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Showing posts with label New Orleans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Orleans. Show all posts

Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Orleans

Street cars. St. Louis Cathedral. Jackson Square.Canal Street. Lacy wrought iron gates. Beignets.  Coffee with Chicory. Boiled Shrimp.

Before you decide this will be another blast of Superbowl hype, let me correct your impression by adding another item to the list - Lizardi Street, where my parents and I lived after moving from Texas around 1942 for Daddy to work in the shipyards during World War II.  Located just north of the Mississippi in what is now the Lower Ninth Ward, the tiny house was owned by Mrs. Castaine, who rented part of it as an apartment for us. Two years old at the time, I have memory only of what I was told about the way we lived there.
Daddy worked the night shift at the shipyards.  Mother took care of me and cooked the shirmp he bought from shrimp wagons bringing in fresh harvest on his way home - his supper, my breakfast!  Then she dressed me in a pretty dress or striped overalls and took me out to play or walk, anything to keep the little rooms quiet enough for Daddy to sleep before heading off for another night shift.

 My Texas grandparents missed me and wrote long letters telling my mother so.  Phone calls were a luxury and limited to brief exchanges only when necessary.  Once for  a birthday present they sent me new house slippers, filled with orange slices. Rarely, we made the return trip to East Texas, always a glad reunion.

Years later, I would visit New Orleans on business trips and enjoy wonderful meals at Antoines, Glatoire's, and Commanders' Palace. I would walk down Bourbon Street and explore antique shops in the French Quarter.  I would photograph wrought iron  balconies and gates, and once again ride the St. Charles street car.  We would stop for beignets, coffee, and shrimp po-boys.  I would fall in love with he foods and learn to cook them.  My mother never wanted to return to New Orleans after they left.

Katrina changed the city forever.  I am glad to see the rebuilding and restoration of neighborhoods and many of the city's treasures although I am unable to discover whether Lizardi street has recovered much.  I am glad for the attention New Orleans is receiving from being chosen for the location for Super Bowl 2013.  I won't be watching the game, but I have enjoyed my view of the city.

And I still love shrimp, any time of the day.
                    Dressed in a grass skirt to model the shell jewelry and rattan bag brought back as a gift for me                                          from my Uncle Travis, who served in the Navy in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.