So we’re riding a historic New Orleans St Charles Streetcar when the driver of a streetcar going the other way says “Hey Mon, You’re Smokin!”. Smokin’. Huh.
Somehow I doubt he means that we’re in warp speed overdrive. So the only alternative would be – OUR STREETCAR’S ON FIRE? Smokin’? ….. The fact that this is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world — since 1835 — did enter our minds….
You can’t make this stuff up… but I’m getting ahead of myself. David decided we should ride the St Charles Streetcar line this morning (little did we envision it would take all day…), past the Garden District to gawk at the antebellum mansions, disembarking at Audubon Waterfront Park (locally known as “The Fly”) to watch the meandering Mississippi and barges and ships go by.
After a 4 mile walk, we returned to our streetcar stop. And waited … the schedule said every 10 minutes… so why had it already been 35 minutes. Oh good, here comes one…. nope, it doesn’t stop because it’s over capacity. But wait! There’s another in sight. But despite the fact that it’s TOTALLY EMPTY, it goes right on by — it’s “out of service” according to the driver. So needless to say those of us at the streetcar stop were excited to see the next streetcar. BUT …
After about a block, the streetcar going the other way interrupted our much deserved movement — mind you, we weren’t sitting down because there was no room, but at least we weren’t walking… Our driver got out to go to the rear and check out the “smoke” – came back and reported that he couldn’t move the streetcar because the “smoke” apparently knocked out the power. He didn’t seem to have any idea of what was going to happen and David made the executive decision to get off and start walking (never mind that it was a 13.2 mile streetcar line and we were maybe 1/3 of the way…). Once again, we were trendsetters, followed by lots of others. Our RV lifestyle lends itself to lots of walking!
Luckily a half hour or couple miles walked brought relief and another totally full streetcar passed us, but the next one had room and we were pretty darn happy to see those varnished wooden seats!
To reward ourselves for our longer than anticipated adventure earlier, we returned to the French Quarter to stand in line for an hour to see the 6 PM jazz session at Preservation Hall. Then it started to rain … and not just rain, POUR. Every rooftop had waterfalls. Luckily the overhang at Preservation Hall was sufficient that we were only half wet, not totally soaked.
After the great jazz at Preservation Hall — Joint Chiefs of Jazz — no photos because there are none allowed inside Preservation Hall out of respect to the musicians. The Hall is tiny – holds maybe 100 people – 5 or 6 rows of hard wooden benches with 8 people in a row and 5 or 6 rows of standing and one sitting in front. There is a post in the middle so if you’re in the last row, like us, you’ll have trouble seeing the entire band. But the music was just what we were craving.
Afterwards, we celebrated with a Hurricane at the Piano Room next door at Pat O’Brien’s Then walked home … the rain was just starting again, whew, just made it!