 Chartres Street

Shotgun house, Bourbon Street

578 Shotgun house, Bourbon Street

Adorable Creole cottages, Bourbon Street

579 Creole cottages, Bourbon Street

To save time, and wear on Hubby’s poor knees, we caught the Riverfront trolley back into town for dinner.

581 The Riverfront Trolley

I had a 2/1 coupon for the Crescent City Brewhouse on Decatur Street so that’s where we had dinner.

583 Crescent City Brewhouse, Decatur Street

Hubby convinced me to order Crawfish tails.  “Crawfish?” I asked, less than certain of his suggestion.  To which he replied, “No, just the tails.”  Like that made it all okay.  Admittedly, my dinner of veal and crawfish tails was excellent and I had yet another taste of the south under my belt.

589 Veal & crawfish tails, Crescent City Brewhouse, Decatur Street

After dinner we bought pralines, a popular local treat consisting mostly of brown sugar, cream and pecans, and enjoyed them as we strolled down what’s known as the Moonwalk along the river.

604 Moonwalk

St Louis Cathedral in the dusk.

609 St louis Cathedral

Here’s a funny story to end another long day.  As we caught the trolley back to the hotel, I overheard a large southern woman say to the trolley driver, “I’all’s got three passes in this here purse.  Y’all goin’ make me dig ’em out?”  Wisely, he didn’t.

One thought on “Riding The Rails…City Park

  1. Pingback: The Year in Pictures | joyceholmes

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