I spent a little time walking around and admiring the lavish plantings hanging from the balconies of many of the French Quarter's townhomes, many of which feature Spanish-inspired balcony railings, but I have to be honest: the French Quarter attracts more than its share of idiots, and after a few hours of witnessing the various acts of rudeness, cluelessness, and poor reading comprehension committed by some of my fellow tourists, I had had enough.
My knee was holding up pretty well, so I decided to return to Faubourg St. John, a Mid-City neighborhood I visited in 2010 and which attracts far fewer tourists than the French Quarter.
Albany masterwork, but the World Trade Center has a 1960s, Men in Black vibe that I like.
The French established a small settlement in the Faubourg St. John area in 1708, ten years before the city of New Orleans was founded. Travelers who came to New Orleans from the north entered the city via Bayou St. John, which drains into Lake Ponchartrain was connected to the Mississippi River via canal in 1803. The canal was filled in during the early 20th century, and at present the bayou forms the centerpiece of a pleasant residential neighborhood.
Spanish Custom House; however, there is no evidence that this building was ever used as a customs house. It was built in 1784 and is situated at 1300 Moss Street, and it is a stunning example of Creole plantation architecture. When you look at it from across Bayou St. John, you can sense just how stately it must have seemed to the men and women who traveled on the bayou in the 18th and 19th centuries . . . and are forced to ponder the slave economy that propelled its construction. The domed structure behind it is the Church of the Holy Rosary, which plays an important role in the neighborhood's social, cultural, and religious life.
No amount of time spent in New Orleans is ever quite long enough. I really wanted to spend more time exploring the neighborhood -- and other neighborhoods I have yet to see -- but it was getting dark, it started to rain, and I needed to return to my hotel and pack my things in preparation for my morning flight to Ohio. However, I'm already starting to sketch out the itinerary for my next trip to the Crescent City, and I hope that the Society of American Archivists returns to New Orleans sooner -- much sooner -- rather than later.