This was my second trip to New Orleans for work so on this trip I made sure to go down a couple of days early so I would have time to explore a bit more. I know some people find New Orleans dirty and don’t really enjoy it, but being a music and food lover, this city is just so magical to me. It was great to see the huge strides the city has made since Katrina. When I first visited, it was a year or two after Katrina, and there was a lot of work that still needed to be done. This time the street cars were mostly operational, and in the portions where they were not, they had buses that took everyone to the street cars. It was $1.25 to ride one way or $3.00 to ride anywhere for the day.
I stayed at the Doubletree which is in the Hilton chain of hotels. I love Hilton beds and was not disappointed in my bed this time. (someday I’m buying one!) The location of the hotel was perfect as it was near the Riverwalk, French Quarter, and trolley car stops.
I started off my day by taking a city tour so I could get a broad overview of the town. I thought that way I’d have a good idea of what I might want to visit for the next two days. Rain was forecasted for the next day so originally I thought it would be great to visit the museums on Monday, only to find out on the tour that the museums were closed on Mondays! Alas, I did not get a chance to visit the art museum or the aquarium like I had wanted since I did not want to burn my one good weather day inside. The city tour was great, and I loved seeing all the colorful creole houses. It was hard to take pictures on the bus so I waited and wandered around on my own later to snap some pictures to share. However, while I waited for the bus, I decided to start my pictures with the nearby gorgeous doorway below.
As I walked around the neighborhoods and businesses, I found myself having to be careful to not gaze up all the time as I walked and to be sure and look down every once in a while to see where I was going because I kept tripping over the uneven streets and sidewalks.
In the below picture it’s a bit hard to see but that small yellow home is the only example of a shotgun house that I could find as I wandered. The tour guide said they got the term shotgun houses because in the old days they had to pay taxes on only the frontage space a house took up, so they learned to make their houses small in width but extend way back. If for some reason the homeowner wanted to, they could stand outside the front door and shoot a shotgun at something in the backyard and never hit the house as it was a straight shot front to back. Voila, the term shotgun house was coined. The below picture gives you an idea of how far back the house goes.
Unfortunately the only house I found of this type had this beautiful shrub in front of it so it is hard to see how small it is, but it is hard to complain about such a beautiful tree. I figured they probably had it there so people like me didn’t take pictures of it and for privacy, but I still took some pictures. It was too colorful and nice to just pass by. The green one next to it was what they call a double shotgun because it is like two of the smaller yellow one.
In the below picture that is the extent of the width of the house. What a great job of painting they did on this!
I loved all the metal work on these balconies below.
On the tour we also learned that for a lot of the houses we are seeing the back or sides of the house. Many of them are in fact facing inward into courtyards. There were a few examples of houses that had small iron fences that we could see through into the beginning of beautiful courtyards with ferns and fountains, but I could not find any to photograph on my journey.
I did find a gated alley way where you can see the nice green wall and the cobblestones and uneven pavement that I wrote about earlier.
I’ll leave you with my favorite picture because I love stairways.